The Global South

Context: The unwillingness of many leading countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America to stand with NATO over the war in Ukraine has brought to the fore once again the term “Global South.” About Global South:
  • Global South refers to various countries around the world that are sometimes described as ‘developing’, ‘less developed’ or ‘underdeveloped’. 
  • The term Global South was first used in 1969, but gained momentum after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.
  • Regional Spread: Many of the Global South countries are in the Southern Hemisphere, largely in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  • Characteristics of Global South Countries:
    • Poverty ridden with higher levels of income inequality
    • Lower life expectancy and harsh living conditions
  • Geopolitics Context:
    • The term ‘Global South’ is not geographical. In fact, the Global South’s two largest countries — China and India — lie entirely in the Northern Hemisphere.
    • Its usage denotes a mix of political, geopolitical and economic commonalities between nations.
  • Growing relevance:
    • By 2030 it is projected that three of the four largest economies will be from the Global South — with the order being China, India, the U.S. and Indonesia.
    • Already the GDP in terms of purchasing power of the Global South dominated BRICS nations surpasses that of the Global North’s G­7 club.
    • These are increasingly asserting themselves on the global scene — be it China’s brokering of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement or Brazil’s attempt to push a peace plan to end the war in Ukraine.
About Global North:
  • Global North consists of richer nations that are located mostly in North America and Europe, with some additions in Oceania and elsewhere.
 Classification of Countries as per the Cold War metrics:
  • ‘First World’: It referred to the advanced capitalist nations. Ex- USA, UK, France, Germany, etc
  • ‘Second World: It referred to the socialist nations led by the Soviet Union. Ex- USSR, China, Cuba, etc
  • ‘Third World’: It referred to developing nations, many of whom were still under the colonial yoke. Ex: Countries in Asia, Africa like India, Indonesia, etc
News Source: The Hindu

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