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What Was the Third World?

B. R. Tomlinson
Journal of Contemporary History
Vol. 38, No. 2 (Apr., 2003), pp. 307-321
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3180660
Page Count: 15
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Abstract

The term 'Third World' was widely used in the second half of the twentieth century to identify common issues in the political, social, economic and cultural history of Africa, Asia and Latin America. The notion of a coherent and distinct Third World experience was rooted in analyses based on dependency theory and post-colonialism set in the Cold War context of nation states and nation-building. However, it is now rapidly passing out of academic use, because of changes in political and economic systems and in the interplay of culture and identity brought about by globalization. With these perspectives in mind, it is now time to reassess the way in which we approach the contemporary history of most of the world.

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