Marnia Lazreg’s “The Colonial in the Global: Where does the Third World Fit in?”

Posted: December 2nd, 2013





Marnia Lazreg’s “The Colonial in the Global: Where does the Third World Fit in?”

Many people portray the less developed countries in a negative light, and they refer to them as the third world countries. Many of these countries continue experiencing challenges, in the modern era. Many of these countries were also colonized, with many of them being colonized by European countries. The problems facing the third world countries are mostly poverty, famine, drought, disease, illiteracy, poor governance, and lack of opportunity. These problems continue to affect the people in different ways. Many third world countries received their independence from the colonizers in the 1950s and 1960s. Although they were liberated from the colonizers, they were not liberated from the problems facing them. Many years later, they continue speaking of change and the need to improve their situation. Few people tie the problems facing the third world countries to the colonizers. Some of the third world countries have the mentality that they were colonized, and this prevents them from moving forward. They have continued to follow the example of the colonizers, be it in education systems or in infrastructure development. In her article, “The Colonial in the Global: Where does the Third World Fit in?” Marnia Lazreg discusses issues facing the countries, which were colonized, with focus on the situation after the Cold War. She looks at issues such as the interaction of the political and economic systems, effect and legacy of colonialism, and the effect of globalization on the third world countries.

Lazreg observes that there was a shift in the change of relationship between the formerly colonized countries and their colonizers after the cold war. Many of the countries, which had attained independence in the fifties and sixties, became politically irrelevant. Many people have researched this effect, trying to figure out why these countries became relatively weak in the perception of the global community (Lazreg 17). The countries had fought hard for their freedom, and many people had hoped that they would use the same determination and tenacity in ensuring development in their countries. Unfortunately, this did not happen, as many of the countries experienced challenges in governance. Poor governance contributes to poor distribution of resources. The poor lack accessibility to these resources and this hinders their ability to develop and improve their lives.

A country’s political system largely determines its economic situation. The political environment can ensure development through government support and encouragement, while at the same time it can hinder development through corruption and poor management of resources. Lack of information has contributed to decreased knowledge. This has lessened the peoples’ capacity to develop. Presently people have many channels of accessing knowledge, as the use of the internet has increased. This has led to globalization. Lazreg looks at the effect that globalization has had on the third world countries (Lazreg 17).

Less developed countries are plagued by their identification as third world countries. Many of them want to improve their economic situations, and the welfare of their people. For most of these countries, they do not have any model to follow, other than that of the developed countries. Most of these developed countries happen to be their past colonizers. Once the countries attained independence, they continued using the systems that the colonizers had adopted. Most of them did not dare develop the systems, including political, social, educational, and economical. Some changed some of the elements in different systems, to incorporate the changes that had occurred globally. Others maintained the systems as they were, thus continuing the colonizers influence (Lazreg 17). The colonizers had introduced them to another world, and for the countries to fit in, they had to adapt to the ways of the colonizers. This denied the people to develop their own unique and authentic identity, which would be different from the colonizers. Globalization has not changed this, despite its many advantages.

Third world countries have benefited from globalization. The people have had an opportunity to air their grievances to the world. Some of the people have suffered under the leadership of dictators, but such incidences have decreased as the world becomes global, and as people increase their movements to different countries. People have increased and enhanced their knowledge on different issues. Third world countries continue to struggle, as they look for ways to copy their colonizers. This is seen clearly in the way they refuse to change and advance. For instance, Lazreg observes that city models have historically been shaped by colonial heritage. The people are not willing to come up with new ideas that will help them in planning or development (Lazreg 17).

In her research, Lazreg has used information from different contributors and researchers, and this has helped her to develop a balanced view of the issue. She has conducted research from diverse sources of literature, which support or disprove her argument. This has increased her level of awareness, giving the reader a clearer perception of the situation, and enabling the reader to make informed decisions. Some of the authors are of the opinion that third world countries have benefited significantly from globalization. They claim that these countries should not use their experiences as an excuse to lag in development. There is enough information and many opportunities for these countries to develop. Other writers are of the opinion that the western, and more developed countries have created barriers that has hindered the third world countries from reaping from the benefits of globalization. Although many of these countries support the idea of free markets and other such opportunities, they form and establish rules and regulations that continue to hinder the advancement of third world countries.




















Works Cited

Lazreg, Marnia. “The Colonial In The Global: Where Does The Third World Fit In?” Journal of Third World Studies 26.1 (2009): 17. Print.

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