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Key themes and case studies for the Superpower Geographies section of Edexcel A2 Geography Unit 3
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Wealth allows 'export' of power, purchase of resources and influence over trade
5 of top 10 richest companies from USA (776 of top 2000)
Role of TNCs in overseas markets
Military force has historically been major influence in determining political power
45% of global military spending by USA
Intelligence & Espionage
'P5' permanent members of UN Security Council (USA, China, Russia, UK, France)
Dominant culture of a nation adopted/ or respected by other nations.
Often largely brand driven
Can be a source of economic power and influence
physical sphere of influence a superpower has
Russia's size (+14 borders) gives it more dominance in Arctic and more gas reserves
USA has large sea borders owith control over Pacific and Atlantic
"a country with the capacity to project dominating power anywhere in the world, sometimes in more than one region at a time."
= more resources, wealth & larger economy
More neighbours (e.g. Russia: 14)
Economic growth requires sufficient number of workers
Cheap labour promotes growth (e.g. NICs)
Larger population gives greater presence on international markets (e.g. EU)
But some countries have promoted significant growth with limited pop. (e.g. Singapore, Monaco)
Countries with resources necessary for economic growth in theory gives significant power
...but not necessarily powerful...
May export with little added value
Control by foreign TNCs
Profits go offshore
Shifting patterns of power
Collapse of Soviet Union
States within USSR rebel using new freedoms and claim soverienty
1989: Fall of Berlin wall
Economic failure & food shortages
President Gorbachev's reforms
PERESTROIKA - private ownership of small businesses
GLASNOST - freedom of speech
British Raj in India
New Delhi built by British (including 'India Gate' based on Champs-Élysées)
Introduction on Indian railways
Cricket (India's national sport)
Tea (taken from China and grown in India)
Financial pressures post-WW2
Anti-colonial movements (e.g. Gandhi)
Wider break up of British Empire
15th August 1947
IMPERIALISM - a relationship of political, economic or cultural control between two geographical areas.
COLONIALISM - the political rule of one nation by another.
COLONISATION - the physical settling of emmigrants from a colonial power in a colony.
HEGEMONY - indirect imperial control by indirect power (and threat of intervention), rather than by direct force.
Emergence of BRICs
Brazil, Russia, India, China are emerging powers
Also Mexico and Gulf states verge on this group
Very diverse - only China capable of rivalling USA
Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria, Turkey
Term coined by Jim O'Neill in 2014
Theories for superpower growth
Modernisation Theory (Rostow's Model)
Rostow (1960) - Modernisation Theory
Developed in 1960s based on study of 15 European countries
Suggested all countries have potential to 'break free' of poverty and develop in five linear stages.
Pre-conditions for take off
Drive to maturity
High mass consumption
consumerism; goods; tertiary sector
diversification; innovation; investment; independence
industrialisation; investment; regional growth; political change
surplus; specialisation; trading; infrastructure
subsistence; barter; agriculture
Outdated (1960s) and oversimplified
Assumes all countries start at same level with same resources/population
Ignores role of aid in leaving traditional society. Aid debt is a burden for take off.
Underestimates development of nations at expense of others (colonialism)
Former colonies had certain aspects disproportionately accelerated (e.g. Indian parliament)
World System theory
Economic growth passes through phases based on key new technologies.
e.g. 1770-1850: Industrial Revolution; cotton, steam engines; UK
e.g. 1945-90: Cold war era; white & consumer goods; Japan & Asian Tigers
Accounts for staggered growth of BRICs, MINTs and NICs
Maintains developed world's 'lifestyle' cheaply and efficiently
Developed countries must keep developing world in state of 'underdevelopment'
Based on 'failure' of Modernisation theory
AG Frank's model based on 'rich vs. poor' attitude
Capitalist core provides....
Underdeveloped periphery provides...
Resources & raw materials
"development of underdevelopment"
uni-polar -> multi-polar
West to East
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