Superpower Geographies

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Superpower Geographies
What do I need to know?
Definition of a superpower and how a superpower is defined (criteria)
How international influence develops e.g. culturally, economically or militarily.
Theories of superpower emergence
Power changes over time (USSR/ USA/ China)
How power can be maintained direcly or indirectly.
How superpowers play a key role in international decision making e.g. the EU, G8, IMF
How superpowers control trade, power and global influence
Superpowers exert cultural influence.
Economic superpowers and their demands on energy water and land.
Power is shifting globally which has major implications.
Shifting power can cause tensions and conflicts.
DEFENITION: A Superpower is a nation, which is able to project its power and influence anywhere
in the world. It is a dominant global force.
The Superpowers:
USA
EU
Criteria Example
Population China
Military strength UK/USA
Resources Russia
Economic strength USA
Dominant belief system (religion, ideologies USSR
e.g. communism, capitalism, imperialism.
Size Russia.
The FIRST global superpower was the British Empire; at the end of WW2 it had 25% of the worlds
populations, and 25% of the worlds land area. But, the British Empires superpower status was
declining, and the USSR and the USA became emerging superpowers.

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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
importance.
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.…read more

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The USA remains the only true superpower in existence. Why?
The USA has the worlds most powerful military and its geographically widespread, the US armed
forces consists of:
540,000 army personnel
520,000 in the navy and marines
330,000 in the air force
12 aircrafts, and 70 submarines ­ can operate anywhere in the world
The USA also is economically dominant. Banks all around the world hold reserves in dollars, US
based companies accounted for 776/2000 of the largest TNC's.…read more

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The unprecedented shift in relative wealth and economic power roughly from West to East
now underway will continue'
`The US will remain the single most powerful country but will be less dominant'
CHINA RISING
Prior to 1600, China and India were the world's largest economies. During the Qing dynasty
some estimates suggest China's economy accounted for 1/3 of all global economic activity.
However, this faded with the rise of the British Empire. China is now emerging as a superpower
once again.…read more

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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.
NIC and BRIC countries are good examples of semi-peripheral countries.
SECTION 2 ­ THE ROLE OF SUPERPOWERS
In the past, superpowers such as the British Empire maintained direct control over territories.…read more

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Strategic alliances, the USA and the USSR formed alliances with developing nations to
spread their influence, often by forcing aid.…read more

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World Bank G
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United Nations (UN) T
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