Theories Essay

1546 Words Dec 14th, 2014 7 Pages
Superpowers geography

How is power exercised and maintained?

Direct power in the most obvious way of exercising and maintaining power.

Exercise of direct power

• British imperialism – wholesale conquest of countries. Insurgency put down by force. • Military power – US navy has 12 aircraft carriers and 70 submarines. It is the most powerful military machine on Earth. It established a ring of bases to surround the USSR in the Cold War era, as part of its policy of containment. The Iraq war saw the USA effectively “go it alone.” • Some economic power is direct. The USA plays a major role in world trade, much of which is conducted in $. The US $ is the world’s reserve currency.

• A key area of US
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• China’s interest in Africa dates from the mid 1990s. Its search for oil and mineral resources has focused on that continent. It has invested US$ 8 billion, building oil pipelines in Sudan. Critics say all China wants from Africa is its resources and that it has no interest in African development. • The most influential players in promoting economic development are the TNCs. The largest of these match some countries in terms of their wealth, power and trading. In 2006 776 of the largest TNCs in the world were American. Because of their size and wealth some TNCs can dominate the worldwide market price for primary commodities. • Cultural hegemony is a term coined by the Italian Marxist phisosopher Antonio Gramsci. It means that education, religion and the media reinforce the values of the powerful. US cultural hegemony is largely unchallenged. In 2008 53 of the top 100 brands were from the USA. Much of the world has been Americanised in terms of cultural values.

Evaluating the theories which explain the growth of superpowers

• In the 1960s WW Rostow’s modernisation theory was used to explain the dominance of the British Empire and the USA. Rostow said the economies of developed countries moved through 5 stages of economic development. The Asian Tiger countries, which followed Rostow’s model and created the pre-conditions for ”take off” did well, but others failed and became burdened by

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