The Fourth World is an extension of the three-world paradigm that refers to socially excluded subpopulations from global civilization, such as uncontacted peoples; hunter-gatherer, nomadic, pastoral, and certain subsistence farming peoples living beyond the contemporary industrial norm. They may exist in small isolated groups without any contact with the outside world or larger societies.
The concept of a fourth world order was first proposed by American academic Louis Kriesberg in 1978. He argued that there was evidence that "the traditional bipolar division between civilised society and non-civilised society" was becoming obsolete and that "a new type of hierarchy within civilisation" was emerging.
Since then, other scholars have also suggested that a new type of hierarchy is emerging within global civilization. In his book The First Global Revolution: How a Multitude of People Are Transforming the World, political scientist Peter Haas argues that we are entering a period when the majority of people will be affected by major social transformations caused by technological change, which will create a new global elite and a new global middle class.
These developments are leading to the emergence of a new type of hierarchy within global civilization. It is based on technology and includes both an educated elite and an uneducated mass.
According to Haas, this new global hierarchy will be responsible for creating a new global system led by technology that will dominate the current system of nation-states.
The term "Fourth World" refers to the world's most undeveloped, impoverished, and oppressed regions. Many of these nations' residents have no political ties and are often nomadic hunter-gatherers or members of tribes. Some are covered by forest land; others are desolate deserts. Few possess natural resources that can be used to support a modern economy.
These areas include: Central America, South America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia with with China as the only major country that is not in some way associated with these issues.
So, "Fourth World" countries are those who lack natural resources such as oil or gold. They are usually poor and sometimes dominated by oppressive governments. Their populations are mainly rural and live at a low level of development. Sometimes they are called "Third World countries" because they are behind economically developed countries like USA, Japan, and Germany.
In addition to being poor, "Fourth World" countries tend to have limited political systems, poorly educated populations, and few opportunities for advancement. Although many "first world" countries have problems within their borders, they remain stable and generally effective models for other countries to follow. For example, Canada and the United States have very different cultures and institutions, but they both function reasonably well without too much interference from outside forces.
Fourth-world significance The Third World's least developed and poorest nations, particularly those in Africa and Asia devoid of resource riches, are sometimes called the fourth world.
This label was first used by American academic Louis Kriesberg in 1978. He argued that these countries were as important for the development of economics as the industrialized nations. Before this time, they had been ignored by most economists.
In the late 20th century, several developing countries have become extremely rich due to oil revenues and other sources of income. These countries may be considered part of the global economy but lack many of the characteristics of the developed world. They often do not use currency pegs and allow their currencies to rise or fall against each other.
Some scholars argue that because these countries have succeeded through market forces alone, they are not truly independent from the rest of the world economy. However, most remain politically isolated from one another so cannot influence economic policies in any meaningful way.
Many third-world countries still rely on exports of primary products like cotton, sugar, and copper to earn foreign exchange, even though they may have some secondary industry too. This means that fluctuations in the price of these commodities can have a major impact on how much money they have left over after paying for imports.