Capital Visions : The Politics of Transnational Production in Nicaragua
Abstract: In processes of economic integration, neoliberal discourse and corresponding notions of development comprise some of the most readily available imaginaries of political and social interaction and change. However, these processes are always also locally produced and negotiated. Engaging with discourse theory, Marxism and postcolonial feminist theory, this dissertation brings together “macro” and “micro” aspects of globalization. The aim is to interrogate discursive reinforcements of and challenges to global orders of production and divisions of labor. With a focus on representations of Free Trade Zones (FTZs), which are tax-exempted enclaves for export production, the study explores competing meanings attributed to the operation of transnational capital in Nicaragua. Based on policy documents, political speeches, promotional videotapes and interviews, the political rhetoric of two governments with competing agendas is analyzed: the neoliberal/conservative government of the Liberal Constitutionalist Party (2002–2007), which framed the FTZs in terms of national progress, and the leftist government of the Sandinista National Liberation Front (2007– ), which attempts to reconnect to the country’s revolutionary past. In this way efforts to formulate legitimate political agendas in the context of shifting relations between states and markets are detailed, together with constructions of citizens and workers along differentiations of class and gender. Relying on interviews with FTZ workers, the study examines ways to interpret, inhabit or resist imperative subject positions at the intersections of contending projects of nation-building and transnational orders of production, in conjunction with a discussion of the uneasy distinction between representation and appropriation that troubles transnational feminist research projects.
This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.