Globalization and Neoliberalism in
the Developing Countries
RICHARD L. HARRIS and MELINDA J. SEID*
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.
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.