American Ethnologist

Channeling globality: The 1997–98 El Niño climate event in Peru

Authors

  • KENNETH BROAD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Marine Affairs and Policy, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, 4600 Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami, FL 33149–1098
      Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025 kbroad@rsmas.miami.edu
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  • BEN ORLOVE

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA 95616–85766
      Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025 bsorlove@ucdavis.edu
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Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025 kbroad@rsmas.miami.edu

Center for Research on Environmental Decisions and International Research Institute for Climate and Society, Columbia University, New York, NY 10025 bsorlove@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

We examine the unfolding of a planetary climate event, the 1997–98 El Niño, in a single country, Peru. Rather than seeing the worldwide attention to the event as an instance of globalization, we look at the actors who, in our terms, channeled globality by evoking a worldwide scale to build connections between disparate elements in cultural and political projects. We document how participants in Peruvian media and in everyday conversations attended selectively to certain international images and ideas as they related to the El Niño event and reworked them in distinctively Peruvian fashion. We also examine the specific context and tactics that allowed the state to succeed in channeling globality to further its ends.

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