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Fourth world refers to those persons, groups, and places left behind in the process of globalization and resulting changes in urban and regional systems—including urban and nonurban spaces in both developed countries and the developing world. The term has an interesting history, emerging from an earlier discourse that highlighted the social exclusion of indigenous and minority populations, then highlighting increased poverty and social exclusion in third world nations, and now finding its place within urban studies with new and significant meanings.

The generic label fourth world begins in the development literature that described different regions of the world according to the geopolitics of the postwar twentieth century: The first world included Europe and the United States, and the second world included the Soviet Union and satellite ...

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