The Corporate Production of Nationalism

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11 Scopus citations


States, government officials, cultural elites, and ordinary citizens are typically the leading characters in academic treatises on nationalism—cast as the primary producers and consumers of nationalist ideology. Yet this conventional focus obscures the many corporate aspects of nationalism. Drawing from the literature on “commercial nationalism”, this article examines the corporate production of nationalism surrounding National Day holiday celebrations in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Pairing participant observation and textual analysis of advertising landscapes, I illustrate how domestic and foreign corporations are key actors in (re)producing nationalist discourse—and state power—in the Gulf states. By situating this comparative case study in the broader literature on commercial nationalism, I argue that Qatar and the UAE are in fact typical of how corporate actors around the world routinely reinforce scripts that essentialise the “nation” by drawing upon and, in effect, producing nationalism—and their own commercial interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-205
Number of pages21
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • Qatar
  • United Arab Emirates
  • commercial nationalism
  • nationalism
  • political geography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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