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Unit 4

Political Organization

TermDefinition
Annexation To incorporate (territory) into an existing political unit such as a country, state, county, or city. This often occurs when combining two or more specific boundaries to create a larger state. An example is the French annexation of Madagascar as a colony
Antarctica The only large landmass, in the world, that is not part of a sovereign state. It comprises 14 million square kilometer’s. Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom claim portions.
Apartheid Created in 1652 when whites came to South Africa. Separated people according to their race; black, white, Asian or Colored. Race determined land rights, shopping areas, jobs availability and salary, property and legal rights, blacks were restricted.
Balkanization The process by which a state breaks down through conflicts among its ethnicity’s. An example is the former Yugoslavia, which has become 5 independent countries with sovereignty.
Border landscape Two types, exclusionary and inclusionary. Exclusionary is meant to keep people out, such as the boarder between the U.S. and Mexico. Includsionary is meant to facilitate trade and movement, such as the US/Canada boarder.
Boundary, type Mountains, water and deserts serve as boundaries between states. Mountains are effective because they are hard to cross. Deserts are effective because they are hard to cross and sparsely inhabited. Water boundaries are relatively unchanging.
Buffer state a country lying between two rival or potentially hostile greater powers, which by its upright existence is thought to prevent conflict between them
Capital Center of government. It is almost always the city which physically encompasses the offices and meeting places of the seat of government and fixed by law, but there are a number of exceptions.
Centrifugal A rotating reference frame that is used for analysis. A central force that is exerted on all objects, and directed away from the centre of rotation. Ex: McDonalds' expanded centrifugally from one location
Centripetal An attitude that unifies people and enhances support for the state Ex: Communist Russia
City-state a region controlled exclusively by a city, usually having sovereignty. Historically, city-states have often been part of larger cultural areas, as in the city-states of ancient Greece (such as Athens, Sparta and Corinth)
Colonialism the extension of a nation's sovereignty over territory beyond its borders by the establishment of either settler colonies or administrative dependencies in which indigenous populations are directly ruled or displaced
Confederation Association of sovereign states by a treaty or agreement. It deals with issues such as defense, foreign affairs, trade, and a common currency.
Conference of Berlin (1884) Regulated trade and colonization in Africa. It formalized the scramble to gain colonies in Africa and set up boundaries for each country’s colonies
Core/periphery Central countries have high levels of development, a capacity at innovation and a convergence of trade flows. Outer countries usually have less development and are poorer countries.
Decolonization The movement of American/European colonies gaining independence. Some were peaceful struggles while others became violent.
Devolution the both the decentralization of a government from a unitary to a federal system or a fracturing of a government like Balkanization.
Domino Theory Was a foreign policy theory, promoted by the government of the United States, that speculated that if one land in a region came under the influence of Communism, then the surrounding countries would follow in a this fashion.
EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) A zone that extends 200 nautical miles from the coast of the country. It allows that country exclusive rights over exploration and resources in the waters of the zone
Electoral Regions A marked region divided on the basis of population in that area. It has to do with voting.
Enclave/Exclave A portion of a country geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory example:West Berlin.
Ethnic Conflict A conflict or war between different groups due mainly to ethnic nationalism.
European Union Founded 1st November 1993, is a union of fifteen independent states, founded to enhance political, economic and social co-operation.
Federal Form of government in which the member states give up most of their sovereignty to a national government but retain some sovereignty for themselves. Sovereignty is shared.
Frontier An international boundary or the area (often fortified) immediately inside the boundary
Geopolitics The study of the effects of economic geography on the powers of the state.
Gerrymandering the process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the political party in power. The process is usually used to turn “too close to call” states into a party’s favor.
Global commons When no one person or state may own or control and which is central to life. It contains an infinite potential with regard to the understanding and advancement of the biology and society of all life.
Heartland Central region of a country or continent; especially a region that is important to a country or to a culture.
Immigrant states a type of receiving state which is the target of many immigrants. Immigrant states are popular because of their economy, political freedom, and opportunity. One example would be the USA.
International organization An organization that transcends national borders and takes an active roll in the affairs of two or more nations. The United Nations is an example.
Iron Curtain The title given to the dividing line between democratic western Europe and Communist eastern Europe following the second world war. The title was given by Sir Winston Churchill during a lecture series and it had a contemporary in Asia, the Bamboo Curtain.
Irredentism A position that promotes the annexation of territory in pursuit of ethnic homogeneity or on the basis of claims to past ownership. This is a driving force in conflict over Taiwan, the restoration of Israel to Jewish Nationals,and other areas of conflic
Israel/Palestine Names given to the area of the middle east that runs along the Mediterranean down to the Red Sea, including the important religious city of Jerusalem and other sites important in Western Religion. Jewish/Israeli dominance of the region lead to conflict.
Landlocked Name given to a state that has no direct access to the Ocean or other ample body of water. This is a major impediment to international trade and internal development.
Law of the Sea Body of public international law dealing with navigational rights, mineral rights, jurisdiction over coastal waters and international law governing relationship between nations. (see UNCLOS)
Lebanon Mountainous country in Western Asia on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean sea. Syria is o the N and the E, Israel is to the S. It's government is based on a community-based power-sharing mechanism. Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990) Israeli war (2006)
Mackinder, Halford J. English geographer and geopolitician who argued that physical and human geography should be treated as a single discipline. He also claimed that whoever controlled the heartland, controls Eurasia, and hence the entire world.
Manifest destiny the belief that the U.S. would to expand from Atlantic Seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. This has been used to advocate or justify other territorial acquisitions. It is also the belief that it is a mission to defend democracy.
Median-line principle an approach to dividing and creating boundaries at the mid-point between two places. eg. the great lakes between Canada and the U.S.
Microstate a state that encompasses a very small land area
Nation A homogenous group of people with no political boundaries
Nation-state A state whose territory corresponds to that occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been transformed into a nationality.
Nunavut the largest and newest territory of Canada; it was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999.
Raison d’être a phrase borrowed from French where it means simply "reason for being"; in English use it also comes to suggest a degree of rationalization, as "The claimed reason for the existence of something or someone".
Reapportionment process of allocating political power among a set of principles (or defined constituencies).
Regionalism a political ideology that focuses on the interests of a particular region or group of regions, whether traditional or formal (administrative divisions, country subdivisions, political divisions, subnational units).
Religious conflict either intolerance motivated by one's own religious beliefs or intolerance against another's religious beliefs or practices. It manifests both at a cultural level, but may also be a formal part of the dogma of particular religious groups.
Reunification the political unification of seperate political entities which had been previously united
Satellite state a country which is formally independant but under heavy influence or control by another country.
Self-determination concept that ethnicities have the right to govern themselves.
Shatterbelt a large, strategically located region that is occupied by a number of conflicting states and is caught between the conflicting interests
Sovereignty Ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states; self-governing
State a politically organized body of people under a single government
Stateless ethnic groups ethnic groups that does not have a political boundaries to be identified as a nation. ex) Kurds, Berbers, Palestinians, Kashmir's, Sikhs, Tibetans, Saharawis, Basques
Stateless nation term used to a nation, minority ethnic group without a country. Because there are no objective criteria for classifying nation, usuage of the term is political and controverisal.
Suffrage civil right to vote and exercise of that right
Supranationalism a method of decision-making in political community, where power is heldby appointed officials or representatives elected by the legislature of people of the member states.
Territorial disputes A disagreement over the possession or control of land between two or more states or over the possession for reasons such as natural resources
Territorial morphology It can be seperated into five categories- compact, fragmented, elongated, prorupt, perforated (detail found in key issue #2)
Territoriality Attachment to or protection of a territory or domain
Theocracy A form of government in which a God or deity is recognized as the supreme civil ruler. For believers, it is a form of government in which divine power governs an earthly human state.
Treaty ports Located in China, Japan and Korea opened to foreign trade by the Unequal Treaties.i.e., imposed by Western naval powers and Japan on militarily helpless Asian states.
UNCLOS an international agreement, which defines the rights and responsibilities in their use of the world's oceans.
Unitary characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is held by one central authority;
Rimland The maritime fringe of a country or continent.
Created by: APHGSLS on 2008-03-31



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