Lecture 1: The Emergence and the Concept of the Third World and Third Worldism
The Third World countries are defined as a group of countries which have colonial history, are in the process of
developing economically and socially from a status characterized by low incomes, dependence on agriculture, weakness
in trading relations, social deprivation for large segments of society and restricted political and civil liberties.
The First World:
G8 – North America, Western Europe, and Japan, Australia, New Zealand
Share liberal democracy and capitalism
Political stability at least since 1945,
High degree industrialization and urbanization
Relatively better redistribution of wealth
Large middle class, modern and large cities and highly educated population
The Second World:
Former Socialist countries including the USSR, Eastern Europe, Cuba, North Korea, and some countries in Africa
Centralized and command economy
Vanguard party without political pluralism
Some degree of industrialization
Underwent radical transformation since 1989
Some countries went up and other others struggle in their transition to liberal democracy and market economy.
Only North Korea and Cuba could claim loyalty to socialist identity/ideology
The Third World:
The Third world stands for all countries of the South except Australia, New Zealand, and Japan
But developing countries are not at the same level of socio-economic development.
Shared experience of colonization - Colonies –direct and indirect (settlement; partial settlement; exploitation).
Similar pattern of politics
Three Worlds of Development
The above definition or stratification of the world into three worlds of development is outmoded and it has been
replaced by North and South since the end of the Cold War
The idea of development is ideologically driven and is associated with the West (the idea of progress, reason
universal modernity, industrialization and capitalism).
It emphasizes the external factors and active domination of the Third World by the West through centuries of
slavery, colonialism and imperialism and unequal or unfavorable terms of trade
The theory insists developing nations have to acquire modern cultural values and create modern political and economic
institutions. Modern theorist identified education, urbanization and the spread of mass media as the central agents of
change. As peasants (agriculture labourers) move to cities, as more children attend schools that teach modern values
and as more citizen access mass media, cultural modernization will progress. At the same time, developing nations
trying to modernize need to create more specialized and complex political and economical institutions to complement
those cultural changes. Eventually, it was argued as these cultural and institutional changes progress, a modernizing
society can lay a foundation for a more stable, effective and responsive political system.
A counter Modernization theory, Dependency theory, shares the desirability of change and progress;
But it does not agree that the cause of lack of development is internal.
it emphasizes the external factors and active domination of the Third world by the West through centuries of:
colonialism and imperialism And unequal or unfavorable terms of trade - so its uses the concept of underdevelopment.
Common characteristic of the Third World:
1. Political independence:
With exception of few countries, Third world countries experienced colonialism at some stage of their history.
Latin America got independence in early 1900 (1808-1820)
There are still some islands (Guadeloupe, Martinique and French Guinea) which have are not yet sovereign
Independence came through constitutional negotiation or armed struggle
Numerous negative legacies of colonialism and imperialism reflected in artificial boundaries, poverty, political
violence and dictatorship
The most important indicators of the commonalties is Poverty
Low per capita income
High unequal distribution of wealth although some have relatively more equitable income distribution
Poor infrastructure and limited modern technology
Low consumption of energy
Unemployment, substandard housing, poor health conditions and inadequate diet
Problems of landownership or government land ownership policies taxation and welfare programs
3. Average incomes:
They are poor by international standards
They are found in the low income and lower middle income category
Dependence on agriculture – low income and poverty
More labor force is engaged in agriculture (60.5% compared to 14.4% in Developed countries
The exception to this is The Asian Tigers
5. Integration into the World economy
High level of dependence on the export of a very small number of commodities (mono-culture)
Primary commodity producers and dependence on agriculture
Trade is generally conducted with the first world countries
Developing countries produce 80% of global output and account for only 17% of the world trade.
6. Social Well being
In equalities in social well-being, a indicated by health and education, are also found between urban and rural
areas and between men and women
Poverty in rural areas, malnutrition, lack of education, life expectancy and substandard housing
Gender gap- women do worse than men in terms of health, nutrition, and education
7. Regime types
Authoritarianism and soft state
dictatorship of all types, military, neo-patrimonial, theocratic, transitional, democratic, liberal or communist,
8. Lack of National Integration
Internal division along ethnic, religious and cultural lines due colonial arbitrary division of borders and peoples
by European colonialism –(e.g. Africa)
The absence of common and referent/core culture to unite people composing the nation
9. High population growth compared to the growth of the GNP
Rapid urbanization and rule exodus beyond the capacity of cities to accommodate
The development of Shanty towns, slums and high unemployment, urban poverty and criminality, etc
The concept and meaning of the Third World
Third World is a residual category invented by Eurocentric division of the globe into three of worlds of
It was coined in the context of the cold war (bipolar conflict, 1945-1990)
It corresponded with decolonization and the emergence of new-nation states and the advent of globalization
and technological revolution which made the world smaller place after WWII. The Third world is not neutral - and l0aded often with negative meanings and implications
It stands for disfranchised people in the international system
Non-alignment and solidarity of the colored people who underwent European colonization of domination
Alfred Sauvy (1952) borrowed from the concept of The Third estate (Abbé Siyes in 1789.)
The division of the World into Three Worlds of development
The origins and development of the concept of the Third World
First – Democratic, capitalist, politically stable, large middle class, high industrialization, better distribution of
Second, - Socialist/communist states, characterized by rough equality, one Party system/ state, command
economy(planned economy and relative industrialization)
Third, all countries of the South with a few exceptions
Common Features of the Third World
Lack of industrialization
Dependency, mono-export crops, oil, distorted economy,
High population growth
The crisis of urbanization
Lack of national integration and disunity
High population growth, migration and brain drain
Debt burden and dependency
Non-Aligned Movement and the Cold War
Bandung – 1955
Key figures: leaders of early, successful anti-colonial movements
Nehru (India), Sukarno (Indonesia), and Nasser (Egypt)
Committed to democracy, modernization, and peace
In line with UN version of universalism
India as early model
Gandhi: non-violent resistance
Political objective: he right of independent judgement, the struggle against imperialism and neo-colonialism, and the use
of moderation in relations with all big powers
The Origins of NAM
The Non-Aligned Movement is a Movement of 115 members representing the interests and priorities of
The Movement has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955.
The meeting was convened upon the invitation of the Prime Ministers of Burma, Ceylon, India, Indonesia and
The conference brought together leaders of 29 states, from Africa and Asia, to discuss common concerns and to
develop joint policies in international relations.
Membership criteria of NAM
The criteria are the following:
The country should have adopted an independent policy based on the coexistence of States with different
political and social systems and on non-alignment or should be showing a trend in favour of such a policy.
The country concerned should be consistently supporting the Movements for National Independence.
The country should not be a member of a multilateral military alliance concluded in the context of Great Power
If a country has a bilateral military agreement with a Great Power, or is a member of a regional defence pact,
the agreement or pact should not be one deliberately concluded in the context of Great Power conflicts.
If it has conceded military bases to a Foreign Power the concession should not have been made in the context of
Great Power conflicts Lecture 2: Slavery, Imperialism, Colonialism and Decolonization
Imperialism: the policy of extending the rule or influence of a country over other countries or colonies
Colonialism: a policy in which a country rules other nations and develops trade for its own benefit
Decolonization: to grant independence to a colony
The rise of Europe and Imperialism
1492: two major developments
1)The discovery of the Americas by C. Columbus followed by population movement motivated by Three Gs (Gold,
2) The defeat of the Arabs in Spain by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand and the end of their occupation after
centuries of presence
The end of Feudalism and the centralization of states which laid the foundation for the creation of national states
The development of mercantilism, the accumulation of Gold, Silver and slaves labour connecting the three
continents (The Americas, Europe and Africa)
Until 18 century, Europe was behind Asia/Africa.
2 groups of factors set stage for modern economic growth and socio-political change
300 years between 14th and 17th centuries
# European geographical expansionism &
# Renaissance and Enlightenment-industrialization
Geographical Expansionism- Mercantile phase of Imperialism
Enormous profits from seafaring and conquests -exploitation of technological backward non-European people
(ideological justified as ‘civilising mission’)
Slave trade; Spice trade; Precious metals; exotic goods. Atlantic trade. Footholds established.
Mercantile Imperialism -primitive accumulation (Marx); booty capitalism (Weber)
European Renaissance & Enlightenment- explosion of intellectual, scientific, artistic achievements; political ideas
During 300 years -no significant change in European economy and society -wealth used to fight wars;
Late 18th century: industrial Revolution when modern economic growth took off with 15% growth each decade -by
late 19th Euro/ Euro OffShoots’ wealth much higher than non-European world.
Colonialism refers to the political, social, economic, and cultural domination of a territory and its people by a
foreign power for an extended period of time.
It is a relationship in which groups of people located in one country dominate others – foreign occupation.
Colonialism, briefly put, is a government without consent
This authority can be exercised through direct control by the dominant country or through indirect influence as
Neo-colonialism is the process by which rich powerful, developed states use economic, political and informal
means to exert pressures on poor, less powerful, underdeveloped states.
Neo-colonialism means informal or indirect control, which came into use in the 1950s after European
withdrawal from their colonies.
Freedom was simply nominal, as it did not lead to meaningful independence.
The Motives of European Imperialism
1)The Economic Theory (Hobson, Lenin), over production, surplus capital, under consumption in the industrialized
countries led them to place larger and larger portion of their economic resources outside the area of their present
political domain, and to stimulate a policy of political expansion.
“Imperialism is the highest stage of capitalism” (Lenin)
2)Social Darwinism, emphasizing the alleged superiority of European race over other races “natural selection and the
“survival of the fittest”
3) Evangelical Christianity– a broader humanitarian and missionary impulse to westernize the African people. 4) Social atavism – imperialism was a result of a natural desire of man to dominate his fellow man for the sake of
dominating him, arising out of man’s universal thirst for power and domination but this theory is unconvincing
5) Diplomatic theory – balance of power, national prestige and global strategy
6) African dimension theory- the transition from slave trades to legitimate trade and the subsequent decline in both the
export and the import during that period.
The search for resources and new markets to increase profits fueled British colonialism.
The first phase of British colonialism was concentrated in the New World, West Africa, and India and came to a
close with the American Revolution.
During the second period of colonialism, Britain eventually controlled most of India, Australia, New Zealand,
Canada, and large portions of eastern and southern Africa.
British colonial efforts were justified by what Kipling called “white man’s burden,” which asserted that native
peoples were not capable of governing themselves and needed the white British colonialist to provide and
French colonialism was driven more by the state, the church , and the military, rather than by business interests.
The first phase of French colonial efforts was focused in Canada, the Louisiana Territory, the Caribbean, and
During the second phase of French colonialism (1870 to World War II), th