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World Power Relationships


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  • 1. Geopolitical Theories &Power Relationships• Geopolitics: branch of political geography that considers the strategic value of land and sea area in the context of national economic and military power and ambitions.
  • 2. Organic Theory – Friedman Ratzel (1844 – 1904)– Focused on the behavioral dynamic of states– State resembles a biological organism whose life cycle extends from birth through maturity and eventually declines to death– To prolong the state’s existence the state needs nourishment, which comes in the form of acquisition of less powerful competitors (territories) and their cultural contents.– If a state is confined to permanent and static boundaries and deprived overseas domains it will atrophy.– Ratzel’s ideas were translated into policies, which led to expansionist Nazi philosophies of the 1930’s.
  • 3. Mackinder’s Heartland Theory (Whoever controls Pivot Area can control the world)The “Great Game” between Britain and Russia, 1800s-1900s
  • 4. Enlargement of BerlinSoviet bloc after Wall, World War II 1961-89
  • 5. NATO and Warsaw Pact, 1945-89
  • 6. Changes in Europe, 1990-93
  • 7. Rimland Theory: Spykman• Critic of Mackinder- argues that geopolitical power stems from control of the coasts• Argued that the Eurasian rim, not the heart held the key to global power• Since the rimland is easily fragmented, it is more difficult for it to fall under the control of one power– leads to balanced power.=>Who controls the rimland controls Eurasia=>Who rules Eurasia controls the world.
  • 8. Domino Theory Destabilization from any cause in one country can result in the collapse of order in a neighboring country, starting a chain of events that can affect a series of adjoining states.Domino Theory in the Balkans Dominoes in the Middle East?– struggle in formerYugoslavia moved fromSlovenia to Croatia to Bosnia– Herzegovina and Serbia –Montenegro and Kosovo,Macedonia, Albania, andmaybe eventually Greece andTurkey.
  • 9. World-Systems Theory: Immanuel WallersteinAn interdependent system of countries linked byeconomic and political competition
  • 10. World-system processes• CORE – Industrialized capitalist countries or regions. (US, W. Europe, Japan)• PERIPHERY – Exploited countries and regions (―poor‖) (African countries, Latin America, Asia)• SEMI-PERIPHERY – Countries or regions with mixed processes. – Both exploited and exploiters. (Brazil, S. Korea) *Can move between Core and Periphery (Spain, Portugal)
  • 11. Hegemony• Domination over a region or the world• Not just political or military control• Most pervasive is economic and cultural control
  • 12. Results of World-System• The growth and strength of the Core is made possible by the exploitation of the rest of the world.• The ―poverty‖ in the Periphery is made possible by the exploitation by the rest of the world.• Recent globalization has widened, not narrowed, the gap between Core and Periphery countries.
  • 13. World-System History• European colonialism/ slave trade, 1500s-1800s• Industrial Revolution/ wage labor, 1800s/ early 1900s• World War II/ Cold War/ decolonization, mid-1900s• Neocolonialism/ multinational corporations, late 1900s
  • 14. World Systems has origins in 15th century Europe whenexploration beyond the continent began to be seen as an importantway of opening up new opposition for trade and economicexpansion. Why Europe? • Early technical innovations – Armor, gunnery from wars among many small states – Shipbuilding and navigation • Evangelical zeal – Crusades in Middle East – Missionaries in Americas • Law of Diminishing Returns – Drive for gold/ money reached limits at home —Land divided by inheritance
  • 15. Elements of a map
  • 16. Leadership cycles (competitive struggles)• Netherlands and Portugal, • United States and Soviet 1400s-1500s Union, 1945-1980s• Spain and Portugal, • United States and ……? 1500s-1600s 1990s-2000s• England and France, • European Union and 1600s-early 1900s East Asian bloc, 2010s ?• Germany and Japan, 1937-45
  • 17. Industrial Revolution • Early-1800s – Britain (Hearth) --from slave cotton – Textiles, steam power, iron, canals • Mid-1800s – Diffusion to Germany, France, Belgium – Steel, railroads, steamships, telegraph • Late-1800s/ early-1900s – Spread to much of Europe, US, Japan – Electricity, oil, engines, roads, radio
  • 18. International Division of Labor• Core (colonial powers) need resources, labor• Periphery (colonies) has labor, resources• Colonies had ―comparative advantages‖ in natural resources• The Core ―underdeveloped‖ the Periphery, which was not ―poor‖ of its own accord
  • 19. Imperialism, 1914 • Britain • France • Spain • Portugal • Netherland s • Germany • Russia • U.S. • Japan
  • 20. Imperialism: Spheres of Influence Core dominated, but did not control, trade and resourcesBritish opiumwar in China
  • 21. World War II:Beginning of contemporary globalization Sudden shifts in economic hegemony, political power Sudden technological innovations Sudden growth of transportation, communications networks
  • 22. Nagasaki Late 1940s: U.S. dominant • Sole possession of atomic bomb to 1949 Frankfurt • War destroyed industries of Europe, Russia and Japan • U.S. finances reconstruction
  • 23. Anti-colonialrevolts• Colonial flags come down – Asia, 1940s-1950s, Africa 1960s-1970s• ―Neocolonialism‖ continues – Ex-colonial powers still dominate economies, resources, cultures
  • 24. Cold War, 1949-1989• US-USSR ―hot wars‖ fought in Periphery• Periphery states competed for aid• Arms race depleted global social resources
  • 25. Today: The Core• Industrialized capitalist countries, led by former colonial powers• Centers of trade, technology, productivity.• Examples: Western Europe, North America, Japan, Australia• Exploit the Periphery and Semi-periphery.
  • 26. The PeripheryPoor, ex-colonial nations.Tend to export resources and labor.Examples: Kenya, Bolivia, Pakistan, etc.Exploited by Core and by Semi-periphery
  • 27. The Semi-periphery (NICs: Newly Industrialized Countries)• Partially industrialized ex-colonial countries.• Both exporters and importers of goods.• Examples: South Africa, Brazil, Mexico, Taiwan, South Korea, etc. (parts of India, China?)• Exploited by Core, but also exploit Periphery.
  • 28. World divisions, late 20th century• First World - Industrialized capitalist countries of Western Europe, North America.• Second World - Centrally-planned ―socialist‖ countries such as former Soviet Union.• Third World - Ex-colonial nations such as India, Malaysia, Iran, Brazil, etc.• Fourth World - Poorest nations (and indigenous communities)
  • 29. ―North/South‖ Divisions• Poor countries tend to be located in Southern Hemisphere.• World Bank estimates more than 1.3 billion people (1/5 world population) live in acute poverty of < $1 (U.S.) per day. Most of them are in the global South. – 70% women and children – Self-Sustaining
  • 30. World Systems in reality– The modern world has not seen a global world empire –no single core area has been able to permanently dominate the world.– Domination has not been possible because of the way that states influence others – through the market, economy, and infrastructures, and the attempt to control territory for resources, which usually results in conflict.
  • 31. Samuel Huntington• Democratization: – Liberal and illiberal democracies (free elections but lack other factors of democracy)• 3 Waves of Democratization – Early development – Post WWII- decolonization – 1970’s- defeat of totalitarian rulers• Why? – Decline of authoritarian regimes ? – Growth of urban middle class in LDCs? – Emphasis on human rights ? – Snowball effect ?
  • 32. ―Clash of Civilizations‖ theorySamuel Huntington theory of Western, Islamic, Slavic, etc. ―blocs‖ in conflict with each other.
  • 33. ―Clash of Civilizations‖ theory Fails to recognize differences within each ―bloc.‖ Most sources of conflict are local (often ethnic), not religious. Often blames the victim for the conflict. The West shares responsibility for conflicts (military aid arms both sides)
  • 34. SupranationalismThree or more states organizing to promote shared objectives (mutual benefits). • Today, there are over 60 major supra organizations • First interstate cooperation seen in Greece as city – states formed leagues to protect and promote mutual benefit • Seen in Europe as cities formed Hansiatic League (trade alliance) • Major tool of these organization are sanctions which are designed to cause states to change their behavior – sanctions isolate countries and can be costly – South Africa - Firms left and foreign investment stopped
  • 35. Supranational Organizations• League of Nations 1919• United Nations 1945 • 1991- created the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO). By 1998, there were almost 50 members • Deals with solving problems for stateless or unrepresented people » Albanians in Greece » Lakota Nation in U.S. » Tibetans under China’s rule » Basques in Spain
  • 36. United Nations member states Switzerland 2002
  • 37. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), 2002 Kosovo military zones
  • 38. European euro Union Began as European Economic Community (EEC), 1957.Stronger in 199410 new members to join, 2004
  • 39. E.U.• Originally strictly an economic union• Now, 3 pillars – Trade and economic matters (single currency) – Justice and home affairs – Common foreign and security policy
  • 40. Other international alliances
  • 41. Multinational corporations • Investments, activities transcend borders • Subsidiaries in many Periphery/S-P countries • Core domination, centralization outsideCartoon on Standard Oil, state structure 1904
  • 42. New International Division of Labor• Industrial growth of Europe and Japan• Internationalization of economic networks• New global consumer markets• New global technologies
  • 43. Industrial growth of Europe, Japan• European economic bloc – Expanding to east, will it include western Russia?• Japan, other East Asian states – Four Tigers (Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong) – China as possible partner in new economic bloc?• Relative decline of U.S. in ―Tripolar Economy‖
  • 44. Internationalization of economics • TRADE – ―Free trade‖ agreements – Standards ―race to bottom‖ • FINANCES – 24/7 stock markets – Mobile investments • PRODUCTION – Overseas ―sweatshops‖ – Core automating, losing industrial jobs
  • 45. New consumer markets • World products – Core luxury goods • Media diffusion – CNN, MTV, Hollywood • Semi-periphery consumers – Four Tigers, Oil states
  • 46. New technological innovations • Microelectronics • Personal computers • Internet • Satellites • Aircraft • Robotics (automation) • Biotechnology • Container ships/rail