Developing Nations Introduction
Developing Nations Chapter 1: What Are the Problems Facing Developing Nations? Developing Nations Chapter 2:Will Globalization Harm Developing Nations? Developing Nations Chapter 3: Should Industrialized Nations Play an Active Role in the Developing World? Developing Nations Chapter 4: Can Democracy Succeed in Developing Nations? Developing Nations Organizations to Contact
Developing Nations Bibliography
Any discussion of developing nations involves a host of contentious issues, beginning with a debate over terminology. For example, developing nations are also sometimes referred to as “Third World” nations. This term was introduced by French demographer Alfred Sauvy in 1952 to distinguish countries that had achieved colonial independence after World War II and were no longer aligned with either the United States and its allies (the First World) or the Soviet Union and its allies (the Second World). With the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union, the concepts of a First, Second, and Third World became less relevant.
Another common way to refer to developed versus developing nations is by dividing the globe along geographical lines. The countries of the Northern hemisphere, or “the North,” tend to be richer, while those in the Southern hemisphere, or “the South,” tend to be poorer. However, some sociologists and economists object to this distinction because it implies that the differences between the developed and the developing worlds are primarily due to geography, rather than to powerful historical, economic, political, and cultural forces.
There are still other ways to classify nations. Some authors distinguish between Western nations and all others. In this case, Western refers not to geography, but to a common culture shared by Judeo-Christian capitalist democracies. This distinction suggests that developing nations are those that do not have democratic governments and free-market economies. Still other observers distinguish between industrialized nations and nonindustrialized nations based on the type of economic activities they engage in. In this view, the Industrial Revolution explains the wealth of the developed world, and the persistence of primarily agricultural economies in developing nations explains their poverty. The terms nations in transition or newly industrialized nations are sometimes used to describe countries that have begun to industrialize.
The broadest approach to classifying countries is to distinguish between developed versus developing nations. These terms are meant to reflect a concern about the well-being of less-prosperous countries and the hope that the severe poverty in many of them can be overcome through the process of economic and social development.
More than 150 countries in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America are classified as developing nations. They are a very diverse group in terms of culture, religion, geography, economic progress and activities, and types of government. However, they do share some important characteristics that help define them as developing nations. Michael P. Todaro, author of Development Economics, argues that developing nations are “mainly characterized by low levels of living, high rates of population growth, low income per capita, and general economic and technological dependence on First World economies.”
The United Nations (UN) essentially defines developing nations based on what they are not. The United Nations defines the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the countries of Europe as developed nations. All other nations are “less-developed countries.” The United Nations also designates a subset of 49 countries (the majority in Africa) as “least-developed countries.” The least-developed countries all have...