Second World

Countries that aligned themselves with the Warsaw Pact

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What is “Second World”?

The use of the term “Second World” initially arose during the Cold War and was used to classify countries that aligned themselves with the Warsaw Pact.

Second World
Fig. 1: Second World Countries (in red)

In 1955, the Warsaw Pact was established in response to the establishment of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1949 by the United States and its allies – member countries of NATO and those that aligned with the faction were classified as “First World.” The Warsaw Pact countries included the following: Soviet Union, Albania, Poland, Romania, Hungary, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Bulgaria.

Modern Definition of “Second World”

After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the term “Second World” was less used to reference industrial social states and instead came to be used to describe countries that (1) with an emerging market economy or (2) are more developed than countries that are part of the modern definition of “Third World” but less developed than countries that are part of the modern definition of “First World.”

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