AP HUGE: Unit 4 Vocabulary


independent political unit holding sovereignty over a territory


sovereign state with very small population and/or very small land area (usually both)


a country's or community's sense of property and attachment toward its territory, as expressed by its determination to keep it inviolable and strongly defended


a territory where the people are citizens, but have no congressional representation (ex: Puerto Rico with the US)

territory disputes

conflict over land and borders


a principle of international relations that holds that final
authority over social, economic, and political matters should rest with the legitimate rulers of independent states

territorial integrity

the right of a state to defend sovereign territory
against incursion from other states


community of people with common ancestry, culture and territory


when a nation of people have a State or country of their own

multinational state

a State with more than one nation within its borders

multistate nation

a nation that spreads across multiple States

stateless nation

a nation that does not have a State


the South African policy of complete legal separation of the races


rule by an autonomous power over a subordinate and
alien people and place (often refers to European colonialism in the last few centuries)

Berlin Conference

a meeting from 1884-1885 at which representatives of European nations agreed on rules for the colonization of Africa

forward capitals

when a capital city is moved to a different location for different economic and strategic reasons


right of national groups to their own territory and forms of government


the right to vote

women's enfranchisement

gave the women the right to vote (1920 in the US)


economic model wherein people, corporations, and
states produce goods and exchange them on the world market, with the goal of achieving profit


processes that incorporate higher levels of education, higher salaries, and more technology; generate more wealth than periphery processes in the world economy


processes that incorporate lower levels of education, lower
salaries, and less technology; generate less wealth than core processes in the world economy


places where core and periphery processes are both
occurring; places that are exploited by the core but in turn exploit the periphery

centripetal force

forces that tend to unify a country, such as widespread
commitment to a national culture, shared ideological objectives, and a common faith

national iconography

a study of the national icons, such as paintings or even stereotypes, that characterize a country or nationality


a state whose government is under the control of a ruler
who is deemed to be divinely guided or of a group of religious leaders (ex: post-Khomeini Iran)

centrifugal force

forces that tend to divide a country, such as internal religious, linguistic, ethnic, or ideological differences

unitary government

a centralized government in which all government powers belong to a single central agency

federal government

a form of government in which powers are divided between a central government and several local governments


the process whereby regions within a state demand and gain political strength and growing autonomy at the expense of the central government


a strong minority group self-awareness and identification with a region rather than with the state, can be expressed politically as a desire for more autonomy (self-government) or even separation from the rest of the country

electoral regions

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


process by which representative districts are switched according to population shifts, so that each district encompasses approximately the same number of people


redistricting for advantage, or the practice of dividing
areas into electoral districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possi


invisible line that marks the extent of a state's territory

geometric boundaries

boundaries of convenience drawn along lines of latitude or longitude without consideration for cultural or ethnic differences in an area

physical-political boundaries/natural-political boundaries

boundary defined by a physical land mark, like a river or a lake

ethnographic/cultural boundary

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

boundary processes

defintion, delimitation, demarcation, administration

border landscape

there are two types: exclusionary, meant for keeping people out, and inclusionary, meant to facilitate trade and movement

antecedent boundary

a boundary that existed before the cultural landscape emerged and stayed in place while people moved in to occupy the surrounding area

subsequent boundaries

boundary line established after an area has been settled that considers the social and cultural characteristics of the area

superimposed boundaries

boundary line drawn in an area ignoring the existing cultural pattern, made by other countries

relic boundary

a former boundary line that is still discernible and marked by some cultural landscape feature


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

definitional boundary dispute

conflict over the language of the border agreement in a treaty or boundary contract

locational boundary dispute

conflict that arises when the definition of the border is not questioned but the interpretation of the border is

operational boundary dispute

conflict over the way a boundary should operate or function, such as the conflict over allowing migration across the border

allocational boundary dispute

a boundary dispute that involves conflicting claims to the natural resources of a border region

International Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)

a treaty signed in 1983 by 117 countries that standardized the territorial limits for most countries at 12 nautical miles and grants them exclusive rights to fish and other marine life within 200 miles; countries separated by less than 200 miles must nego

exclusive economic zones (EEZ)

sea zone over which a state has special rights over the exploration and use of marine resources

median-line principle

when you put a boundary in the middle of two places; statement in UNCLOS declaring that when there is not enough water for each country on opposite sides of the sea to have 200 nautical miles of exclusive economic zone, the two or more countries involved

global commons

those parts of our environment available to everyone but for which no single individual has responsibility--the atmosphere, fresh water, forests, wildlife, and ocean fisheries

ethnic conflict

conflict between ethnic groups that struggle to achieve certain political or economic goals at each other's expense

religious conflicts

conflicts between religions (ex: Israel-Palestine, the Crusades)


division of a region or state into smaller units, usually along ethnic lines, breaking up a state into smaller countries


the adding of a region to the territory of an existing political unit

compact country

a country in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly

elongated country

a country with a long, narrow shape

fragmented country

a country that includes several discontinuous pieces of territory

perforated country

a country that completely surrounds another state


a territory that is surrounded by another political unit of which it is not a part


a country that is completely surrounded by land with no direct access to the ocean

prorupted country

a country that has a protrusion extending out from its main base


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

heartland/pivot mass

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


Nicholas Spykman's theory that the domination of the coastal fringes of Eurasia would provided the base for world conquest

satellite states

a country that is economically and politically dependent on another country; Eastern European states under the control of the Soviet Union during the Cold War

Iron Curtain

term used by Churchill in 1946 to describe the growing East-West divide in postwar Europe between communist and democratic nations

shatterbelt regions

regions caught up in conflict between two superpowers

buffer states

a country that separates two politcal enemies

domino theory

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


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

supranational organization

organization of three or more states to promote shared objectives

European Union

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

immigrant state

a type of receiving state which is the target of many immigrants, often because of their economy, political freedom, and opportunity (ex: USA)


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

Manifest Destiny

a notion held by a nineteenth-century Americans that the United States was destined to rule the continent, from the Atlantic the Pacific


Canadian territory that was given to the Inuit, in which they could live with autonomy