Sociology Index


Categorizing societies as First World, Second World, or Third World, has lost much of its meaning with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the decline of communism as an economic system. First world countries referred to the developed, capitalist societies. Second world identified the developed socialist societies. Third world countries were those large political communities in the initial stages of development. The term Third World referred to the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, the nations not aligned with either the First World or the Second World. The concept of First World originated during the Cold War and included countries that were generally aligned with NATO. The concept of Second World used during the Cold War to refer to the industrial socialist states that were under the influence of the Soviet Union.

Another concept, which is Fourth World societies, are those that are traditional communities marginalized from economic development and political power. The concept of Fourth World has been applied to the aboriginal communities of North America.

What was the Third World? - B.R. Tomlinson. The term 'Third World' was widely used in the second half of the twentieth century to identify common issues in the political, social, economic and cultural history of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The notion of a coherent and distinct Third World experience was rooted in analyses based on dependency theory and post-colonialism set in the Cold War context of nation states and nation-building. However, it is now rapidly passing out of academic use, because of changes in political and economic systems and in the interplay of culture and identity brought about by globalization. 

States of Underdevelopment - The Third World State in Theoretical Perspective - Adrian Leftwich. This article surveys and compares major theories of the state in the third world. All these theories, however, despite their variety and specificity, can be shown to confirm the continuing analytic utility of key aspects of both the Marxist and Weberian approaches. Moreover, those few economically successful third world societies illustrate in many crucial respects both the Marxist and Weberian conditions for an effective developmental state.

The Managing of the Third World - Bill Cooke, Manchester School of Management, UK.
This paper is about the relationship between management, a First World discipline, and the Third World. Management is widely assumed to apply in organizations in modern, or postmodern, societies. A distinctive form of management, Development Administration and Management, exists and is applied to Third World nation-states, which are deemed in the First World to require modernization. This article sets out the institutional and conceptual separation and crossover between management and Development Administration and Management. It then goes on to consider DAM in practice, demonstrating how it, and through it management, are complicit in neo-liberal World Bank interventions in the Third World.

Social Marketing: An Approach to Third-World Development 
Carole P. Duhaime, Ronald McTavish, Christopher A. Ross. 
The major theme of this article is that social marketing can contribute to the improvement of living conditions in the third world.

Emerging Third World powers: China, India and Brazil - Jerry Harris 
China, India and Brazil have become world economic powers; they are attempting to harness the forces of globalisation so as to strengthen their international standing in multilateral institutions like the WTO. Theirs is not a surrender to imperialism, but an attempt to build a bulwark against it, from which they can implement their own national strategies for development, strategies that are qualitatively different from those followed by the non-aligned movement after Bandung. While each country is pursuing a somewhat different path, their collective might within the G-20 is already forcing concessions on trade, agriculture and subsidies from the US and EU.

The Third World and Socio-Legal Studies: Neo-Liberalism and Lessons from India's Legal Innovations - Radha D'Souza, University of Waikato, New Zealand.
A terse, brief order of the Supreme Court of India in the Networking of Rivers case in September 2002 impugns the role of public interest litigation in the wake of neoliberal reforms. At a poignant moment in India's 'tryst with destiny', socio-legal studies in India stand disarmed and disempowered without adequate conceptual and theoretical tools to analyse and interpret the event in emancipatory ways. The article argues for a more geo-historically differentiated understanding of the theoretical underpinnings of socio-legal studies in India and the Third World generally.