Third World


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

Third World

A term for developing countries. Originally used for countries that did not side explicitly with either the United States (the First World) or the Soviet Union (the Second World) during the Cold War, it has become a byword for countries with less wealth relative to others. The term is sometimes considered politically incorrect.

developing country

or

less developed country

or

underdeveloped country

or

emerging country

or

Third World

country a country characterized by low levels of GROSS NATIONAL PRODUCT and INCOME PER HEAD. See Fig. 51 . Such countries are typically dominated by a large PRIMARY SECTOR thatproduces a limited range of agricultural and mineral products and in which the majority of the POPULATION exists at or near subsistence levels, producing barely enough for their immediate needs, thus being unable to release the resources required to support a large urbanized industrial population. The term ‘developing’ indicates that, as seen by most such countries, the way to improve their economic fortunes is to diversify the industrial base of the economy by, in particular, establishing new manufacturing industries and by adopting the PRICE SYSTEM. To facilitate an increase in urban population necessary for INDUSTRIALIZATION, a nation may either IMPORT the necessary commodities from abroad with the FOREIGN EXCHANGE earned from the EXPORT of the (predominantly) primary goods, or it can attempt to improve its own agriculture. With appropriate ECONOMIC AID from industrialized countries and the ability and willingness on the part of a developing country, the transition into a NEWLY INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRY could be made.

Certain problems do exist, however. For instance, increases in real income that are achieved need to be maintained, which means keeping population numbers in check. Illiteracy and social customs for large families tend to work against governmental efforts to increase the STANDARD OF LIVING of its citizens. Also, most of the foreign exchange earned by such countries is by exporting, mainly commodities (see INTERNATIONAL TRADE). See ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, STRUCTURE OF INDUSTRY, DEMOGRAPHIC TRANSITION, POPULATION TRAP, INTERNATIONAL COMMODITY AGREEMENTS, UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON TRADE AND DEVELOPMENT, INTERNATIONAL DEBT.

References in periodicals archive ?
According to Martin Khor, Malaysian representative to Third World Network, a NGO, a direct effect of these SAPs was that they have put pressure on the countries of the South to increase their production and exports, leading to surplus production, falling prices and indebtness, as well as over exploitation of natural resources.
She registered with deep concern that Transnational Corporations (TNCs) were virtually dictating Third World development, with the latter unable to direct foreign investment towards the needs of their citizens and prevent actions that hurt their national interests.
How can an affluent country like Saudi Arabia be part of the third world? Phrases such as "developing world," "developing countries" or "majority world" replaced "third world country.
The corresponding complacence about extreme inequality, corruption, widening social divisions, and cynicism as the norm for the Third World continues to structure a vast archive of political commentary in our historical moment.
According to the authors, regional cooperation for the third world countries has to go beyond the concept of the political sovereignty of nation states.
The expression third world was used at the 1955 conference of Afro-Asian countries held in Bandung, Indonesia.
The balance of Western affluence and Third World poverty is such that it is said the world cannot afford USA, Japan and Western Europe because we, 7 percent of world's population, consume 45 per cent of world's resources.
Foreign Front: Third World Politics in Sixties West Germany.
Noting that the "Third World" served as both inspiration and model for many of the radical left movements of the 1960s, the editors (both of Northeastern U.) of this collection wondered why there was so little effort to incorporate the Third World into the general historiography of the radical 1960s.
Their sole intent is to get people to sign up to part with a certain percentage of their income each month and give it to the Third World.
HOPE ABUNDANT: THIRD WORLD AND INDIGENOUS WOMEN'S THEOLOGY.
SOUTH AFRICAN sport has threatened a 'third world war' if Caster Semenya is banned.

Full browser ?