Explainer: Understanding Global South

Khabarhub

July 7, 2019

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Explainer: Understanding Global South

Photo: Agencies

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The Global South refers to those countries in the world who belong to low and middle income in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean by the World Bank. These nations are often described as newly industrialized or on the way of industrialization. Global South as essential term does not mean to indicate countries lying in the south of the equator. Earlier the countries in the category of Global South were called ‘Third World’. Since the term was derogatory to use for developing countries in reference to developed countries often referred to as ‘First World’ country, more acceptable term ‘Global South’ has been in use. Both the terms ‘Third World Countries’ and ‘Developing Countries’ have fallen out of use because scholars around the world have settled for the reference of ‘Global South’.

The Global South includes countries in Africa, Latin America, and developing parts of Asia and the Middle East. These countries are pushing forward on all the indicators of human development to stand next to developed countries mostly located in Europe and North America. These countries — most of them at least were once colonized or indirectly ruled by the ‘First World’ Countries. The term “Global South” emerged in the 1950s for the first time but Carl Oglesby became the first person to use it while writing a political commentary. Oglesby used the term when he commented on the US’s dominance over the global south. The founding members of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) also used the term politically.

The use of the term Global South immediately creates the opposite called Global North which naturally means developed countries. Countries in the Global South are not defined by geographic locations rather it is a grouping of countries who reach a certain development threshold. Global South countries may cross over to the Global North if they step up their development in different sectors of human and economic development. Even in the Global North, some regions within the developed countries live in conditions that resemble the conditions of the Global South. So, the analyst must use this concept carefully without displaying any bias and prejudice in their speech and writing.

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