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POLB90 - Lecture 1.docx

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Political Science
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R Rice

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Third World Defined Interpretations a. The neutral meaning - non-aligned world - first world : the first countries to develop advanced industrial economies and liberal democracies (Japan, Western Europe, America) - second world : the bloc of former communist nations (Soviet Union, Eastern Europe) - third world : the residual category - implication of this - has little theoretical and empirical value as doesn't count diverse experiences of each individual country term historically outdated b. Revolutionary meaning - from French revolution from 18th century - third estate is the common class - implication : might provide common identity/organizing framework for countries of the developing world c. Negative meaning - associated with poverty and "backwardness" Now changed to "Global South", "LDC's - gave inferior association", "emerging areas/economies - more common to business terminology", "emerging democracies" Does the middle east belong in this definition? Oil rich countries appear to be better off. Suffer from many problems associated with underdevelopment  Huge inequality gap  No democracies Historical Commonalities of Developing Countries  Shared colonial history - did shape development patterns Socio-Economic Commonalities  Agricultural based economies primary goods   exports tend to be focus  lower levels of industrialization  issues of poverty  Lower literacy rates  Lower life expectancies  Larger rural sector - more prominent Political Commonalities  Politics and government shaped by scarcity, inequality, weak position in international system  Political legitimacy of many states is weak (corruption)  The power of governments is often very limited (to capital city and major urban areas)  Rely on 'informal politics' to control Causes of Underdevelopment - facilitate or impede  Values of leaders/citizens (cultural values - can facilitate or undermine) Natural resources (abundance can help with development v. curse of attracting colonizers - creates target)  o Need infrastructure, government structures to harness it not just export, need good management, stability  Natural disasters  International economic environments - timing of changing development strategy (recession v. ready to purchase) o World bank, government budget, integration (crisis can effect other countries), policy autonomy  Population - excess pop can undermine development gains (overpopulated = poorer) o 97% of the growth is coming from Latin America, Africa and Asia  Education and healthcare - essential ingredients for economic development  Political instability o leads to "brain drain" - most educated citizens leave to seek refugee o Lack of foreign investments o Destroys infrastructure, destroys public works (why invest in it if it will be destroyed)  Corruption - drains scarce resources from public investments, money leaves country, expenses rise  External debt - deprives countries of money that could have been used for development purposes Promises Betrayed according to Isbister  Promise of prosperity made by leaders of nationalist and revolutionary movements in Global South 
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