Thirty years ago, intellectual debates concerning the relationship between wealthy and poor nations could be summed up under the rubric of modernization versus dependency. However, the events of the 1980s and 1990s completely shifted the terms of this debate. Associated with the structural adjustment lending programs of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, and neoliberal ideology, a new policy discourse suggested that it was only through liberating market forces that poor countries could grow and catch up to the developed world. With 20 years of structural adjustment behind us, what does the evidence suggest about the social consequences of these policies? This review focuses on three different social transformations: changes in the governance of economies, transformations in class structures, and the rise of transnational networks.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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