The focus of this article is Estonia’s post-socialist economic transition and the reasons behind the liberal nature of the country’s economic policies. I argue that the self-image of a nation plays a significant role in shaping its economic policies. associated with economic nationalism can be achieved through various means that can include strategies of economic liberalism as well. Thus, the concepts of economic nationalism and economic liberalism are not a dichotomy. I examine the construction of the Estonian self-image through the discourses of radical individualism and industriousness, historical suffering, desire for freedom and return to Europe and sense of abandonment. By showing how these discourses interact with the liberal paradigm, I claim that Estonian policy-makers chose liberal economic policies because they perceived them to most effectively serve their objectives. When economic policies are examined in view of the national self-image and motivation of policy-makers, the incongruence between economic nationalism and liberal policies disappears.