Foundations of International Politics

By Harold Hance Sprout; Margaret Tuttle Sprout | Go to book overview

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Change in the Underdeveloped
Countries

THIS CHAPTER, as its title indicates, focuses on the social revolutions that are taking place in the underdeveloped countries. Nearly everywhere in Asia, in Africa, and in the less developed parts of Latin America ancient values and traditional ways of life are being uprooted as these peoples belatedly begin to experience the shocks and stresses of economic, psychological, and political modernization.

Modernization in the underdeveloped countries coincides with and is profoundly affected by changes simultaneously occurring in other sectors of human society: advances in science and technology (Chapter 7), increases in human mobility, in economic productivity, and in military destructiveness (Chapters 7, 8, 14), approaching scarcities of previously abundant natural resources (Chapter 12), progressive conquest of climatic obstacles (Chapter 11), explosive growth of population (Chapter 13), the bipolarization of great military power (Chapter 2), a military stalemate, however temporary, between the Soviet Union and the United States, which opens up unprecedented opportunities for weaker political communities to assert their demands and to play a role of some influence upon the international stage (Chapters 19, 22).

Under these conditions of rapid and differential change on so many human fronts, what is taking place in the underdeveloped countries acquires an international significance of the first magnitude. It is the thesis of many observers of the contemporary international scene that social, economic and political changes occurring nearly everywhere in Asia, Africa, and Latin America have a significant bearing (1) on the attitudes, demands, and strategies of the modernizing nations, (2) on the strategies of the

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