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6GEO3 Unit 3 Contested Planet Topic 4: Superpower Geographies

What is this topic about? The superpowers, and emerging powers, are the most powerful and wealthy nations They have both economic and political power, often globally Power and wealth shift over time and this topic explores these changes Changing patterns of power have global implications, which need to be explored and understood.

The New York Stock Exchange, a global power centre

CONTENTS 1. Who are the superpowers? 2. The role of Superpowers 3. Superpower futures

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1. Who are the superpowers? Superpowers are countries, or grouping of countries, with global influence and power They have economic, cultural, military and geo-political influence Economic wealth (see graph) is only one aspect of superpower status One way to group the world's most powerful is:

The geography of power

In terms of superpower status, size 2008 / 09 data Total Total is not everything Population military China 1 , 334 84 ( millions ) spending Some demographic superpowers India 1 , 174 30 ($ EU 500 280 billions ) have relatively little economic USA 308 607 power Indonesia 231 4 Brazil 192 15 Military spending (see table) is one Pakistan 168 4 form of power, as it allows Bangladesh 162 1 Nigeria 154 1 superpowers such as the USA to Russia 141 59 have global military reach Japan 127 46 Mexico 107 4 The USA is a highly influential Gulf States 40 40 power in economic, military, geopolitical and cultural terms Only the EU comes close to the influence of the USA, but the EU is a federation of 27 nation Use a data website such as www.wri.org to experiment with ranking power and sta states who do not always agree

Changing patterns of power Superpowers shift over time; the Uni-polar world of the British Empire gave way to the Bi-polar cold war world In 1990, as the USSR collapsed, a new USA dominated Uni-polar world was ushered in; the EU has grown to be increasingly powerful also Many people think the future will be a more complex, fragmented and regional multi-polar world It is important to recognise that power can decline as well as grow

The BRICs and emerging powers The BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are the emerging super powers Mexico and the Gulf States could lay claim to be in this group also This group of countries is very different, with perhaps only China capable of challenging the USA in the near future.

China Russia India Brazil

Communist one-party state which has become the workshop of the world; rapid economic growth based on manufacturing and trade; significant military and demographic power Russia is what is left of the USSR; it has a huge nuclear weapons arsenal, and vast oil and gas reserves making it globally important. It has an ageing, unhealthy population and weak economy. A huge, and very youthful, population give India enormous potential for growth. It has some world class industry such as IT, but very poor infrastructure and 100s millions of very poor people Increasingly influential in Latin America, with a strong, diversified economy and growing middle class. It tends to punch below its weight internationally. It is sometimes referred to as an agricultural superpower.

influential country with strong ties Mexicos Mexico Anoften shaky and it has problems withto the USA;corruption. economy is crime and

Gulf States

Increasingly important in terms of remaining global oil and gas reserves; has attempted to diversify and become a hub between Europe and Asia, with some success.

Superpower theory There are several theories which help explain the rise and pattern of superpowers WW Rostows Take Off model (modernisation theory) is often used to illustrate how countries move from relative underdevelopment, to a state of high mass consumption Not all countries have managed to industrialise and develop AG Franks Dependency Theory argues that this is because the developed countries (superpowers and emerging powers) maintain the developing world in a state of underdevelopment, draining it of: Human capital (brain drain) Resources (minerals, ores, food) This helps maintain the developed worlds lifestyle, cheaply

The BRICs, and NICs, have developed in recent decades This suggests some countries have broken free from dependency and developed in the way Rostows model suggests Immanuel Wallersteins World Systems Theory seeks to model this three sided world: Wallersteins ideas are partly related to the economic theory of Supercycles (Kondratiev waves see table) These suggest economic growth passes through phases based on key new technologies These new technologies bring growth to particular geographical regions

Date and Cycle 1770-1850 Industrial RevolutionIndustrialization 1850-1920 1920-1945 Motorization 1945 1990 Cold war era 1990 onwards 2020 onwards?

Technology Cotton, steam engines

Location UK

Rail, steam ships, iron and Increased involvement steel, of Europe and USA Petrochemicals, cars, Increasing dominance electricity White goods, consumer of the USA and Rise of Japan goods Asian Tigers Internet, wireless, Shifts in production biotechnology toward India and China ???? Asia?

2. The role of SuperpowersIn the past, superpowers such as the British Empire and other Imperial powers maintained direct control over territories This era of colonialism ended in the period 1945-1980 when colonies gained independence A characteristic of a superpower is the ability to take control, through war, of troublesome regions believed to threaten superpower security Whilst rare, superpowers still take direct military control over Invasion of Afghanistan 1980, USSR territory: Invasion of Panama First Gulf War (Kuwait, Iraq) Bombing of Bosnia War in Afghanistan 1989, USA 1990, USA, UK, Egypt , Saudi Arabia and others 1995, NATO 2001, NATO led coalition

Neo-colonialism? Left-wing geographers argue that superpowers use subtle, indirect ways to maintain power today These ways are often termed neocolonialism Aid is often given to allies and friends rather than the most needy countries (see table), and much aid is tied in various ways. Debtrepayments channel money from the developing to the developed world Even debt relief schemes, such as the HIPC scheme (see map) have been criticised For HIPC countries to qualify for debt relief, they must follow the economic policies of bankers in the developed world

Top 10 2006 ( $ Recipients of millions ) Israel 2,520 USA foreign Egypt 1,795 aid Columbia 558 Note the total lack of overlap between the most indebted nations and the Jordan 461 Pakistan 698 Peru 133 Indonesia 158 Kenya 213 Bolivia 122 Ukraine 115

International Trade The world trade system is essential a western free trade one The USA and EU have been very influential at the World Trade Organisation in the past The Worlds three major stock markets (London, New York and Tokyo) are all in the west In a globalised world, TNCs play a crucial role in world trade, and most TNCs originate in the EU and USA Emerging superpowers, especially China, have taken advantage of global trade to develop and grow

International decision making Global decision making revolves around inter-governmental organisation (IGOs) Some IGOs involve all nations, such as the U.N. others are more exclusive such as the G8, or regional such as NATO. Membership and voting rights may give key players disproportionate power. Some influential organisations such as the World Economic Forum (Davos Group) are notfor-profit organisations outside government control. IGOs do change over time; the G20 has become more influential in recent years, reflecting the increasing power of the BRICs Membership of Intergovernmental organisations UN NAT G8 Secur O ity Coun cil G20 IMF WTO (over memb 5% er of votes )

USA EU China Russia India Brazil Japan

Cultural influence

Superpowers exert a cultural influence the widespread use of Fast food, CocaEnglish, tea drinking and cola, rock music on the juke box in cricket are a cultural this American legacy of the British dream diner Empire Today, the most influential culture is that of the USA Americanisation suggests that this culture is spreading. This spread is made easier by: Is Mcdonaldisation or Cocacolonisation a positive or negative developme 1. the USA of brands imperialism, and blame US consumer culture for the erosion of local cultural tradition Global cultural and logos rs accuse 2. The Global media e.g. Disney and CNN 3. Globalised transport and communications connections 4. American based TNCs 5. Widespread use of English

3. Superpower futures As the primary emerging superpower, China has much to gain from its growing global status Poverty reduction in China (see graph) has been staggering China has become motorised, with over 170 million vehicles at the end of 2008; some estimates suggest there were only 3000 cars in Beijing in 1978 Inequality in China is a growing issue, although in general the population is much better off In Brazil and India there is a growing middle class of consumers In India by 2009 there were 500 million mobile phones in use and over 700 million in China

Superpower resources Growth, wealth and the status that accompanies it brings new problems to the emerging powers. Chief among these is pollution; as resources consumption and eco-footprints grow, so does pollution .

Almost 70% of Chinas energy comes from coal What if eco-footprints in the ution and urban air pollution; in 2004 25,000km of Chinese(see graph) begin quality stan BRICs rivers failed water to

approach those of the developed world?

Declining superpowers? The emergence