H. Jon Rosenbaum and William G. Tyler
Traditionally, examinations of the international relations of the less developed countries (LDCs) have focused on influences that can be attributed generally as originating in the developed countries (DCs). In fact, relatively few scholarly analyses of inter-LDC relations have been undertaken.1 Since South-South relations have grown appreciably in recent years, however, it is important that a framework for studying these relations be developed, and this framework must include an awareness of the significance of the international economic system.
At present the existing international economic system is under pressure on many fronts -- monetary, trade, investment, and aid -- and recent years have witnessed the deterioration of existing arrangements to the point where reform appears imperative. However, any form of change will involve many issues that are of paramount importance to the economic welfare of the LDCs. Trade, for example, is proportionally more important, in general, to the economic growth of the LDCs than it is for the developed countries. Yet the role of the LDCs, with the possible exception of the oil-producing states, in moderating or affecting the outcome of existing reform efforts is extremely limited. While the nature of North-South
H. Jon Rosenbaum is an associate professor in the Ph.D. program in political science of the Graduate School and the Department of Political Science, The City College, The City University of New York. William G. Tyler is a senior fellow in the Institute for World Economics at Kiel University and an assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Florida.