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Third World

The Future Of The Third World

Because the idea of the Third World was partly created and largely sustained by the logic of bipolarity that governed the Cold War era, some argue that in a unipolar world, in which the United States is the only global gendarme, to claim the same degree of existence for the Third World as in the past would be tantamount to a "fantasy" with little conceptual and analytical utility. Still, some factors persist to make the Third World still relevant as a concept. In analytical terms, the Third World idea identifies a group of states whose common history of colonialism has left them in a position of economic and political weakness in the global system. In this sense, the recent alignment in global politics neither undermines the coherence of the idea nor justifies its abandonment. The Third World may continue to exist in this sense, but the changing context confronts it with new challenges and opportunities.

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Francis B. Nyamnjoh

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Thallophyta to ToxicologyThird World - Origins, Theories Of "third World" Development, The Future Of The Third World, Bibliography