Global citizenship as showbusiness : the cultural politics of Make Poverty History

Nash, Kate. 2008. Global citizenship as showbusiness : the cultural politics of Make Poverty History. Media, Culture and Society, 30(2), pp. 167-181. ISSN 0163-4437 [Article]

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Cultural politics and global citizenship
‘Make Poverty History’ was an extraordinary campaign: historically unprecedented, indeed impossible without the new structures of the emerging ‘cosmopolitanising state’, global in reach and yet national in focus. Studying the aims, means and achievements of Make Poverty History has much to teach us about the practical possibilities for a more cosmopolitan orientation to citizenship within and beyond national borders. As a campaign which took place not just through but in the media, investigating Make Poverty History is also important for media studies, enabling understanding of the importance of national media and popular culture to emergent possibilities of global citizenship.
Make Poverty History is the name given to the UK branch of a global alliance of NGOs co-ordinated by the Global Call to Action against Poverty to put pressure on the leaders of the richest countries to achieve the concrete, measurable Millennium Development Goals they’d already signed up to achieving. The Global Call to Action against Poverty had different names in different countries: ONE in US, ‘Plus d’Excuses!’ in France, Maak Het Waar in the Netherlands and so on. Although, as we shall see, Make Poverty History was very carefully managed as a media campaign, it was also genuinely grassroots insofar as it was led by a coalition of over 500 NGOs which receive their funding from donations and membership. They ranged from the large, international NGOs like Oxfam and Save the Children to smaller, often more radical organisations, like World Development Movement and Womankind. (Extract, 1st paragraph)

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies > Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy


March 2008Published

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Date Deposited:

13 Apr 2007

Last Modified:

10 Aug 2020 10:09

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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