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

Publication: Working/Discussion PaperWU Working Paper


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. (author's abstract)

Publication series

NameSRE - Discussion Papers

WU Working Paper Series

  • SRE - Discussion Papers

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