The denominations that are chosen to be used to classify the countries are, many times, a postcard of an era and of a world structure that is never permanent. The division of ‘three worlds’, and the fact of cataloging all the countries in some of those three, responded to a need during the dispute between the capitalist and communist blocs in the 20th century, in which the former sought to generate a consensus on the supremacy of their ways of life. Thus, they were placed in the first step, leaving the second to the socialist bloc and the third to the poorest countries, which had not yet reached development.
Suppressed the socialist bloc, the space for ‘second world’ it was left vacant, and some chose to stop talking about a second world, while others considered that the totality of third world countries then moved to the second. Most decided to leave behind the idea of the second and third world, and start talking about underdeveloped countries and in process of development. For instance: China, Morocco, Argentina, Chile.
The idea of development paths responds to a consideration that assumes linear (as a path) the path by which countries achieve high growth rates and then economic development. The reasoning is highly confrontational with the theory, almost unanimous in economic matters, of the international division of labor and the specialization of countries: necessarily and regrettably, the current world economic order requires that some countries be destined to lack economic development.
Developed countries vs. underdeveloped countries
World order in the 20th century
During the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the XXI, the denomination of the developing countries was used encompassing the totality of the third world countries, to which they were united by some characteristics in common: the predominance of natural resources and the space for the production of raw materials, the highly vulnerable financial and economic structure, also subject to reforms by multilateral organizations, and low savings usually leading to low investment.
So far in our century, the world economic order It was modified and the idea of development paths turned against the countries that had proposed them when the situation was different. It is that, while the central countries experienced a moderation in the rate of their growth, some developing countries (the emerging countries) had very high growth rates in contrast, which made international leadership begin to question as it is. knew until then, at least in the medium term.
In this way, initiatives that united the most important countries within the emerging ones were taking a position, to the detriment of the old meetings aimed at the central countries, the most important in the world. former capitalist bloc. There is practically no world projection in the medium term that does not give the first places in economic development to countries of this type, and the organizations that bring them together, such as the BRICS, are becoming increasingly relevant on the world geopolitical map.
Examples from developing countries
The list of developing countries it is not defined and generates certain controversies. Here is a list of some countries considered to be developing, also known as emerging countries: the first five of them are the ones that lead this process of international readjustment.