The 3 Superpower Theories

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  • Explaining Changing Patterns of Power (Theories)
    • Wallerstein's World System Theory
      • Wallerstein developed a theory in 1974 to help explain the capitalist world systems and the development gap. He based this on various points (annotated).
        • The Worlds economic core regions (HICs) drive the world economy
        • Core regions import, process, add values to and profit from processing primary materials from peripheral regions (developing countries)
        • This model largely stems from unequal trading between former colonial rules and colonies
        • Unequal trad patterns persist today. Exports of primary products dominate the economies of developing countries whilst core regions dominate ownership of production lines, dictating what is produced and by whom.
        • Currently, the Western 'core' owns and consumes 75% of global goods and services
    • Rostow's Modernisation Theory
      • In the 1940s, the USA viewed advancing communism as a major threat and promoted modernisation theory. The idea was that to develiver capitalism, moden institutional reform was needed and that capitalism is the solution to poverty
        • The establishment of the IMF and World Bank helped to achieve reform, focusing on currency stability and development loans
        • Without reform, the poverty trap would remain and developing economies would be held back by traditional family values
        • In response to advancing communism, the US investment was targeted on countries bordering China and the USSR, e.g.Japan, India, and South Korea
    • Franks Dependency Theory
      • This theory argues that the dependency of developing countries on wealthier nations is the cause of poverty.
        • Trade patterns involve the export or primary resources to developed nations in return for manufactured goods.
        • Tariffs are added to processed imports, so the terms if trade are unfavourable to developing countries
        • Developing countries can't process or add value to primary goods so profits are low. This deters investment and maintains poverty. These countries become trapped in a vicious cycle.


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