This article examines the literature on communication and development and traces the semantics of the term “self-reliance” within different periods, using India and Sri Lanka as examples. It draws attention to the problems of level of analysis and locus of causality in communication and development and proposes a synoptic multilevel framework of analysis, the “Chess” approach, which uses Galtung's structuralism as the chessboard. The dialectical approach of Lasswell provides one set of chessmen while the other set is drawn from the political pluralists. This approach allows the examination of communication and development in the context of contemporary globalization with its constituent processes of universalization/homogenization and particularization/differentiation. The role of the individual and the needs of the individual within this globalization process are also discussed.