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49 Cards in this Set

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Political Geography

A subdivision of human geography focused on the nature and spatial organizations of governments


A politically organized territory that is administered by a sovereign government and is recognized by a significant portion of the international community. A state has a defined territory, a permanent population, a government, and is recognized by other states.


An area of land under the jurisdiction of a ruler or state.


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


A principal of international relations that holds that final authority over social, economic, and political should rest with the legitimate rulers of independent states.

Territoriality Integrity

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


In a general sense, associated with the promotion of commercialism and trade.

Peace of Westphalia

Peace negotiated in 1648 to end the Thirty Years' War, Europe's most destructive internal struggle over religion. The treaties contained new language recognizing statehood and nationhood, clearly defined borders, and guarantees of security.


Legally, a term encompassing all the citizens of a state. Most definitions now tend to refer to a tightly knit group of people possessing bonds of language, ethnicity, religion, and other shared cultural attributes. Such homogeneity actually prevails within very few states.


Theoretically, a recognized member of a modern state system possessing formal sovereignty and occupied by a people who see themselves as a single, united nation.


Government based on the principle that the people are the ultimate sovereign and have the final say over what happens within the state.

Multinational State

State with more than one nation within its borders.

Multistate Nation

Nation that stretches across borders and across states.

Stateless Nation

Nation that does not have a state.


Rule by an autonomous power over a subordinate and alien people and place.


Representation of a real-world phenomenon at a certain level of reduction or generalization. In cartography, the ratio of map distance to ground distance; indicated on a map as a bar, representative fraction, and/or verbal statement.

World Systems Theory

Refers to the inter-regional and transnational division of labor, which divides the world into core countries, semi-periphery countries, and the periphery countries.


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


The process through which something is given monetary value. Commodification occurs when a good or idea that previously was not regarded as an object to be bought and sold is turned into something that has a particular price and that can be traded in a market economy.


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; and 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.


In context of political power, the capacity of a state to influence other states or achieve its goals through diplomatic, economic, and militaristic means.


Forces that tend to unify a country - such as internal religious, linguistic, ethnic, or ideological differences.


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


A nation-state that has a centralized government and administration that exercises power equally over all parts of the state.


A political-territorial system wherein a central government represents the various entities within a nation-state


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

Territorial Representation

System wherein each representative is elected from a territorially defined district.


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


In the context of determining representative districts, the process by which the majority and minority populations are spread evenly across each of the districts to be created therein ensuring control by the majority of each of the districts; as opposed to the result of majority-minority districts.

Majority-Minority Districts

In the context of determining representative districts, the process by which a majority of the population is from the minority.


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


Vertical plane between states that cuts through the rocks below, and the airspace above the surface.

Geometric Boundary

Political boundary defined and delimited (and occasionally demarcated) as a straight line or an arc.

Physical-Political 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.

Heartland Theory

A geopolitical hypothesis, proposed by British geographer Harold Mackinder during the first two decades of the twentieth century, that any political power based in the heart of Eurasia could gain sufficient strength to eventually dominate the world.

Critical Geopolitics

Process by which geopoliticians deconstruct and focus on explaining the underlying spatial assumptions and territorial perspectives of politicians.


World order in which one state is in a position of dominance with allies following rather than joining the political decision making process.

Supranational Organization

A venture involving three or more nation-states involving formal political, economic, political, and/or cultural cooperation to promote shared objectives. The European Union is one such organization.


A term used to describe the economic, social, and cultural geographies that look less and less like the maps of states. Globalization, networked communities, and the like undermine the state's traditional territorial authority.


States are moving to solidify control over its territory. For example, solidifying their borders due to concern over immigration.

Compact State

A state that possesses a roughly circular, oval, or rectangular territory in which the distance from the geometric center is relatively equal in all directions. Example: Poland, Kenya, Uruguay

Prorupted State

A type of territorial shape that exhibits a narrow, elongated land extension leading away from the main body of the territory. Example: Mozambique and Thailand

Elongated State

A state whose territory is long and narrow in shape. Example: Norway and Chile

Fragmented State

A state that is not contiguous whole but rather separated parts. Example: Indonesia

Perforated State

A state whose territory completely surrounds that of another state. Example: South Africa


A country or part of a country that is surrounded by another. Example: Vatican City is an enclave of Rome.


A part of a country that is or almost completely separated from the main part of the country. Example: Alaska and Hawaii for the USA.