'Global South' new division

This new term has been taken up in the media and includes all the Theravada countries, and is centred on India as the most politically influential globally. It replaces the old physical division of hemispheres by a social division. This will be the concept into the future. Australia and Japan are part of the ‘Global North.’

I suppose the term “Third World” is a bit dated. I think it was actually Mao Tse Tung who coined that. The “Second World” (a defunct term) was comprised of the Soviet countries with the rest of the world including China falling into the “Third World” (this was probably when Soviet/Chinese relations were getting a bit frosty and Mao wanted to put some clear water between China and the Soviet Union :wink: ).

Some of these categorisations can be a bit arbitrary. The BRICS (Brazil Russia India China and South Africa) acronym was all the rage for quite a while (probably more to do with investment funds flogging investment opportunities in those countries if nothing else :slight_smile: ).

The aims of the global south are more human centred:

1 Like

Not exactly. The origins of the term “Third World” are described in an essay in the first issue of the academic journal Third World Quarterly in 1979 and a follow-up essay in 1987:

Leslie Wolf-Phillips, “Why Third World,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 1, No., 1 (1979), pp. 105-115.

Leslie Wolf-Phillips, “Why ‘Third World’? Origin, Definition and Usage,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 9, No. 4 (1987), pp. 1311-1327.

For the record, Wolf-Phillips explains that the term “Third World” was coined in 1952 by Alfred Sauvy in an article in L’Observateur.

And I will add that the term “Third World” is still used in academic circles, as in the journal Third World Quarterly which is still published under that name.

By the way, “Global South” is not a new term: " The first use of Global South in a contemporary political sense was in 1969 by Carl Oglesby, writing in Catholic journal Commonweal in a special issue on the Vietnam War."

1 Like

“One of the most enduring, reality-resistant, mythologies of our world has been that of the Great Convergence: the idea that developing countries would converge in living standard with the Western middle class.”


Many of the developing countries are in the global south. Countries like Cambodia don’t aspire to a Western standard of living. So the future will see the global south providing the example of a sustainable lifestyle.