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Here comes the second world

From Asia to eastern Europe to Latin America, middle-income countries are growing increasingly assertive. These "second-world" states are forging links among themselves and are adept at playing off first-world powers against each other

By Parag Khanna   May 2008

The term “second world” has fallen out of use. It used to mean countries of the socialist world; today I use the phrase to refer to those countries in eastern Europe and central Asia, Latin America, the middle east and southeast Asia which are both rich and poor, developed and underdeveloped, postmodern and pre-modern, cosmopolitan and tribal—all at the same time. This is not a temporary state between third world and first, but a permanent condition in which winners and losers are chosen by collectives like cities and corporations rather than entire states.

I spent most of 2005-07 travelling through…

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