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Chapter 5


Monocentric geographic realm A world geographic realm dominated— territorially and/or demographically—by a single country. Russia in Russia/Central Asia is a prime example; others are the United States (North America), India (South Asia), and China (East Asia).
Exclave A bounded (non-island) piece of territory that is part of a particular state but lies separated from it by the territory of another state.
Irredentism A policy of cultural extension and potential political expansion by a state aimed at a community of its nationals living in a neighboring state. Islamic
Geopolitics Political relations among states or regions that are strongly influenced by their geographical setting, including proximity, accessibility, sovereign boundaries, natural resources, population distribution, and the like
Permafrost Permanently frozen water in the near-surface soil and bedrock of cold environments, producing the effect of completely frozen ground. Surface can thaw during brief warm season
Tundra The treeless plain that lies along the Arctic shore in northernmost Russia and Canada, whose vegetation consists of mosses, lichens, and certain hardy grasses
Taiga The subarctic, mostly coniferous snowforest that blankets northern Russia and Canada south of the tundra that lines the Arctic shore. Known as the boreal forest in North America
Northeast Passage organization that operates independently from any form of government and does not function as a for-profit business. Mostly seeks to improve social conditions
Forward capital Capital city positioned in actually or potentially contested territory, usually near an international border; it confirms the state’s determination to maintain its presence in the area of contention
Federation Capital city positioned in actually or potentially contested territory, usually near an international border; it confirms the state’s determination to maintain its presence in the area of contention
Russification Demographic resettlement policies pursued by the central planners of the Soviet Empire (1922–1991), whereby ethnic Russians were encouraged to emigrate from the Russian Republic to the 14 non-Russian republics of the USSR
Command economy The tightly controlled economic system of the former Soviet Union, whereby central planners in Moscow assigned the production of particular goods to particular places, often guided more by socialist ideology than the principles of economic geography
Satellite state The countries of eastern Europe under Soviet hegemony between 1945 and 1989. This tier of countries—the “satellites” captured in Moscow’s “orbit” following World War II—was bordered on the west by the Iron Curtain and on the east by the USSR
Near Abroad The 14 former Soviet republics that, in combination with the dominant Russian Republic, constituted the USSR. Since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia has asserted a sphere of influence in these now-independent countries
NATO in 1950 at the height of the Cold War as a U.S.-led supranational defense pact to shield postwar Europe against the Soviet military threat. NATO is now in transition, expanding its membership while modifying its objectives in the post-Soviet era
Distance decay The various degenerative effects of distance on human spatial structures and interactions
Unitary state system A nation-state that has a centralized government and administration that exercises power equally over all parts of the state.
Population implosion The opposite of population explosion; refers to the declining populations of many European countries and Russia in which the death rate exceeds the birth rate and immigration rate
BRICs Acronym for the four biggest emerging national markets in the world today—Brazil, Russia, India, and China.
Centrality The strength of an urban center in its capacity to attract producers and consumers to its facilities; a city’s “reach” into the surrounding region
Shi’ite Islam smaller of the two main Islamic sects, comprising about 10 percent of Muslims overall, but in the majority in both Iran and Iraq. The origin of Shi’ism dates back to the death of the Prophet Muhammad
Sunni Islam The larger of Islam’s two main sects (encompassing) roughly 90 percent of all Muslims) who adhere to the conviction that any devout follower of the Prophet Muhammad is eligible to be his legitimate successor
New Silk Road China’s ongoing ambitious project to forge an overland routeway of high-speed railroads to link East Asia to Europe via Central Asia. This new “Eurasian land bridge” follows the general alignment of the fabled ancient Silk Road traversed by Marco Polo
Eurasian Customs Union A supranational organization created by Russia in 2010 to maintain economic ties with the friendliest countries in the Near Abroad. The three charter members (Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan) were joined in 2015 by the two smaller countries
Geopolitical revanchism Retaliatory policies pursued by a state aimed at recovering lost territory. Russia’s forcible annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in 2014 is a good example
Created by: pl249582
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