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


Southernmost continent in the world. It has no permanent residents and doesn't belong to any country.


a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against non-whites


Process by which a state breaks down through conflicts among its ethnicities

Border landscape

There are two types, exclusionary and inclusionary. Exclusionary is meant to keep people out, such as the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Inclusionary is meant to facilitate trade and movement, such as the U.S.-Canada border

Definitional boundary disputes

The legal agreement over the border is disputed.

Locational boundary disputes

Disputes that arise when the definition of the border is not questioned but the intention of the border is, as when the border has shifted (e.g., a river shifts its course, changing the landscape).

Operational boundary disputes

Involve neighbors who differ over the way their boundary should function

Allocational boundary disputes

Conflict over resources that may not be divided by the border, such as natural gas reserves beneath the soil.

Antecedent boundary origin

Certain boundaries were delimited before the present-day human landscape was developed. Eg: Border between Malaysia and Indonesia on the island of Borneo.

Subsequent boundary origin

Boundary evolved as the cultural landscape of an area took shape. Eg: The border between China and Vietnam was the result of a long term process of adjustment and modification.

Superimposed boundary origin

Boundary that is forcibly drawn across a unified cultural landscape. Eg: Island of New Guinea that separates Indonesia's West Papua from the country of Papua New Guinea.

Relic boundary origin

A border that has ceased to function but whose imprints are still evident on the cultural landscape. Eg: The border between former North and South Vietnam.

Definition boundary process

Phase in which the exact location of a boundary is legally described and negotiated.

Delimitation boundary process

The translation of the written terms of a boundary treaty into an official cartographic representation.

Demarcation boundary process

Phase in which the boundary is visibly marked on the landscape by a fence, line, sign, wall or other means.

Great Wall of China

Natural boundary

Political boundaries that coincide with prominent physical features in the natural landscape - such as rivers or the crest ridges of mountain ranges.

Physical boundary

Political boundary defined and delimited (and occasionally demarcated) by a prominent physical feature in the natural landscape such as a river or the crest ridges of a mountain range.

Ethnographic boundary

state and national boundaries that are drawn to follow distinct differences in cultural traits such as religion, language, or ethnic identity

Cultural boundary

boundaries that mark breaks in the human landscape based on differences in ethnicity

Geometric boundary

Political boundaries that are defined and delimited by straight lines.

Buffer state

zone of separation, a territorial "cushion" that keeps rivals apart (e.g., Mongolia b/w China and Russia; Rhineland prior to WWI; DMZ b/w North and South Korea)


any human-made resource that is used to create other goods and services

Centrifugal force

Those cultural and political forces, such as linguistic minorities, seperatists, and fringe groups, that pull away from and weaken an existing nation. (push factor/dividing force)

Centripetal force

pull factor/ unifying force


A small independent state consisting of an urban center and the surrounding agricultural territory. A characteristic political form in early Mesopotamia, Archaic and Classical Greece, Phoenicia, and early Italy. clipper ship,Large, fast, streamlined sailing vessel, often American built, of the mid-to-late nineteenth century rigged with vast canvas sails hung from tall masts.


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


Constitutional arrangement in which sovereign nations or states, by compact, create a central government but carefully limit its power and do not give it direct authority over individuals.

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 countries have high levels of development, a capacity at innovation and a convergence of trade flows. Periphery countries usually have less development and are poorer countries.


the achievement of independence by countries that were once colonies of other states


the transfer of powers and responsibilities from the federal government to the states

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)

a sea zone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources stretching 200 nautical miles from the coast. The country that controls the EEZ has rights to the fishing, whaling, etc., as well as the raw material resources.

Electoral regions

Electoral regions are the different voting districts that make up local, state, and national regions.


An enclave is a country or part of a country mostly surrounded by the territory of another country or wholly lying within the boundaries of another country (Lesotho). An exclave is a country which is geographically separated from the main part by surrounding alien territory (Azerbaijan).

Ethnic conflict

An ethnic conflict is a war between ethnic groups often as a result of ethnic nationalism or fight over natural resources. Ethnic conflict often includes genocide. It can also be caused by boundary disputes

European Union

an international organization of European countries formed after World War II to reduce trade barriers and increase cooperation among its members


characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is divided between one central and several regional authorities

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.


a zone separating two states in which neither state exercises political control


a foreign policy based on a consideration of the strategic locations or products of other lands


an act of gerrymandering (dividing a voting area so as to give your own party an unfair advantage)

Global commons

Is that which no one person or state may own or control and which is central to life. A global common contains an infinite potential with regard to the understanding and advancement of the biology and society of all life. (Forests, oceans, land mass and cultural identity)


central part of country that has special economic, political, military or sentimental significance


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

Immigrant States

a type of receiving state which is the target of many immigrants. Popular because of their economy, political freedom, and opportunity. One example would be the USA.

International Organization

Organizations in which governments of different nations cooperate. For example, the UN, NATO, EU, and the League of Nations

Iron Curtain

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


The policy of a state wishing to incorporate within itself territory inhabited by people who have ethnic or linguistic links with the country but that lies within a neighboring state.


In antiquity, the land between the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, occupied by the Israelites from the early second millennium B.C.E. The modern state of Israel was founded in 1948. (p. 98)


Region in southwestern Asia that became the ancient home of the jews; the ancient Roman name for Judea;


completely surrounded by land with no direct access to the ocean

Law of the Sea

Law establishing states rights and responsibilities concerning the ownership and use of the earth's seas and oceans and their resources.


an Asian republic at east end of Mediterranean

Halford J. Mackinder

British political geographer noted for his work as an educator and for his geopolitical conception of the globe as divided into two camps, the ascendant Eurasian "heartland" and the subordinate "maritime lands," including the other continents.

Manifest destiny

This expression was popular in the 1840s. Many people believed that the U.S. was destined to secure territory from "sea to sea," from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This rationale drove the acquisition of territory.

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 state or territory that is small in both population and area


An imprecise term for a state or territory small in both population and area. An informal definition accepted by the United Nations suggests a maximum of 1 million population combined with a territory of less than 700km2 (270sq mi).


a politically organized body of people under a single government

National iconography

Figural representations, either individual or symbolic, religious or secular; more broadly, the art of representation by pictures or images, which may or may not have a symbolic as well as an apparent or superficial meaning


A country


one of Canada's territories and home to many of Canada's Inuit; it was carved out of the eastern half of the Northwest Territories in1999

Raison detre

reason for being


the process of reallocating seats in the House of Representatives every 10 years on the basis of the results of the census.


loyalty to the interests of a particular region

Religious conflict

this is the conflicts between religions. One of these is Israel-Palestine. This consists of Roman Takeovers, Muslim conquests, and the crusades. This affects human geography because there has been a lot of bloodshed over Religious Conflict.


the merging of the two Germanys

Satellite state

Country controlled by a more powerful nation


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,...).


the supreme and absolute authority within territorial boundaries


a politically organized body of people under a single government

Stateless ethnic groups

ethnic groups that share certain cultural, political, and/or historic qualities, such as religion, location, or art, but do not share enough qualities to be recognized as a nationality/nation and have no state(homeland) that is politically recognized as belonging to them.

Stateless nation

a nation without a state (e.g., Kurds, Palestinians, ...).


a legal right guaranteed by the 15th amendment to the US constitution


a venture involving 3 or more national states political economic or cultural cooperation to promote shared objectives

Territorial disputes

A disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states, or over the possession or control of land

Compact territorial morphology

The territory is roughly as a similar longitudinal and latitudinal distance, making it relatively easier to administer in theory, at least building a national transport system that would insure a level of cohesion. The practice maybe otherwise. China, Taiwan, Singapore, Brunei, East Timor and Cambodia are in this category.

Fragmented territorial morphology

The are two main types of fragmentation, the first being geographical and the second being political. Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Japan are geographically fragmented since they are composed of thousands of islands. In the cases of Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia geographical fragmentation is further exacerbated by political fragmentation since parts the the countries are inhabited by ethnic and/or religious minorities. This is particularly the case for Indonesia. North and South Korea are the outcome of a pure geopolitical fragmentation as Korea would be a compact country otherwise.

Elongated territorial morphology

Involves a country with more length than width. Vietnam and Laos are typical examples. May imply unity (differences between the two major parts of the nation) and external influence issues. For instance, in Vietnam and from and historical standpoint the northern part have a stronger Chinese influence while the southern part was on several occasions part of other empires (Khmer and Champa).

Prorupt territorial morphology

Main territory with a narrow corridor leading from it. Difficulty of administering the extension, mainly because of the presence of minorities. For instance, in Thailand the Muslim minority lives in the southern narrow corridor extending to Malaysia and the central government has been facing difficulties in administering the province.

Perforated territorial morphology

a country completely enclosed by another. Eg: vatican city


an intense form of intraspecific competition in which organisms define an area surrounding their home site or nesting site and defend it primarily against other members of their own species


government run by religious leaders

Treaty ports

Cities opened to foreign residents as a result of the forced treaties between the Qing Empire and foreign signatories. In the treaty ports, foreigners enjoyed extraterritoriality. (p. 685)


A code of maritime law approved by the United Nations in 1982 that authorizes, among other provisions, territorial waters extending 12 nautical miles (22km) from shore and 200-nautical-mile-wide (370-km-wide) exclusive economic zones.


characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is held by one central authority

USSR collapse

the collapse of the USSR because Socialism failed economically, outside opposition (Capitalist countries) and Nationalism within the republics, competition with the West (They wanted equality with USA, but had no money), and party officials were killed for personal gain, weakening the party

Women's enfranchisement

the right of voting when given to women

Multinational state

State that contains two or more ethnic groups with traditions of self-determination that agree to coexist peacefully by recognizing each other as distinct nationalities.


love of country and willingness to sacrifice for it


A policy in which a strong nation seeks to dominate other countries poitically, socially, and economically.

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