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the formal act of acquiring something (especially territory) by conquest or occupation

Buffer State

a small country between two larger, more powerful countries


a city and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit


Attempt by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economic, and cultural principles in another territory.


a political system in which a weak central government has limited authority, and the states have ultimate power.

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


the action of changing from colonial to independent status


the delegation of authority (especially from a central to a regional government)

Domino Theory

the political theory that if one nation comes under Communist control then neighboring nations will also come under Communist control

EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone)

As established in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, a zone of exploitation extending 200 nautical miles (370km) seaward from a coastal state that has exclusive mineral and fishing rights over it.


an enclosed territory that is culturally distinct from the foreign territory that surrounds it


a part of a country that is seperated from the rest of the country and surrounded by foreign territory.

European Union

an organization whose goal is to unite Europe so that goods, services, and workers can move freely among member countries


An internal organization of a state that allocates most powers to units of local government

Forward Capital

capital city positioned in actually or potentially contested territory usually near an international border, it confirms the states determination to maintain its presence in the region in contention.


the drawing of legislative district boundaries to benefit a party, group, or incumbent


the central region of a country or continent


The land, often islands and coastal plains, around the edge of an area

Iron Curtain

a political barrier that isolated the peoples of Eatern Europe after WWII, restricting their ability to travel outside the region


the doctrine that irredenta should be controlled by the country to which they are ethnically or historically related

Mackinder, Halford J.

Developed Heartland Theory

Heartland Theory

Hypothesis proposed by Halford MacKinder that held that any political power based in the heart of Eurasia could gain enough strength to eventually dominate the world.

Manifest Destiny

the belief that the United States was destined to stretch across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean

Median-line Principle

The system of drawing a political boundary midway between two states' coastlines when the territorial seas or EEZ are narrower than twice the standard or adopted limit.


a group of people with a common culture living in a territory and having a strong sense of unity


A state whose territory corresponds to that occupied by a particular ethnicity that has been transformed into a nationality


the process of reassigning representation based on population, after every census


bring together to parts of a country under one government (ex: Germany)

Satellite State

A political term that refers to a country which is formally independent, but under heavy influence or control by another country.


Concept that ethnicities have the right to govern themselves


a region caught between stronger colliding external cultural-political forces, under persistent stress, and often fragmented by aggressive rivals (e.g., Israel or Kashmir today; Eastern Europe during the Cold War,...).


ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states


the right to vote


Term applied to associations created by three or more states for their mutual benefit and achievement of shared objectives


government run by religious leaders

Treaty Ports

colonial port cities that form an extension of the ruling colonial power


Centralized government system, generally has a central capital as the focus of power.

Women's Enfranchisement

the right of voting when given to women

Compact State

A state in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly

Fragmented State

A state that includes several discontinuous pieces of territory

Elongated State

A state with a long, narrow shape

Prorupt State

An otherwise compact state with a large projecting extension

Perforated State

A state that completely surrounds another one

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