The idea of the North and South—sometimes called Global North and Global South to prevent confusion with countries' domestic northern/southern divisions—as socioeconomic categories rather than just geographic ones was first formulated by West German Chancellor Willy Brandt in 1980. Brandt described a line encircling the globe at roughly 30 degrees North latitude, dipping down to place Australia and New Zealand above the line. Above the line was the North: rich, industrialized, developed nations, the First and Second World. Below the line was the South: poorer, developing or undeveloped nations, often former vassals of the North during the Colonial era, the Third World. The terminology is sometimes found wanting, and many “Southern” nations like Brazil are difficult to categorize as “developing,” given their high incomes, ...

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