Trading the Nation: Multilateral Negotiations and the Fate of Communications in India

By Pradip N. Thomas - 2008

This article discusses the impact of multilateral trade negotiations, particularly trade in goods and services and its consequences for communications futures in India. It argues that the neo-liberal policies espoused by the World Trade Organization have begun to shape domestic practices and inform attitudes to communications priorities. The article specifically highlights issues related to intellectual property and charts the travails and dilemmas of local communications industries as they respond to liberalization in every communications sector, inclusive of information technology, broadcasting, film and the press. It also grapples with issues related to media imperialism, and suggests that despite new opportunities to reverse one-way flows, the systemic and systematic incorporation of countries like India into the circuits of globalization inevitably leads to them becoming mere appendages of transnational powers. The article implicitly takes the position that people's expressions in support of the right to communication are fundamentally important to stemming the flow of a rampant neo-liberalism, with its accents on quantity, technological rationality and privatized futures.

Gazette: Journal of International Communications, 61: 275-92 (1999).

By Pradip N. Thomas| 2008


Communication rights enable all people everywhere to express themselves individually and collectively by all means of communication. They are vital to full participation in society and are, therefore, universal human rights belonging to every man, woman, and child.


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