Using Named Examples, Assess the Relative Importance of Economic, Military and Cultural Factors in Influencing Superpower Status

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Using named examples, assess the relative importance of economic, military and cultural factors in influencing superpower status (15 marks) Superpowers are countries with disproportionate power and influence. They are usually large countries in terms of population and physical extent. Physical size may provide a natural resource base that the superpower can draw on. True superpowers have global influence. Currently there is only one superpower, the USA. Superpowers have economic, cultural & military power resulting in global political influence. Firstly, the economic factor is very important when trying to have the superpower status. Wealth allows super powers to export their power around the world, buy resources and influence trade. By having an economic influence, the country can also have a large number of companies and economic self-sufficiency. Trade is one of the key ways in which superpowers make money. Most world trade takes places between Europe, North America and Asia. This is trade in goods and services and is high value. It earns money for global TNCs, the majority of which are from the developed world. Out of the 500 largest TNCs in 2010, 140 were from the USA and they had combined revenues of nearly $7 trillion. This huge wealth allows the USA to afford the most technologically advanced, and most global, military in the world. For instance the USA has 11 nuclear-powered aircraft carriers. Secondly, the military factor allows the country to project power over the world and essentially gives the country an access to nuclear arms. This factor helps the country to gain large land, sea and air army which can be easily deployed. Military power also gives the ability for the country to ‘watch’ the world via satellite and spy technology. A country which spends most of its economy on military power and the navy is China. This country currently

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