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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