Comparing Development Communication

Authored by: Jan Servaes

Handbook of Comparative Communication Research

Print publication date:  April  2012
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415802710
eBook ISBN: 9780203149102
Adobe ISBN: 9781136514241


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The collapse of the Soviet Union in the late 1980s, together with the rise of the United States as the only remaining “superpower,” the emergence of the European Union, the gradual coming to the fore of regional powers, such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (the so-called BRIC countries), and the recent meltdown of the world financial system with its disastrous consequences for people everywhere, necessitates a rethink of the “impact” of development. The study of communication for development and social change has been through several paradigmatic changes during the past decades. From modernization and growth theory to the dependency approach and the participatory model, the new traditions of discourse are now characterized by a turn towards local communities as targets for research and debate, on the one hand, and the search for an understanding of the complex relationships between globalization and localization, on the other. Our present-day “globalized” world as a whole and its distinct regional and national entities are confronted with multifaceted crises, from the economic and financial to those relating to social, cultural, ideological, moral, political, ethnic, ecological, and security issues. Previously held traditional modernization and dependency perspectives have become more difficult to support because of the growing interdependency of regions, nations, and communities in our globalized world.

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