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Fourth World

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Fourth World is a term which is used to denote several completely different things.

The term Fourth World also refers to a "lost" world or sub-population subjected to social exclusion in global society. Sociologist Manuel Castells originally coined the term.

Fourth World follows the progression First World, Second World and Third World, which forms a distinct hierarchy of categories for nation-state status. However, unlike these categories Fourth World denotes nations without states. This sense emphasizes the non-recognition or exclusion of often ethnically or religiously defined groups from the political and economic world system. Examples of Fourth World nations include the Roma worldwide, pre-WWI Ashkenazi in the region of the Pale of Settlement, Kurds and Palestinians in the Middle East, and many Native American/First Nations groups throughout the Americas.

In common speech among certain groups, the term Fourth World also refers to various independence or secessionist movements, to medium- to large-sized nations without fully-recognised states. While these nations need to have substantial territory compared to micronations, they need not be ancient, or part of any established international governmental organisations.

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Adapted from the Wikipedia article, "Fourth World" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_World, used under the GNU Free Documentation License.

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