Russia’s New Mercantilism

Old-style mercantilism, as compared to free trade, was an economic doctrine formerly implemented by national governments to advance their country’s interests at the expense of others – a divide-and-conquer approach to trade and investment as an instrument of power. Robert J. Samuelson of the Washington Post argues that a new form of mercantilism is making a strong comeback, as governments (the Kremlin among them) once again make moves to manipulate markets against principles of competition to advance political (and sometimes personal) interests. He asks an intriguing question: can growing economic interdependence and rising nationalism coexist, or will they collide?