The Global Futures of World Regions Conference Briefs
The New Third Worlds  

The old Third World, once clearly perceived through the glasses of modernization and depencencia theories, was located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Yet where are the new third worlds?

New third worlds are hiding in the deep pockets of the developed countries. Large and small digital third worlds are everywhere, racial and gender inequalities international. Rural poverty clings to many places and urban poverty grows in leaps and bounds — the UN projects that urban slums are the likely future for two billion people in the less developed world within the next fifteen years.

However, the lenses of modernization and depencencia theories are broken and the flaws of these theories exposed. Deconstruction has dated the old concepts but inequalities and poverty persist and are only

partially analyzed and explained by postmodernism and post-colonialism.

Globalization has deterritorialized the third world and now only one thing is clear: new theoretical perspectives, empirical studies, and practical policies are necessary. The challenges are many. It is unclear how to deal with different types of synchronous developments, create a comparative typology of multiple paths of development, integrate local cultures with global history and cope with interdependent "glocal" problems that defy disciplinary and political borders.

Focusing on the global geography of poverty and thus complementing the previously considered geographies of political and economic power, this conference will face the uneven global geography of the present.