Unmasking globalisation. From rhetoric to political economy - the case of Brazil.

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper

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Globalisation as a process of increasing internationalisation based on the dominance of finance capital is a material process. This article, however, focuses on globalisation as a discourse, distinguishing between discursive strategies as deliberate efforts of social actors and discursive structures as stabilized social orders unaffected by simplistic voluntarist attempts at change. Taking Brazil and a presidential speech as a case study, three discursive strategies can be identified: globalisation is portrayed as radically new, as unjust, but unavoidable and as a power field only accessible by the elite. Globalisation as a discursive structure in the Foucauldian tradition is shown to be structured similarly to the dispositive of sexuality as a flexible arrangement of actor-less and borderless markets, hereby, abandoning the old discursive structure of development which was focused on sovereignity and territory. Using marxist political economy we will unmask this rhetoric as a sophisticated power game that serves for hiding the deep-rooted dominant structure of capital and state. Only then can we fully understand the decisive role that social struggles play in the making of history and geography.

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SeriesSRE - Discussion Papers

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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