The Changing Political Economy of the Third World

The Changing Political Economy of the Third World

The Changing Political Economy of the Third World

The Changing Political Economy of the Third World

Synopsis

"This book presents a historical and theoretical appraisal of the new realities facing the Third World introducing students to a uniquely Third World perspective that shows not only how the governments, but more importantly the people of the Third World are affected by recent international events." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

In the post—Cold War era, as the axis of global conflict has shifted from East-West competition to North-South confrontations, developments in the Third World have assumed a new significance. For example, in an increasingly interdependent world, developing countries import nearly one- third of U.S. exports and are the source of nearly 30 percent of total U.S. imports. More than 73 percent of U.S. petroleum imports originate in the developing countries, which also account for more than 40 percent of U.S. iron, steel, and electronic machinery exports. Moreover, the rise in interest rates to nearly 20 percent during the first term of the Reagan presidency and the mounting debt crisis in Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, and elsewhere in Latin America substantiate the reality of global interdependence. Comprehending this global interdependence may also shed light on the change of course in those countries that embraced a socialist path over capitalist alternatives as an avenue to achieve economic growth and prosperity through self-reliance and central planning.

The globalization of industry and technology and the emergence of an electronically monitored financial system have allowed multinational corporations to move capital, labor, and technology across borders more rapidly. This new internationalization of capital, standardization of technologies, and universalization of labor processes has induced further integration of the Third World in a global capitalist economy. Driven by ever larger profit margins and intense competition, many multinational corporations continue to seek expanding sources of cheap labor, low taxes, and lax environmental and labor laws; as a result, they move their plants and operations to the developing nations. The old international division of . . .

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