Location and size
The location and size of a country determines its influence over others. Larger countries tend to have more natural resources.
Influence can be...
- Physical e.g. the presence of the army in another country
- Cultural e.g. language, media
Russia - shares 14 borders e.g. Poland, China, Finland, Georgia
- largest country in world = 17 million km2
- used political and physical influence over satellite states during Cold War to spread Communism and the Red Army enforced Soviet regimes
America - cultural power e.g. Mcdonaldisation
- only shares 2 borders
A country's resources can influence economic development
China - coal reserves = 114 million tones (Mt), oil reserves = 24.4 billion barrels
Energy resources used as a means of influence by stopping production and controlling distribution...
- Russia cut off Ukraine's gas supplies in 2014 during the ongoing Ukraine crisis due to an Naftogaz's (Ukraine state gas firm) unpaid debt payment of $1.95 billion to Gazprom (Russian state gas firm)
- OPEC Crisis of 1973 - OPEC increased oil prices by 70% and started an oil embargo for supporters of Israel during the Yom Kippur War e.g. Britain and America
But...some countries do not benefit from their reserves:
- TNCs control reserves - Shell and BP and Nigeria's oil industry
- Exporting most reserves e.g Australia iron reserves (28 billion tonnes) mostly exported
A country's population can determine its economic success.
A sufficient labour force maintains economic growth
- UK immigration from A8 countries supplements labour force e.g. Migration Observatory (Oxford University) - "foreign-born persons in total employment increased from 7.2% in 1993 to 15.2% in 2013", in sectors of employment such as healthcare (shortages)
China + India cheap labour
Population does not always determine economic growth...
Singapore - 1/2 London's population
- controls most South-East Asia's economy
- low tax
- Export Processing Zone = no duties or tariffs (attracts businesses)
The strength of a country's economy determines the influence it has.
World Bank - 12 largest economies in world account for 2/3 global economy
Top ten largest economies in 2014 examples (measured in GDP,US$):
1st = USA - $17 trillion
2nd = China - $10 trillion
7th = UK - $2.5 trillion
8th = Russia - $2.4 trillion
- Most powerful currencies - the US dollar and the Euro
- Determine global economic policies, interest rates - G8 e.g. Japan, UK, USA
- Control global trade - trade blocs e.g. the EU - trade tariffs
- Largest economies influence aid donations e.g. may have 'strings attached' e.g. privatisation
The size of a country's military force can greatly influence political power.
A country's defence budget determines the strength of its military
USA - 1.4m active personnel, defence budget = $689 billion
- involved in many wars e.g. Korean War, Vietnam and Global War on Terrorism
- world's largest nuclear arsenal
China - 2.3m active personnel in PLA, defence budget = $129 billion (increasing 12-15% per year)
- concerns that China will use its power to settle the ownership dispute of islands in the East China Sea - may have oil + gas reserves. 415 potential clashes between Japanese and Chinese aircraft over these islands in 2013.
Balancing military power - UN Security Council determines whether military internvention is justified or not
Culture - religions and beliefs
In the past, country's have used religious belief to extend their influence.
In the past, 1783-1947:
British Empire - spread Christianity through its colonies e.g. through large parts of Africa - Christian population in Kenya = 82.5%
Religion can influence the politics of a country...
- Catholicism forbids abortion and discourages the use of contraceptives
The spread of ideologies can be used as a political tool to extend a country's influence...
- Capitalism - through US global news channels e.g. Fox - supported US "war on terror". Maintains US global political influence -
- Communism - used by the Soviet Union during the Cold War
Hard and soft power
The influence of a superpower can be measured in soft and hard power. Hard power is generally more influential than soft power.
- Military - nuclear weapons, military bases, military force and intervention
In the middle:
- Trade and commerce
Soft power (cultural):
- Higher education - quality of universities
- Sports - London 2012 Olympic Games
- Media - Bollywood, the news, television and film (e.g. Disney as a global brand)
- Pop culture - J-pop