Theories explaining the growth of superpowers

Jodie Goodacre
Mind Map by Jodie Goodacre, updated more than 1 year ago
Jodie Goodacre
Created by Jodie Goodacre over 6 years ago


A-Levels Geography (Superpower Geographies) Mind Map on Theories explaining the growth of superpowers, created by Jodie Goodacre on 12/28/2013.

Resource summary

Theories explaining the growth of superpowers
1 Modernisation Theory
1.1 In the 1960s W. W. Rostow's modernisation theory was used to explain the dominance of the British Empire and the USA
1.2 These were the first nations to experience the Industrial Revolution and this gave them an initial advantage over as yet unindustrialised countries and regions
1.3 Rostow believed the economies of developed countries moved through five stages of economic development and that all countries would follow the same development pathway
1.4 Rostow was a strong believer in free trade and in a Western model of democracy and capitalism
1.5 Socialist and communist countries, such as the USSR, Cuba and at that time China, could not expect to develop unless they adopted this model
1.6 Rostow's model was influential and led to many developing countries attempting to create the preconditions for take-off by investing in key infrastructure and industries
1.7 Some of these countries, such as the Asian Tigers, succeeded, while others failed and found themselves burdened by debt
2 Dependency Theory
2.1 Dependency theory, based on the work of A.G. Frank, views the world as having an economically developed core and an underdeveloped periphery
2.2 According to the theory, the capitalist core deliberately keeps the periphery in a state of underdevelopment by exploiting its cheap resources, taking its most skilled workers and selling it manufactured goods
2.3 The developing world actually helps the developed world to become wealthier
2.4 Frank called this the development of the underdevelopment
2.5 Dependency theory argues that the developing world is placed in a position of selling its resources to the developed world for very little, while buying from it costly manufactured goods, technology and credit
2.6 As the periphery remains underdeveloped, its most skilled people move to the developed world, further draining it of any chance to develop
2.7 Using this model, aid to the developing world could be seen as a way of preventing the periphery becoming too restless
2.8 The rise of the NICS, such as the Asian Tigers, seems to argue against dependency theory, as they are examples of countries that have developed
2.9 However, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore and Japan all received huge economic support and aid from the USA, as it was felt that strong capitalist economies in Asia were a way of containing Communist China
3 World Systems Theory
3.1 Wallerstein's world systems theory attempts to overcome the problem of a two-tier core and periphery world
3.2 More of an analysis of geographical patterns than a theory, Wallerstein's view is of a three-tier world
3.3 This is a more dynamic model, as it allows for change to take place, with some countries entering the semi-periohery and even emerging to be part of the core
3.4 Frank's dependency theory, based on Marxist ideas of 'the rich versus the poor', is much more static
3.5 There are two conflicting explanations of the recent rise of China and India
3.6 Wallerstein takes the view that industrial capitalism was born in Europe and that the rise of China and India simply represents another stage in the growth and spread of the global economy
3.7 In contrast, the US economist Frank sees the current situation as simply a shift back to a much older world order, when India and China were powerful economic forces
3.8 This global system was replaced for some 500 years by European hegemony
3.9 Frank views Britain and other European powers as the first NICs
4 China and India compared
4.1 China
4.1.1 1.3 billion population
4.1.2 Early centre of civilisation
4.1.3 Dominant global power for 2,000 years
4.1.4 Decline in the nineteenth century, hastened by Japanese invasion and European interference
4.1.5 Manufacturing impressed European visitors with its complexity and sophistication
4.1.6 In 1985, 33% of global manufacturing production was Chinese
4.1.7 Communist revolution, 1949
4.1.8 State-led industrialisation and intensification of agriculture
4.1.9 Largely cut off from rest of world, 1949-80
4.1.10 Increasing economic reform and liberalisation since 1980, leading to an explosion of foreign investment, manufacturing and trade
4.1.11 Uneasy, sometimes hostile relationships with the former USSR, Russia and the USA
4.1.12 Relations with the USA thawed in the early 1970s as the USA sought to prevent a communist alliance between China and the USSR
4.1.13 In recent years, China has sought economic and political stability in Asia
4.2 India
4.2.1 1.2 billion population
4.2.2 Early centre of civilisation
4.2.3 Fell under the influence of European colonial powers in the eighteenth century
4.2.4 Direct colonial rule by Britain in the nineteenth century
4.2.5 During the nineteenth century, India was responsible for 15% of global manufacturing
4.2.6 Active struggle for independence begins in the early twentieth century
4.2.7 Independence from Britain, 1947
4.2.8 Policy of economic and political independence and home-grown technology
4.2.9 High import tariffs, gradually lowered after 1990
4.2.10 Still a predominantly rural society, it has built a very powerful and increasingly global economy
4.2.11 Following independence India was 'neutral' steering a pathway between the USA and USSR
4.2.12 Neither of the superpowers was happy with this policy
4.2.13 India has worked hard to establish good relationships with other 'neutral' countries to enhance its role internationally
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