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Problems of Third World countries-Global North vs Global South

global divide,global north,global south,developed nations,underdeveloped nations

Introduction and meaning to the concept of ‘third world’:
The term ‘third world’ refers to those countries which are classified on certain characteristic indicators that have an economic and geographic implications when compared to developed economies which are blessed with natural mineral resources, better governance, superior trade and technology practices that contribute to a highly developed market e.t.c.

The economic gap between the developed & underdeveloped nations refer to the socio-economic paradox as a prevailing situation between rich nations (which when grouped together are known as “the Global North”), and, the developing nations (those that lag behind economically are known as “Global South”). ‘Global North’ is a group of 57 countries, most of whom are located in the Northern Hemisphere. These countries are reported to have a Human Development Index greater than .8 as per UNDP report of 2005. On the contrary, ‘Global South’ refers to those countries that do not fall in the category of developed nations, and most of whom are located in the Southern Hemisphere. The Global South comprises of countries with medium human development (88 countries), and, low human development (32 countries). To a very large extent these countries are former colonies of Europe and are located in Africa, Asia, South and Central America.

Clearly, the distinction is based on several criteria that depend on social and average individual criterion. The global divide is not exactly determined by the geographical location or its natural advantages, but also certain measurable indicators of growth over a period of time. The economic indicators can range from a well developed industry policy and its ability to accommodate a comprehensive national coverage for labour, development of infrastructure, the identification and creation of investments over all growth sectors, e.t.c. While it is a reality that growth within a certain nation is definitely not an equal distribution of resources, so also inequalities amongst nations continue to fluctuate. Accentuation to the gap between third world economies versus developed economies, can be traced to the globalization of capitalist culture and practices. Unlike developed countries, economically backward countries lack the desired technological expertise to produce good and services Hence, an opportunity for a need to trade is established by the western bloc countries in order to diversify and expand their businesses where labour is cheap and taxes are low. In the process there is a reverse colonization in the form of dependency on Global North. Therefore sustainable development is affected, because everyone is led to believe that they are learning to keep pace with the developed nations, which is actually not the real progress.

The gap is only getting wider because the foreign direct investment that is channeled into the country is only meant to develop goods and services for profit maximization. There is an absence of participation in infrastructure investment, building up a talent base of skillsets for human capital development, e.t.c. While the richer nations continue to march on progress to the future, it is the poorer countries that are still lagging behind, because they are helplessly caught in a debt trap with leading nations. The deficit is only getting wider and its effects are felt at the grass root level of the society.

Over a period of time, intellectual awareness amongst countries has increased to a large extent, whereby the traditional view or approach to the governance of policies has given way to a new order. The growing menace of terrorism, regional wars, economic hardships faced as a result of price hikes are attributed to a decision making amongst the wealthy nations, which as earned the skepticism of the Southern block. Increasing mistrust and a decay of social and national values is also widening the gap between the North and South.

The wealthy nations enjoy a tremendous clout in the United Nations, the IMF, and the World Bank, while countries from the southern block do not have a voice in the contribution to decision making process. They are left to depend on all decisions taken by members of the G8. Financial assistance lent by IMF and World Bank is in the control of powerful nations again. The gap is only widening because of the increasing dependency and sanctions levied on underdeveloped nations, which makes life and living back home. A lack of sensitive approach to the problems of a suffering nation and creation of imperfect policies are also attributed to making things worse for a nation that wishes to better its livelihood.
Published: 2009-05-21
Author: Mohan Pothur

About the author or the publisher
I am a 41 year old freelance writer from Bangalore,INDIA and have been writing since the last 3 years. I write short articles and essays at a high school and undergraduate level.

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