Pick a Label – How to Categorize the World – April 23, 2013

by aem00

Developed Developing World – This is my favourite way, seeing as it is based on the economic model. Although it is one of the broadest categories to label countries I feel like it has a space for each country. It can include a fully developed country like Canada as well as a developing country like India, and everywhere in between. The problem with it is also that it is very broad. Because there are only two categories it is hard to get a good idea about where that country is in terms of developed and developing but it leaves a lot of space for interpretation.

First, Second, Third World – This is my least favourite of the ways to categorize nations. It is based on Cold War allegiances and is outdated. The first world category can still apply to developed, capitalist countries. The second world label though does not apply anymore because the USSR no longer exists. The third world can apply to the developing world still but at that point, you might as well use the developed/developing world categories.

Global North / Global South – This is a newer model to me having first seen it this year. I like the idea of it and support most of it. The one aspect of it that I do not like is the idea that it relies on one nation using another to gain benefit. While it is true that some Global North countries exploit some Global South countries it certainly does not apply to all and misses the boat for a lot. It also does not account for Global South countries who are not dependent on Global North, whatever the reason may be. It could be their own internal problems that keep them as Global South and underdeveloped.

Entrenched Democracies / Transitional Democracy / Authoritarian – This is my second favourite way of categorizing nations. However, I don’t like that assumption that entrenched democracies are mostly rich. There are examples like the oil rich nations that are authoritarian and are very wealthy as well as it’s people. For the transitional countries I do believe that not having as much money does hold them back in their progress to become fully entrenched, but that is coupled with other issues. For this way to categorize, I believe you would need more categories to fit all of the nations.

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