SUPERPOWERS: Neo-colonialism & Chinese FDI programmes

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  • Created on: 19-03-13 21:45
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Assess the view that the relationship between superpowers and the
developing world is a neocolonial one
Neocolonialism is an indirect method of exploitation and maintaining power.
This is in contrast to colonialism which is considered a `hard' method of gaining
control often through military force many left wing (socialist) geographers
believe that superpowers use subtle ways to maintain power.
Neocolonialism is often linked to African LDCs as an explanation for the lack
of development in that continent. This can be explained by A.G. Franks 1969
dependency theory a Marxist perspective which suggests that the developed
world help to maintain the developing world in a permanent state of
underdevelopment ­ trapping these countries in stage 1 and 2 of WW Rostow's
`Take Off' Model. The developed world is draining these countries of human
capital (the `brain drain') and resources (minerals, ores, food.) Neo ­colonialism
is basically an extension of this dependency theory.
Pattern of Aid
The US are using aid as a `political weapon' the top 4 recipients of USA
foreign aid are not actually LDCs ,instead they are key geopolitical allies
of the US e.g. Israel (the greatest recipient of aid) is a key Middle
Eastern ally
Even the aid given to genuine LDC countries is for political reasons e.g.
$698 million was given to Pakistan (a country known to have nuclear
There is a total lack of overlap between the most indebted nations and
the top 10 receivers of US aid.
Debt Repayments
They channel money from the developing world to the developed world
in the form of high interest loans.
Even debt relief schemes e.g. the HIPC (the heavily indebted poor
countries) have been criticised as it is increasing the dependency of
these countries on the World Bank.
Structural adjustment plans (SAP's) are created which result in the World
Bank controlling the country's currency and setting the interest rates.
This dependency on the World Bank is another way of promoting
underdevelopment in the developing world.
The world trade system is essentially a western `free trade' one ­ the
USA has 16.8% of voting rights for WTO

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Although countries such as China have gained hugely from globalisation
there are still many LDC's that have cut off from trade ensuring that
they stay in a state of `underdevelopment'.…read more

Page 3

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Only `pockets' of Africa will benefit from the investments and the poorest LDCs will
not, creating greater inequality across the continent. Although these new
programmes may look very beneficial for the short term to act as a catalyst for
development, in the long run these countries will struggle to pay off the loans to the
Chinese which would mean that they would never `take off' through Rostow's model.…read more


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