In several Western countries there is a Federal system in place (US, AU) of States and a National government making laws.

In the worst of circumstances, one of those two levels of government may need to seize assets of a corporation. To me, it makes sense that the word 'nationalise' applies to the Federal half of the government (since the whole country is the nation).

But that leaves a gap.

My question is: What is the equivalent word for Nationalisation when it is a State seizing the assets?

  • 1
    While not addressing States in particular, the answers other than "nationalization" to the linked question would probably serve to answer yours as well: english.stackexchange.com/questions/251193/…
    – herisson
    Jul 6, 2015 at 1:25
  • I would call this a "state takeover". Jul 6, 2015 at 1:27
  • Why is it the "worst of circumstances" when a corporation is the target?
    – deadrat
    Jul 6, 2015 at 1:53

1 Answer 1


"Nationalization" often has the connotation of government seizure and operation, as when Harry Truman tried to nationalize the the US steel industry in 1952.

What you're talking about it is the exercise of the power of eminent domain. In the US, the general legal term of art is "taking," from the 5th Amendment's text: "nor shall private property be taken." (Most states have the equivalent power in their own constitutions.)

The enabling legislation of each jurisdiction will give you an appropriate local term. In Australia, it's "resumption." In many US states, it's "condemnation" or "expropriation." New York uses "appropriation."

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