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The postcolonial state and nation in the articulation of development and communication policy in Ghana

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The postcolonial state and nation in the articulation of development and communication policy in Ghana

Alhassan, Amin Mohammed (2003) The postcolonial state and nation in the articulation of development and communication policy in Ghana. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The dissertation focuses on the articulation of communication policy and development within the postcolonial nation-state. Taking Ghana as a case, I interrogate policy practices on telecommunications and broadcasting around the axis of commodification as the requirements of globalization as against the extension of citizens' access to communication conduit as a requirement of nation-building. Historically, the postcolonial state appropriated for itself the mandate of development planning to put in place a new regime of production as part of the project to turn subjects into citizens. Such a task of community building underscores the central significance of the communicative infrastructure as the framework for the nation that is in the process of coming into being. The discussion is based on interviews and observations during research in Ghana from March to July 2002 and policy documents from the World Bank, the IMF and the Ghanaian state. Using commodification as a conceptual device and articulation as a method, I discuss the contemporary predilection of the Ghanaian state towards market led development. This enables me to tease out the implication of the new language of policy that privileges the exchange value over the use value of communication services. I also trace the gradual re-articulation of communication as information as part of the logic of digital capitalism. A bifurcated nation, so to speak, is in the making. The urban landscape, especially, the capital city of Accra is characterized by a burgeoning community of digital consumption with internet cafés, telecenters and mobile telephony, springing up to augment the already media rich environment of multiple channels of electronic media and press. The rest of the country remains largely unserved by the market, bringing back to the table, the question of nation building and commodification of communication as incongruent admixture for development and democratization of access. The promised national community of citizens based on a principle of inclusion is gradually turning out to be an exclusive economy of digital consumers in the urban centers and a disconnected constituent of non-city dwellers all in an increasingly unimaginable polity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Communication Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Alhassan, Amin Mohammed
Pagination:ix, 377 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (Ph.D.)
Program:Communication Studies
Date:2003
Thesis Supervisor(s):Allor, Martin
ID Code:2230
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 13:26
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:25
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