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Superpower Geographies

The changing world order

1989 Fall of Berlin Wall
1991 Disbanding of communist states of Soviet Union
USSR was the third largest economy
BRIC countries rapid growth
Trade BLOCs such as the EU - $2 trillion GDP with 2.6% growth
USA - $1.6trillion (2.2% growth)
India overtake UK 2022, Japan 2032 and rival USA in 2050


A country with the capacity to project dominating power and influence

in the world by becoming a supreme power over others

British Empire
Soviet Union
USA only superpower


Physical size and geographical position

Population size
Economic power and influence USA 26%, China 6.1%
Military force
Dominant belief systems

British Empire people believed it was good as politically it gave
Britain land, and economically cheaper, and variety of goods
British Navy 100,000
Defence budget was 2.5% of GDPP
Modernism -

Believe human intervention and achievement would improve the

The more advanced nations felt more modern, civilised and


1904 Mackinder believed whoever controlled Europe and Asia

controlled the world
The heartland of Eastern Europe to Russia whoever ruled
controlled Russia, Asia and Europe
Russia was vulnerable to borders, ports, govt
UK became influential due to naval power and economic

Heartland theory -

Evangelical Christianity
And Social Darwinism



Helped produce goods and services to rebuild Europe after WW2

1950 $ was worlds major currency
Produces 25% of global GDP
US military dominates
USSR gave military assistance to several African countries and were
attempting to match USAs nuclear research, had support of China
USA flooded money to SE Asia and India to prevent communism
IMF and world bank set up

IMF formed in 1944 stabilise currencies after Depression and WW2

44 govts joined aim to prevent poverty
Now has 185 members USA has 16.8%vote EU 25% BRICs 9.7%
Received investment from IMF after war to prevent communism
GDP 1979 5.9b, 2007 153b
IMF and WB helped rebuild Japan to prevent Russian invasion
Created a more democratic system
1970s Japan overtook Russian economy

World Bank


Spreading of Christian word encouraged colonialism

Missionaries sent to Africa
1500, less than 5% Christian, now 50%
Encouraged belief of racial inferior
SD natural superiority, basis of might makes right
Theories boosted from adaptation and natural

Formed in 1944 aim to finance development

Focuses on natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies
Financed development of ex-colonies 1950
Aims to achieve Millennium Development goal

2007 GNP $14.9billion, debt was $3.4billion

Inflation 11%
Life expectancy 59.1, Population growth 2%
Commodity traders have huge influence on Ghana
Cocoa price changed 90 times between 1996-2002
Price increased by 112% 1991-93

Dependency Theory
Cause of poverty in developing countries is their reliance on developed
Maintains trade of primary products (does not add value)
Production Primary Goods exported Low value Low profits No
investment in machinery or manufacturing
Overseas tariffs
Countries tend not to have tariff on raw cocoa beans, but tariff
manufactured goods such as chocolate
Ghanaian govt used to subsidise farmers, but WTO did not like this
Now Ghana imports a lot of food
No market for tomatoes as EU tomatoes are much cheaper
A co-operative was formed as Kokoo, where 40,000 members could
have increased bargaining power (produce 1% of crop) helped pay for
drink water and health insurance
Imports 250,000tonnes of iron from Australia per day
Accounted for 90% increase in sea traffic in past century
Makes 33% of world steel 500million tonnes
Used 50% of cement
Chinas Economy
State owned Chinalco (Aluminium) bought Peru Copper
Cnocc. Ltd bought $2.7billion worth of oil fields in Nigeria
Only 2 of the 200 largest firms were in China
$360billion trade surplus
Since 2000 received largest investment 60% increase in world
trade since 2004
Estimated $90 billion spent on military (3 rd largest)

Chinas Pollution
16/20 of the cities are the most polluted
70% of Chinas lakes and rivers are polluted
30% of China suffers from Acid rain
Largest emitter of CO2
Chinas Problems
Rural population yet to experience boom
20% China live on less than a $1 a day
Child labour
Russia and the USSR
Gorbachev allowed economic reforms, private wealth and investment
etc in 1991
Privatisation occurred after state corruption occurred
80% decline in investment in 1990s
50% unemployment factories sold off
Inflation occurred when Govt protection was removed
Emigration of young Russians
Decline in govt revenue
Alcoholism led to decline in male life expectancy
Russias Re-emergence
60% of exports are oil and gas
Devaluation of Russian currency
Loans from IMF
China and Indias rapid energy demand
Europes expanding influence
Eurovision song contest bring people together
31% of global GDP (EU)
Role in NATO and G8
Common laws
European parliament
EU enlargement 51 altogether if all countries were accepted

Russias Influence

Ukraine 2005-08 threatened to cut gas supplies when raised price by

400% due to Ukraine wanting to join NATO and EU
Europes supplies effected if Ukraines gas is cut off
Invaded South Caucasus to take part of Georgia part of Security
Council vetoed any potential threat

Influence of Culture
Firms and brand names
Film industry
Culture and Music
News and Media Internet, publishers, newspaper
Forced spread of culture British empire
Voluntary Americas street culture