Artikel i tidskrift

The privatization of development through global communication industries: Living Proof?


Florencia Enghel, Wilkins, Karin


Development is meant to alleviate problems in the interests of the public good, yet the growing dominance of private donors problematizes this conceptualization. Working through a political-economic analysis of development, we see global communications as an industry that channels wealth from citizens into the hands of few corporate moguls, who then have the resources to assert their agendas in a global development context. We begin by conceptualizing development and social change within communication studies, paying attention to the privatization of aid within global capitalism. Next, we contextualize our case study, describing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ONE, promoted by Bono, as the funding and management settings of the Living Proof campaign. We analyze the initiative’s construction of development problems, its articulation of how communication is expected to work toward social change, and its conceptualizations of success. The dominant theme of Living Proof program is that “real people” have achieved development success, which can be shared as “proof” with website consumers. We conclude by considering how such a framing serves the agenda of privatized development within a neoliberal project.

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  • Typ:
    Artikel i tidskrift (refereegranskat)
  • Tidskrift:
    Media, Culture and Society, Nr 35.
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Om författaren

Florencia Enghel

Florencia Enghel (Ph.D., Karlstad University, 2014) is a media and communication researcher. Her doctoral study, "Video letters, mediation and (proper) distance", which analyzes post-conflict international development communication intervention in... Läs vidare


Enghel, F. and Karin, W. (2013). The privatization of development through global communication industries: Living Proof? Media, Culture and Society, (35), pp. 165-181. Available at: [Accessed 26 Jun. 2017].