A2 Geography: Superpowers revision guide

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Superpower Geographies
The Superpowers:
The BRICs are emerging superpowers:
CHINA: Communist one-party state which has become the `workshop of the world'; there is rapid
economic growth based on manufacturing and trade.
RUSSIA: Has a huge nuclear weapons arsenal, and vast oil and gas reserves meaning it is of global
INDIA: Huge population and has some world class industries such as IT.
BRAZIL: Increasingly influential in Latin America. Brazil is referred to as an `agricultural
superpower'. It has a strong, diversified economy and a growing middle class.
Mexico and the Gulf states can also be described as emerging superpowers.
MEXICO: It has strong ties with the USA however its economy is shaky and it has problems with
corruption and crime.
GULF STATES: Increasingly important in terms of remaining global oil and gas reserves; it has
attempted to diversify and has become a hub between Europe and Asia.
Superpower Theory
WW Rostow's `Take Off' model (modernisation theory)
this shows how countries move from relative underdevelopment to a state of high mass
AG Frank's Dependency Theory
this suggests that not all countries have been able to develop, this is because the superpowers
maintain the developing world in a `state of underdevelopment', draining it of human capital and
Immanuel Wallerstein's World Systems Theory
this seeks to model this `three sided world' which is partly related to the economic theory of
Supercycles. These supercycles suggest that economic growth passes through phases based on key
new technologies which bring growth to particular geographical regions.

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The role of Superpowers
In the past, superpowers such as the British Empire maintained direct control over
territories. Some geographers believe that part of this control still remains today in the form
of neo-colonialism:
Aid is given to allies rather than the most needy countries.
Debt repayments channel money from the developing world to the developed world.
Even debt relief scheme have been criticised.
Superpowers are also responsible for most international trade. The world's three major
stock markets are in New York, London and Tokyo.…read more


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