Berger, Mark T. and Heloise Weber. Rethinking The Third World: International Development and World Politics.

Author:Bhattacharya, Preya
Position:Book review
 
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Berger, Mark T. and Heloise Weber. Rethinking The Third World: International Development and World Politics. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.

Mark Berger and Heloise Weber, in their book Rethinking the Third World: International Development and World Politics, argue that third world countries should adopt a new framework of development, which they term as "regional development-security framework for progress" (p. 149). The authors state that this regional cooperation amongst the third world countries would be more effective in achieving development. The authors define development both in terms of economic growth and human security issues such as education and gender-based development. In the regional development-security framework proposed by the authors, regions would be regarded as the primary unit of development as well as security (p. 150). Political authority would be multi-tiered in a nature similar to that of the European Union (p. 135).

Cooperation would also help reduce inequality amongst the nation-states of that region. The region as a whole would act as a bargaining platform during international trade. The authors state that market-based economic efforts by the World Bank and the United Nations have failed to bring about development in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is mostly because development was imposed from outside and it failed to integrate the economy of these countries with that of the region. In the post 9/11 world, economic development of third world countries has become synonymous with the concept of security (p. 129). This has led to the development of concepts like 'failed states' with the belief that nation-based economic development would help to achieve security (p. 129). Using the example of Latin America, the authors show that both state-based capital development and economic liberalization has failed to achieve economic growth. Over-focus on the individual nations of Latin America has been an important reason for this failure. Regional cooperation would ensure the achievement of economic sustainability. Economic aid by international institutions would focus on the development of regional cooperation and not the economic growth of any particular country.

The strength of the book lies in its focus on the concept of regional cooperation. According to the authors, regional cooperation for the third world countries has to go beyond the concept of the political sovereignty of nation states. Only then will it be able to...

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