Skip to Main Content
Have library access? Log in through your library
The Megarhetorics of Global Development

The Megarhetorics of Global Development

Rebecca Dingo
J. Blake Scott
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    The Megarhetorics of Global Development
    Book Description:

    After World War II, an unprecedented age of global development began. The formation of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund allowed war torn and poverty stricken nations to become willing debtors in their desire to entice Western investment and trade. New capital, it was foretold, would pave the way to political and economic stability, and the benefits would "trickle down" to even the poorest citizens. The hyperbole of this neocolonialism, however, has left many of these countries with nothing but compounded debt and unfulfilled promises.The Megarhetorics of Global Developmentexamines rhetorical strategies used by multinational corporations, NGOs, governments, banks, and others to further their own economic, political, or technological agendas. These wide-ranging case studies employ rhetorical theory, globalization scholarship, and analysis of cultural and historical dynamics to offer in-depth critiques of development practices and their material effects. By deconstructing megarhetorics, at both the local and global level, and following their paths of mobilization and diffusion, the concepts of "progress" and "growth" can be reevaluated, with the end goal of encouraging self-sustaining and ethical outcomes.

    eISBN: 978-0-8229-7741-4
    Subjects: Language & Literature

Table of Contents

Export Selected Citations Export to NoodleTools Export to RefWorks Export to EasyBib Export a RIS file (For EndNote, ProCite, Reference Manager, Zotero, Mendeley...) Export a Text file (For BibTex)
  1. Introduction: The “Megarhetorics” of Global Development
    (pp. 1-26)
    J. Blake Scott and Rebecca Dingo

    Waves crash over a pristine beach; birds sing cheerfully as the camera pans over lush tropical foliage. The serenity of the scene is quickly interrupted, however, by the sound of a helicopter and images of urban decay. Over the echo of chaos and gunshots, a TV reporter’s voice states: “The [Jamaican] government has called up the national reserves as civil unrest grips the nation this evening” (Life and Debt). The reporter pauses as the camera shows chaotic rioting, then cuts to a scene of women, children, and men injured and bleeding; we watch a set of Jamaican observers, who look...

  2. Part I. Extending Rhetorical Concepts and Methods

    • 1 Tracking “Transglocal” Risks in Pharmaceutical Development: Novartis’s Challenge of Indian Patent Law
      (pp. 29-53)
      J. Blake Scott

      In May 2006 pharmaceutical giant Novartis launched a two-part lawsuit in the Indian courts, challenging the government’s denial of a patent for the blockbuster anticancer drug Glivec.¹ The lawsuit drew a quick response from a number of Indian and global NGOs asserting that Novartis’s actions threatened patients around the globe who depend on India as the “pharmacy of the developing world.” Over the ensuing months, this response grew into a global movement of variously connected protest campaigns, which in turn prompted a defensive countercampaign by Novartis and its allies, including American and international industry lobbying organizations. The rhetorical force of...

    • 2 Meeting the Challenge of Globalization: President Clinton’s “Double Movement” Discourse
      (pp. 54-74)
      Jason A. Edwards and Jaime L. Wright

      In his bookThe Lexus and the Olive Tree, Thomas Friedman argues that the 1990s saw the age of globalization supplant the Cold War as the dominant international paradigm (3). This new age is largely characterized by the interdependence and integration of economies, institutions, and societies across the globe. However, imbalances in these structures—economic, political, cultural, and societal—manifest in the dislocation and disenfranchisement of entire bodies of people. Such imbalances lead to a concern, voiced by President Bill Clinton, about the form these opposing forces will take: “The great question before us is not whether globalization will proceed,...

    • 3 Ethos in a Bottle: Corporate Social Responsibility and Humanitarian Doxa
      (pp. 75-100)
      D. Robert DeChaine

      The recent trajectory of global humanitarianism bespeaks a vigorous blurring of boundaries between politics, morality, and commerce. Consider a paradigm example. Business ethics—a concept variously lampooned as oxymoronic and dismissed as irrelevant to the rational machinations of advanced capitalism—has come of age in a globalized world. While its contemporary revaluation owes in large part to the gradual emergence of human rights as a guiding discourse in twentieth-century international politics (Donnelly 38–53; DeChaine,Global Humanitarianism37–65), the notion that there exist meaningful affinities between business values and social values has been comparatively late in coming. When in...

    • 4 Developmental Shifts: Changing Feelings about Compassion in Korea
      (pp. 101-120)
      Matt Newcomb

      When I was a child, my family supported a “foreign” child through an organization called Compassion International with a monthly financial commitment that provided food, education, and clothing for him. We even became pen pals with the child until his family managed to send him to his relatives in Canada, with its relatively friendly immigration policies. Since the child-support program had officially been set up in the names of me and my brother, I continued to receive reports from the organization for years. Compassion is a large, Christian-affiliated (no specific denomination) organization that runs a child-sponsorship program. Using development language...

    • 5 Staging the Beijing Olympics: Intersecting Human Rights and Economic Development Narratives
      (pp. 121-146)
      Tim Jensen and Wendy S. Hesford

      The Olympics have long been a host to international spectacle and national pageantry, and the opening and closing ceremonies of the 2008 Olympic Games were no different. Internationally renowned Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, who grew up during the Cultural Revolution and whose films have been censored by the Chinese government, was the mastermind behind the opening and closing celebrations. The opening ceremony featured more than seven hundred Chinese performers, synchronized formations and drumming processions, militarist displays of goosestepping Chinese troopers carrying the Chinese flag and the Olympic flag, a fabulous light show, and former Olympian Li Ning suspended on wire,...

  3. Part II. Building Counter-Rhetorics of Resistance

    • 6 Framing the Megarhetorics of Agricultural Development: Industrialized Agriculture and Sustainable Agriculture
      (pp. 149-173)
      Eileen E. Schell

      In this chapter I juxtapose two contrasting agricultural “development” rhetorics: the rhetoric of industrialized agriculture emerging from multinational agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), the “supermarket to the world,” and the sustainable agricultural development model of the food democracy movement led by Indian transnational feminist activist Vandana Shiva. In doing so, I seek to analyze the megarhetorics of industrialized agricultural development and sustainable agricultural development that are currently being perpetuated and pitted against one another. As coeditors J. Blake Scott and Rebecca Dingo point out in the introduction to this collection, examining “development discourses” and their “taken-for-granted meanings about growth,...

    • 7 Turning the Tables on the Megarhetoric of Women’s Empowerment
      (pp. 174-198)
      Rebecca Dingo

      In August 2009 theNew York Times Magazinepublished a special issue devoted to women’s global development and human rights, titled “Saving the World’s Women.” The release of the bookHalf the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide,written by humanitarian journalists Nicolas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, inspired this issue, which focused on the plight of women and girls from so-called developing countries. The articles—which, among other things, discuss the lesserknown pernicious effects of gender equality policies in China and India, explore the ways that wealthy women can invest in lower-income nations, present an interview with Liberia’s...

    • 8 Making the Case: Bamako and the Problem of Anti-Imperial Art
      (pp. 199-232)
      Bret Benjamin

      Brecht would be pleased. The crimes of banking stand indicted once again in Abderrahmane Sissako’s remarkable 2006 film,Bamako. Expressing the utopian impulse of radical art, Sissako remarks in an interview that his film stages a “highly improbable trial” between the expansively constituted plaintiff, African society, and the weighty defendant, the international financial institutions (IFIs), most specifically the World Bank. It is a trial, in Sissako’s words, “that is impossible today—tomorrow maybe not—but while it is impossible today, it can be made into a film.” Committed to what he describes as the urgency of “using cinema as a...

    • 9 Enfreakment; or, Aliens of Extraordinary Disability
      (pp. 233-252)
      Robert McRuer

      In “Seeing the Disabled: Visual Rhetorics of Disability in Popular Photography,” Rosemarie Garland-Thomson argues for the importance of understanding the role images play in shaping what she terms “rhetorics” of disability. “Genres of disability photography across modernity,” she argues, “have arisen precisely because they are useful devices with which to manipulate the viewer for a variety of purposes, almost all of which are driven to a greater or lesser degree by the economic mandates of modern capitalism” (339). The economic mandates of modern capitalism have, as Garland-Thomson’s analysis makes clear, generally required disability rhetorics that diminish, contain, or distance disability....