SUPERPOWERS: Patents & IGOs

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  • Created on: 19-03-13 21:46
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Mechanisms of Hegemonic control include hard and soft powers ­
helping to maintain a superpower status.
Military strength (HARD)
Aid & Trade ­ dependency theory(MEDIUM)
Cultural globalisation (SOFT)
Patents
The number of patents and technological innovations in a country can help
maintain power as money will always flow back to the source country where
ever the product is used. For example, GlaxoSmithKline (a British company) has
the patent for the antiretroviral drugs which help to treat HIV therefore they
receive money every time the drug is used.
Intergovernmental organisations (IGO's)
These are key economic and political decisionmaking bodies, many of which
were set up as part of the allied postwar consensus. Access to these
organisations increases a countries global power and influence and therefore
helps them to maintain power.
They are usually biased for westerners and against the BRICs e.g. the G8 is not
a true reflection of where the power is today as it doesn't include China and
India, even though by 2050 these will be the two largest economies in the
world. The G20 which includes all the BRICs is considered as more important.
The over representation of North American and EU countries in IGO's give them
hegemony of global capitalism and free markets to the expense of weaker
countries and makes the neoliberal model the new orthodoxy! Therefore
weaker countries and smaller regional blocs have a hard time `getting their
way'.
Voting rights may give key players disproportionate power e.g. the US have
16.8% voting rights in WTO. The UN is an organisation of independent states
formed in 1945 to promote international peace and security and even though
there are 192 members there is still disproportionate power as the 5
permanent members of the Security Council (USA, UK, Russia, China and
France) have greater voting rights.
A trade bloc that has increased in power and considered more powerful than
the EU and NAFTA is ASEAN (association of South East Asian Nations) which
has aims to accelerate economic growth in Asia, promote cultural development
and create social progress. This may help to tackle the problem of an over
representation of western countries in IGO's.

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The opposing view is that these organisations serve to keep powerful nations
talking and negotiating rather than fighting.…read more

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