Theories for the growth of superpowers

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  • Theories for the growth of superpowers
    • Modernisation theory - Rostow 1960s
      • Aimed to explain the dominance of the British Empire and USA
      • Rostow believed that as these were the first countries to experience an Industrial revolution this gave them an initial advantage over other regions
      • 5 stages of development
        • Stage 1) Traditional society, subsistence, barter, agriculture
        • Stage 2) Transitional stage - specialization, surpluses, infrastructure
        • Stage 3) Take off, industrialisation, growing investment, regional growth, political change
        • Stage 4) Drive to Maturity - diversification, innovation, less reliance on imports, investment
        • Stage 5) High Mass Consumption - consumer orientated, durable goods flourish, service sector becomes dominant
    • Dependency Theory -Frank 1971
      • Countries become more dependent upon more powerful, frequently colonial powers, as a result in interaction and development
      • This is because the colonial power often exploits the resources of its weaker colony as the colony becomes more dependent on it.
      • The rise of NICs argues against this as they are examples of countries that have developed, however some of these did receive huge economic support and aid from the USA
    • World Systems Theory- Wallenstein 1974
      • This treated the whole world as a single unit broken down into the core (MEDCs), periphery (LEDCs) and the semi-periphery.
      • It allowed change to take place as countries began to develop
    • Named Example: China vs India
      • World system theory would suggest that the industrial capitalism was born in Europe and the rise of China and India is another stage of the growth and spread of global economy
      • Dependency theory would see the current growth as a shift back to an older world order when India and China were powerful economic forces
      • Path to development
        • China - state-led industrialisation and intensificiation of agriculture but largely cut off from rest of world
        • India: Home grown technology with high import tariffs, still however mainly a rural society


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