Critical Perspectives on Globalization and Neoliberalism in the Developing Countries

By Richard L. Harris; Melinda J. Seid | Go to book overview

Critical Perspectives on
Globalization and Neoliberalism in
the Developing Countries

RICHARD L. HARRIS and MELINDA J. SEID*


ABSTRACT

This introductory article provides an overview of the contemporary effects of globalization and neoliberalism on the developing countries. It provides a critical examination of the effects these two contemporary forces are having on economic, political, and social conditions in these societies at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Through critically analyzing the contemporary nature, context, and effects of globalization and neoliberalism in these societies, this article provides a critique of the contemporary global capitalist system and the adverse consequences suffered by the developing countries as a result of their [integration] into this system. The other contributions to this special issue of the Journal of Developing Societies are introduced at the end of this introductory essay.


Introduction

According to the conventional post-modernist perspective, the meta-concepts and theories developed by Western intellectuals in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have created a false consciousness of reality based upon their reification of universal concepts and totalizing theoretical notions founded on historical and structural determinism. From a post-modernist perspective, these reified concepts and deterministic theories are regarded as invalid and outmoded images for understanding the complex nature of the [post-modern] conditions of the late twentieth century and early twenty-first century.1

According to the post-modernist critique of modernist thought, the events of the closing decades of the twentieth century exposed the erroneous nature of the previously constructed [meta-theories] or [grand historical narratives] that were developed with the help of universal concepts such as social progress, moderniza

* Professor Harris is Professor of Global Studies at California State University Monterey Bay, in
Seaside, California, U.S.A.; Professor Seid is Professor of Health Science at California State
University Sacramento, in Sacramento, California, U.S.A.

-1-

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