Project Introduction



The Emerging Countries Critical Comparative Studies Project seeks to examine the socio-political and economic experiences of a sample of 7 emerging countries (China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Venezuela, Turkey, and South Africa) as a basis for formulating policies conducive to the autonomous development of these and other emerging countries.

This Project has been initiated by the realization that the Development Policies of emerging countries have often been made subservient to external, especially G-8 and multinational corporate, interests. It therefore seeks to critically analyze the historical experiences of the above emerging countries and their erstwhile policy trajectories to improve our understanding of their development. It does not have to take too long for a rigid analysis to reveal that discourses commonly circulating in academic and media circles usually not only blur but in effect “explain away” those rich, diversified and complicated experiences; mainstream scholars and commentators, purposefully or unconsciously at the service of vested interests, have often been too eager to attribute the developmental experiences (often simplified as “success stories”) of these countries to generic and reified concepts such as “marketization” and “globalization, ” etc. This Project seeks analyses free from such conceptual and ideological commitments; instead, it seeks to understand anew with a re-examination of the historical experiences and empirical data.

Envisioning the future, the Project also seeks to articulate common concerns for the emerging countries around the globe in the hope of formulating, where necessary and appropriate, Alternative Policies and Programmes that cohere more closely with the developmental aspirations of these countries.

It is our hope that this Project will be an opportunity for critical scholars from across the E-7 to collaborate and to possibly chart an alternative developmental trajectory that is more inclusive, equitable, and ecologically sustainable.