Superpowers

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Superpowers role in international decision making
The ‘Global Power Brokers’
Superpowers and emerging powers are frequently key decision makers about the world economy, conflicts or environmental issues. Global economic and political power is in the hands of a small number of players in the form of inter-governmental organizations (IGOs) IGOs

* These organizations have largely been created by the global powers. Many date from the Bretton Woods conference in 1944, when the allies set about creating postwar institutions that would prevent future wars and ensure the world economy ran more effectively than in the pre-war period. * Critics of IGOs argue they are set up by superpowers, for superpowers IMF

* 1944
* Washington DC
* To monitor the economic and financial development of countries and to lend money when countries are facing financial difficulties. * Main role is to stabilize countries faced with debt, but its impacts can be harsh * USA has nearly 17% voting rights

* Has the largest economy
* EU has a combined 25.7% voting rights
* BRICs only have a 9.7% voting rights
* USA, Japan, Germany, France, UK,
World Bank
* 1944
* Washington DC
* To give advice, loans and grants for the reduction of poverty and the promotion of economic development United Nations
* 1945
* New York
* To prevent war and to arbitrate on international disputes. It has since developed a wide range of specialist agencies dealing with matters such as health and refugees * To finance development

* Millennium development goals
* Eliminate poverty and implement sustainable development * USA has 16% voting rights
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
* 1995
* Geneva
* Trade policy, agreements and settling disputes. It promotes global free trade. Formerly known as GATT North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO)
* 1949
* Brussels
* A military alliance between European countries and the USA. Recent new members include Poland Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) * 1961
* Paris
* Analysis of economic development. Forecasting and researching development issues. Most developed world countries are members. The G8
* Less formal and has a very restricted membership. The G8 is a forum of the world’s richest and most powerful nations. Annual summits are held, although these are informal meetings about the global direction the Western democracies should take. * When G8 leaders meet they represent

* 65% of total GNP, but only 14% of the worlds population * Holders of most of the worlds nuclear weapons, combined with a military spending of $850 billion in 2007

Power in IGOs
Significant overlap in membership of IGOs which gives them some powers, especially the EU and the USA, the ability to focus global policy and decision making in their own interests. Most IGOs operate some form of veto policy and powers such as the USA and EU tend to vote with each other. This gives them the opportunity to block policy they do not like, and force through their own policies. International organisation| Canada| Some EU countries| Japan | Russia| UK| USA| China| India| G8 member country| | | | | | | | |

Permanent member of the UN Security council| | | | | | | | | Member of NATO| | | | | | | | |
Member of the OECD| | | | | | | | |
3% or more of votes at the IMF| | 30%| 6%| | 5%| 17%| | |

Few countries are capable of taking large-scale unilateral actions today, the Iraq war saw the USA effectively ‘go it alone’ with some support from the UK and other countries. Most IGOs are used, for instance * The NATO-led peace keeping in former Yugoslavia in 199501996 and from 2001 in Afghanistan * G8-led attempts to focus on the issue of debt and poverty reduction in Africa * EU attempts to force through deep carbon emissions cuts targets at the Bali...
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