Superpower gephraphies notes

A2 Edexcel superpower geographies notes 

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UNIT 3 ­ topic 4 ­ SuperPower Geographies
A superpower is `the capacity to Project dominating power and influence anywhere in the world,
sometimes in more than one region of the globe at a time'
Hegemon is a leader, it has a supreme power upon others
How does a country become a superpower?
Physical size and geographical position
Population size
Economic power and influence
Military force
Dominant belief systems
Physical size and geographical position
Large land / sea area
Enough resources to be self-dependent if necessary
Large population
Economic influence
Large national economy (high GDP)
High economic growth
Large numbers of companies
Economic self sufficiency
Canada, UK, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, France, Spain, USA, Brazil, India and China
Dollar, Euro, Frank and Singapore dollar
G8 and Trade blocks
Can give power if they're used as a weapon
Oil or metals are very important reserves as they can be processed into other goods
Population size
Population = workers
Population = market = sales
Military force
Large ability to project power over the world
Large land, sea and air army which can be easily deployed
Possessions of nuclear power advantages
Dominant belief system

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Strong cultural influence over other nations
Timeline of superpowers
1850-1945 United Kingdom
1945 ­ 1990 USA and USSR
1990 ­ Present USA
Emerging 21st century superpowers Brazil, India, Russia and China
Capitalism is the system by which land, labour and capital are owned privately and are used to
generate profit
Influencing Power
1. Economic power wealth allows superpowers to export their power around the world,
buy resources and influenced trade patterns
2. Military power country that has more military expenditure USA
3.…read more

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Modernisation theory: Rostow model 1960
(1.Traditional society 2. Preconditions to
take off 3. Take off 4. Drive to maturity 5. High mass consumption)
2. Dependency theory: A. Frank
3.…read more

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Formed in 1944 to stabilise currencies after the Depression of the 1930s devastation by
the second world war
44 rich countries initially joined but now has 185 members
Timeline of changing superpowers
Timescale Superpower(s) Comment
1800-1918 British Empire The UK is the dominant global
power, at one point
controlling 25% of the land
area of the Earth
1918-45 Transition Period Increasing power in the USA
and Russia, the rise of Nazi
Germany and the
maintenance of the power of
the British empire; arguably a
multi-polar…read more

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Nuclear weapons: give countries power because they represent the ultimate threat. The
USA, Russia, China, France and the UK all possess them. These countries are recognised as
nuclear states under the Treaty of Non-proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Pakistan, India,
Israel and North Korea are not signatories to the Treaty but do have nuclear weapons
Several theories are used to explain the existence of rich, powerful countries and the weaker,
poorer countries they dominate.…read more

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Theories explaining superpower status:
Theory, author & date Explanation Criticisms
Lib The take-off model Economic development is Many countries
era (W.W.…read more

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India and China are both emerging powers. Importantly neither country was allied to the Cold War
superpowers, and they have chosen to develop in their own way.…read more

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The brain-drain of with the developing
skilled workers to the world
developed world
Neo-colonialism falls into the Marxist / Structuralist mould of economic theory.…read more

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Number of world's 500 170
largest TNCs
G8 (USA, UK, France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Russia and Italy) summit meetings are ultimate
international organisation because the leaders at each meeting represent:
65% of global wealth
95% of global nuclear weapons
75% of global military spending
Interestingly the G8 nations only make up only 15% of world population.…read more

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Western. China has hugely developed the industrial sector, producing and
selling goods for transnational cooperation's. They have more exports than they have imports
meaning that there is more budget for expansion
China has nowadays 16 of the 20 most polluted cities in the world and this was blamed for over
400000 premature deaths in 2003. 30% of China suffers from acid rain. Co2 emissions for 2006
were estimated at more than 6.2 billion tonnes.…read more


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