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Chapter 8

TermDefinition
transition zone An area of spatial change where the peripheries of two adjacent realms or regions join; marked by a gradual shift (rather than a sharp break) in the characteristics that distinguish these neighboring geographic entities from one another.
monsoon The air-pressure differential over land and sea is the triggering mechanism, with windflows always moving from areas of relatively higher pressure toward areas of relatively lower pressure.
caste system The strict social stratification and residential segregation of people—specifically in India’s Hindu society—on the basis of ancestry and occupation.
indo-european languages The major world language family that dominates the European geographic realm. This language family is also the most widely dispersed globally, and about half of humankind speaks one of its languages.
dravidian languages The language family, indigenous to the South Asian realm, that dominates southern India today; as opposed to the Indo-European languages, whose tongues dominate northern India.
partition The subdivision of the British Indian Empire into India and Pakistan at the end of colonial rule on August 15, 1947.
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.
neoliberalism A national or regional development strategy based on the privatization of state-run companies, lowering of international trade tariffs, reduction of government subsidies, cutting of corporate taxes, and overall deregulation of business activity.
megacity Informal term referring to the world’s most heavily populated cities; in this book, the term refers to a metropolis containing a population of greater than 10 million.
extreme weather events Unprecedented, record-breaking departures from the longer-term weather patterns of a certain area.
population geography The field of geography that focuses on the spatial aspects of demography and the influences of demographic change on particular countries and regions.
population density The number of people per unit area. Also see arithmetic density and physiologic density measures.
physiologic density The number of people per unit area of arable land.
demographic transition Multi-stage model, based on western Europe’s experience, of changes in population growth exhibited by countries undergoing industrialization.
fertility rate More precisely the Total Fertility Rate, it is the average number of children born to women of childbearing age in a given population.
demographic burden The proportion of a national population that is either too old or too young to be productive and that must be cared for by the productive population.
population pyramid Graphic representation or profile of a national population according to age and gender.
sex ratio A demographic indicator showing the ratio of males to females in a given population.
buffer state A country or set of countries separating ideological or political adversaries. In southern Asia, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bhutan were parts of a buffer zone set up between British and Russian-Chinese imperial spheres.
urban primacy Refers to a country’s largest city—ranking atop its urban hierarchy—most expressive of the national culture and usually (but not in every case) the capital city as well.
taliban The term means “students” or “seekers of religion.” Specifically, refers to the Islamist militia group that emerged from madrassas in Pakistan and ruled neighboring Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001.
al-Qaeda The terrorist organization that evolved into an expanding global network under the directorship of Usama bin Laden between the mid-1990s and his elimination by the U.S. in 2011.
china-pakistan economic corridor A major future trade route that aligns with China’s New Silk Road, its centerpiece is a bundled routeway of ultramodern rail, road, and pipeline connections expected to spawn various development nodes within the corridor, mostly in Pakistan
drone warfare The use of remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as delivery systems to conduct military attacks
communal tension Persistent stress among a country’s sociocultural groups that can often erupt into communal violence, particularly in India
hindutva The cornerstone of a fundamentalist movement that has been gaining strength since the late twentieth century that seeks to remake India as a society dominated by Hindu principles
informal sector Dominated by unlicensed sellers of homemade goods and services, the primitive form of capitalism found in many developing countries that takes place beyond the control of government. The complement to a country’s formal sector
double delta South Asia’s combined delta formed by the Ganges and Brahmaputra rivers. All of Bangladesh lies on this enormous deltaic plain, which also encompasses surrounding parts of eastern India.
non-governmental organization A legitimate organization that operates independently from any form of government and does not function as a for-profit business. Mostly seeks to improve social conditions, but is not affiliated with political organizations.
micro-credit Small loans extended to poverty-stricken borrowers who would not otherwise qualify for them. The aim is to help combat poverty, encourage entrepreneurship, and to empower poor communities—especially their women.
rising sea level One of the expected major impacts of global climate change on the world ocean resulting from the large-scale melting of Arctic and Antarctic ice.
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