Industry, Technology, and Politics

  • Marshall C. Eakin


The emergence of new industrial centers in the developing world is one of the most important transformations of the late twentieth century. In the decades since World War II, the economic dominance of the United States, Europe, and Japan has been increasingly challenged by the rise of industry in Asia and Latin America. Forty years ago the economies of South Korea, China, India, and Brazil, for example, primarily produced foodstuffs and raw materials, and their populations were overwhelming rural. The term “Third World,” in fact, arose in the 1950s, in part, to highlight the underdevelopment in Asia, Africa, and Latin America characterized by a lack of industrial growth in largely agrarian societies.1 With the emergence of significant industrial growth in a number of countries, the already suspect concept of a “Third World” has now become even more problematic. The industrialization of Brazil, South Korea, Taiwan, India, and Mexico (to cite a few examples) has been impressive and clearly sets them apart from much of the rest of the so-called Third World.2 By the 1980s, this industrialization had begun to alter fundamentally the global dominance of the so-called First and Second Worlds that emerged out of World War II. Third World industrialization, however, has not simply recapitulated the industrialization of what used to be called the First and Second Worlds.


Nineteenth Century Eighteenth Century Late Nineteenth Century State Politics Political Elite 
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