Start Geo Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
geology dictionary - geography encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  North is a rather loose, portmanteau term for the wealthy advanced industrial countries, both socialist and capitalist. In this sense it is roughly synonymous with the term First World which is employed widely in political economic analyses (see development; core-periphery). The \'South\' corresponds to those poor, largely non-industrial, and ex-colonial states that are seen to constitute a Third World (mostly in Africa, Asia and Latin America), a term which arose in the post-war period emerging from the Non-Aligned Movement (see colonialism; decolonization: the term Second World was used for the countries of the former Soviet bloc where communism was practised). The language of First and Third Worlds or North and South is often conspicuously absent among the major multilateral and national development agencies (for example the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund) which stratify states according to income (low, middle and so on). The average per capita income of the South is currently about 50 times less than that of the industrialized North.

North-South is a dichotomous term used in macro-political economy to identify one of the most pervasive bipolar divisions in the current global system (Evans and Newnham, 1999). North-South was the title of an influential book which became popularly known in the 1980s as the Brandt Report after its Chairman, the former West German Chancellor (Brandt, 1980). It signalled divisions between rich and poor nations in contradistinction to the East-West divide of the Cold War (cf. geopolitics): the events of the late 1980s, including the collapse of many state socialisms, made the East-West divide increasingly irrelevant. The Brandt Report sought to address the growing economic, political and military polarities at the beginning of a decade during which the material circumstances of the Third World were to deteriorate seriously. The North-South dialogue was part of ongoing political debates within the United Nations during the 1970s and elsewhere over the need for a New International Economic Order.

The single greatest difficulty with the North-South concept is the question of economic and political coherence. While it might be argued that the collapse of many state socialisms has produced a more homogenous capitalist core associated with capitalist regional trade blocs, the South is extremely diverse and becoming more so. On the one hand, the newly industrializing countries (the NICs) such as Taiwan and South Korea are no longer primary commodity producers and, on the other, the South has rarely had a unified political position even within the Non-Aligned Movement. The appearance of a Fourth World of extreme poverty (the so-called famine belt), particularly in Africa, suggests a growing economic polarization within the South coeval with a deepening polarization between North and South. (MW)

Reference Brandt, W. 1980: North-South: a program for survival. London: Pan. Evans, G. and Newnham, J. eds. Dictionary of International Relations. Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1999.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>
normative theory


Other Terms : positionality | population potential | life table
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us