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International Politics on the World Stage, Brief 4/e
World Politics: International Politics on the World Stage, Brief, 4/e
John T. Rourke, University of Connecticut - Storrs
Mark A. Boyer, University of Connecticut - Storrs


Actors (international)    Individuals or organizations that play a direct role in the conduct of world politics.
Adjudication    The legal process of deciding an issue through the courts.
Adversarial diplomacy    A negotiation situation where two or more countries' interests clash, but when there is little or no chance of armed conflict.
Amorality    The philosophy that altruistic acts are unwise and even dangerous, or that morality should never be the absolute guide of human actions, particularly in regard to international law.
Anarchical political system    An anarchical system is one in which there is no central authority to make rules, to enforce rules, or to resolve disputes about the actors in the political system. Many people believe that a system without central authority is inevitably one either of chaos or one in which the powerful prey on the weak. There is, however, an anarchist political philosophy that contends that the natural tendency of people to cooperate has been corrupted by artificial political, economic, or social institutions. Therefore, anarchists believe that the end of these institutions will lead to a cooperative society. Marxism, insofar as it foresees the collapse of the state once capitalism is destroyed and workers live in proletariat harmony, has elements of anarchism.
Arms control    A variety of approaches to the limitation of weapons. Arms control ranges from restricting the future growth in the number, types, or deployment of weapons; through the reduction of weapons; to the elimination of some types of (or even all) weapons on a global or regional basis.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)  A regional trade organization founded in 1989 that includes 21 countries.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)  A regional organization that emphasizes trade relations, established in 1967; now includes Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar (Burma), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Autarky    Economic independence from external sources.
Authoritarian government    A political system that allows little or no participation in decision making by individuals and groups outside the upper reaches of the government.
Authoritarianism    A type of restrictive governmental system where people are under the rule of an individual, such as a dictator or king, or a group, such as a party or military junta.
Balance of payments    A figure that represents the net flow of money into and out of a country due to trade, tourist expenditures, sale of services (such as consulting), foreign aid, profits, and so forth.
Balance of power    A concept that describes the degree of equilibrium (balance) or disequilibrium (imbalance) of power in the global or regional system.
Beijing + 5 Conference    A meeting held at the UN in New York City in 2000 to review the progress made since the 1995 fourth World Conference on Women.
Bilateral (foreign) aid    Foreign aid given by one country directly to another.
Biopolitics    This theory examines the relationship between the physical nature and political behavior of humans.
Bipolar system    A type of international system with two roughly equal actors or coalitions of actors that divide the international system into two poles.
Bretton Woods system    The international monetary system that existed from the end of World War II until the early 1970s; named for an international economic conference held in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, in 1944.
Bureaucracy    The bulk of the state's administrative structure that continues even when leaders change.
Carrying capacity    The number of people that an environment, such as Earth, can feed, provide water for, and otherwise sustain.
Cartel    An international agreement among producers of a commodity that attempts to control the production and pricing of that commodity.
Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC)    A treaty that was signed and became effective in 1995 under which signatories pledge to eliminate all chemical weapons by the year 2005; to submit to rigorous inspection; to never develop, produce, stockpile, or use chemical weapons; and to never transfer chemical weapons to another country or assist another country to acquire such weapons.
Clash of civilizations    Samuel P. Huntington's thesis (1996, 1993) that the source of future conflict will be cultural.
Coalition diplomacy    A negotiation situation where a number of countries have similar interests, which are often in opposition to the interests of one or more other countries.
Codify    To write down a law in formal language.
Coercive diplomacy    The use of threats or force as a diplomatic tactic.
Coercive power    "Hard power" such as military force or economic sanctions.
Cognitive decision making    Making choices within the limits of what you consciously know.
Cold war    The confrontation that emerged following World War II between the bipolar superpowers, the Soviet Union and the United States. Although no direct conflict took place between these countries, it was an era of great tensions and global division.
Collective security    The original theory behind UN peacekeeping. It holds that aggression against one state is aggression against every member and should be defeated by the collective action of all.
Communism    An ideology originated in the works of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx that is essentially an economic theory. As such, it is the idea that an oppressed proletariat class of workers would eventually organize and revolt against those who owned the means of production, the bourgeoisie; a political system of government applied in the Soviet Union, China, and elsewhere, wherein the state owns the means of production as a means to expedite Engels and Marx's economic theory.
Communitarianism    The concept that the welfare of the collective must be valued over any individual rights or liberties.
Conditionality    A term that refers to the policy of the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and some other international financial agencies to attach conditions to their loans and grants. These conditions may require recipient countries to devalue their currencies, to lift controls on prices, to cut their budgets, and to reduce barriers to trade and capital flows. Such conditions are often politically unpopular, may cause at least short-term economic pain, and are construed by critics as interference in the sovereignty of recipient countries.
Containment doctrine    U.S. policy that sought to contain communism during the cold war.
Council of Ministers    The Council of the European Union involved in political decision making.
Countries in transition (CITs)  Former communist countries such as Russia whose economies are in transition from socialism to capitalism.
Crisis situation    A circumstance or event that is a surprise to decision makers, that evokes a sense of threat (particularly physical peril), and that must be responded to within a limited amount of time.
Cultural imperialism    The attempt to impose your own value system on others, including judging others by how closely they conform to your norms.
Current dollars    The value of the dollar in the year for which it is being reported. Sometimes called inflated dollars. Any currency can be expressed in current value. See also real dollars.
Debt service    The total amount of money due on principal and interest payments for loan repayment.
Decision making    The process by which humans choose which policy to pursue and which actions to take in support of policy goals. The study of decision making seeks to identify patterns in the way that humans make decisions. This includes gathering information, analyzing information, and making choices. Decision making is a complex process that relates to personality and other human traits, to the sociopolitical setting in which decision makers function, and to the organizational structures involved.
Decision-making analysis    A means of investigating how countries make policy choices.
Democracy/democratic government    The most basic concept describes the ideology of a body governed by and for the people; also the type of governmental system a country has, in terms of free and fair elections and levels of participation.
Democratic peace theory    The assertion that as more countries become democratic, the likelihood that they will enter into conflict with one another decreases.
Democratized diplomacy    The current trend in diplomacy where diplomats are drawn from a wider segment of society, making them more representative of their nations.
Dependencia theory    The belief that the industrialized North has created a neocolonial relationship with the South in which the less developed countries are dependent on and disadvantaged by their economic relations with the capitalist industrial countries.
Détente    A cold war policy involving the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, which sought to open relations among the countries and ease tensions.
Deterrence    Persuading an opponent not to attack by having enough forces to disable the attack and/or launch a punishing counterattack.
Development capital    Monies and resources needed by less developed countries to increase their economic growth and diversify their economies.
Direct democracy    Policy making through a variety of processes, including referendums, by which citizens directly cast ballots on policy issues.
East-West Axis    A term used to describe the ideological division between hemispheres following World War II. The East was associated with communism, while the West was associated with democracy.
Economically developed country (EDC)    An industrialized country most often found in the Northern Hemisphere.
Economic internationalism    The belief that international economic relations should and can be conducted cooperatively because the international economy is a non-zero-sum game in which prosperity is available to all.
Economic nationalism    The belief that the state should use its economic strength to further national interests, and that a state should use its power to build its economic strength.
Economic structuralism    The belief that economic structure determines politics, as the conduct of world politics is based on the way that the world is organized economically. A radical restructuring of the economic system is required to end the uneven distribution of wealth and power.
Environmental optimists    Those analysts who predict that the world population will meet its needs while continuing to grow economically through conser-vation, population restraints, and technological innovation.
Environmental pessimists    Those analysts who predict environmental and ecological problems, based on current trends in ecology and population pressure.
Escalation    Increasing the level of fighting.
Ethnonational group    An ethnic group that feels alienated from the state in which it resides and that wishes to break away from that state to establish its own autonomous or independent political structure or to combine with its ethnic kin in another state. Many ethnic groups, such as Italian Americans, have no separatist leanings; some nations, such as the United States, are composed of many ethnic groups.
Ethology    The comparison of animal and human behavior.
European Commission    A 20-member commission that serves as the bureaucratic organ of the European Union.
European Economic Community (EEC)    The regional trade and economic organization established in Western Europe by the Treaty of Rome in 1958; also known as the Common Market.
European Ombudsman    A mediator between government agencies and citizens who bring complaints to the European Union offices.
European Parliament    The 626-member legislative branch of the European Union. Representation is determined by population of member-countries, and is based on five-year terms.
European Union (EU)    The Western European regional organization established in 1983 when the Maastricht Treaty went into effect. The EU encompasses the still legally existing European Community (EC). When the EC was formed in 1967, it in turn encompassed three still legally existing regional organizations formed in the 1950s: the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).
Eurowhites    A term to distinguish the whites of Europe, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States, and other countries whose cultures were founded on or converted to European culture as distinct from other races and ethnic groups, including Caucasian peoples in Latin America, the Middle East, South Asia, and elsewhere.
Event data analysis    A study of interactions, called events and subsequent events, used to analyze the reactions and counter-reactions of countries.
Exchange rate    The values of two currencies relative to each other-for example, how many yen equal a dollar or how many lira equal a pound.
Fascism    An ideology that advocates extreme nationalism, with a heightened sense of national belonging or ethnic identity.
Feudal system    Medieval political system of smaller units, such as principalities, dukedoms, baronies, ruled by minor royalty.
Foreign direct investment (FDI)    Buying stock, real estate, and other assets in another country with the aim of gaining a controlling interest in foreign economic enterprises. Different from portfolio investment, which involves investment solely to gain capital appreciation through market fluctuations.
Foreign portfolio investment (FPI)    Investment in the stocks and the public and private debt instruments (such as bonds) of another country below the level where the stock- or bondholder can exercise control over the policies of the stock-issuing company or the bond-issuing debtor.
Fourth World    A term used to designate collectively the indigenous (aboriginal, native) people of the countries of the world.
Fourth World Conference on Women (WCW)    The largest and most widely noted in a series of UN conferences on the status of women. This international meeting took place in Beijing, China, in 1995.
Free economic exchange    The absence of tariffs and nontariff barriers in trade between countries.
Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA)    The tentative name given to the proposed Western Hemisphere free trade zone that is projected to come into existence by the year 2005. This was agreed upon by 34 countries that met in December 1994 at the Summit of the Americas.
Frustration-aggression theory    A psychologically based theory that frustrated societies sometimes become collectively aggressive.
Functional relations    Relations that include interaction in such usually nonpolitical areas as communication, travel, trade, and finances.
Fundamentalism    Religious traditionalism and values incorporated into secular political activities.
General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)    The world's primary organization promoting the expansion of free trade. Established in 1947, it has grown to a membership of over 100.
General and complete disarmament (GCD)    Total elimination of weapons of force.
Gross domestic product (GDP)    A measure of income within a country that excludes foreign earnings.
Gross national product (GNP)    A measure of the sum of all goods and services produced by a country's nationals, whether they are in the country or abroad.
Group of 77 (G-77)    The group of 77 countries of the South that cosponsored the Joint Declaration of Developing Countries in 1963, calling for greater equity in North-South trade. This group has come to include more than 120 members and represents the interests of the less developed countries of the South.
Group of Eight (G-8)    The seven economically largest, free market countries plus Russia (a member on political issues since 1998).
Group of Seven (G-7)    The seven economically largest free market countries: Canada, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the United States.
Groupthink    How an individual's membership in an organization/decision-making group influences his or her thinking and actions. In particular there are tendencies within a group to think alike, to avoid discordancy, and to ignore ideas or information that threaten to disrupt the consensus.
Hard currency    Currencies, such as dollars, marks, francs, and yen, that are acceptable in private channels of international economics.
Holy Roman Empire    The domination and unification of a political territory in Western and Central Europe that lasted from its inception with Charlemagne in a.d. 800 to the renunciation of the imperial title by Francis II in 1806.
Horizontal authority structure    A system in which authority is fragmented. The international system has a mostly horizontal authority structure.
Hostile diplomacy    A situation where negotiation takes place in an environment where one or more countries are engaged in armed clashes or when there is a substantial possibility that fighting could result.
Idealists    Analysts who reject power politics and argue that failure to follow policies based on humanitarianism and international cooperation will result in disaster.
Ideological or theological school of law (principles)    A set of related ideas in secular or religious thought, usually founded on identifiable thinkers and their works, that offers a more or less comprehensive picture of reality.
Idiosyncratic analysis    An individual-level analysis approach to decision making that assumes that individuals make foreign policy decisions and that different individuals are likely to make different decisions.
Imperialism    A term synonymous with colonization, meaning domination by Northern Eurowhites over Southern nonwhites as a means to tap resources to further their own (Northern) development.
Imperial overstrech thesis    The idea that attempting to maintain global order through leadership as a hegemon, especially through military power, is detrimental to the hegemon's existence.
Incremental decision making    The tendency of decision makers to treat existing policy as a given and to follow and continue that policy ("policy inertia") or make only marginal changes in the policy.
Incremental policy    See Incremental decision making.
Individualism    The concept that rights and liberties of the individual are paramount within a society.
Individual-level analysis    An analytical approach that emphasizes the role of individuals as either distinct personalities or biological/psychological beings.
Industrial revolution    The development of mechanical and industrial production of goods that began in Great Britain in the mid-1700s and then spread through Europe and North America.
Interdependence (economic)    The close interrelationship and mutual dependence of two or more domestic economies on each other.
Interest group    A private (nongovernmental) association of people who have similar policy views and who pressure the government to adopt those views as policy.
Intergovernmental organizations (IGOs)    International/transnational actors composed of member-countries.
Intermestic    The merger of international and domestic concerns.
International Court of Justice (ICJ)    The world court, which sits in The Hague, has 15 judges and is associated with the United Nations.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)    The world's primary organization devoted to maintaining monetary stability by helping countries fund balance-of-payment deficits. Established in 1947, it now has 170 members.
International political economy (IPE)    An approach to the study of international relations that is concerned with the political determinants of international economic relations and also with the economic determinants of international political relations.
International system    An abstract concept that encompasses global actors, the interactions (especially patterns of interaction) among those actors, and the factors that cause those interactions. The international system is the largest of a vast number of overlapping political systems that extend downward in size to micropolitical systems at the local level. See also System-level analysis.
Investment, foreign    See Foreign direct investment, Foreign portfolio investment.
Iron triangle    An alliance between interest groups, bureaucracies, and legislators that forms a military- industrial-congressional complex.
Irredentism    A minority population's demand to join its motherland (often an adjoining state), or when the motherland claims the area in which the minority lives.
Issue areas    Substantive categories of policy that must be considered when evaluating national interest.
Jihad    "Struggling to spread or defend the faith"; this concept is derived from Arabic and borrowed by Benjamin Barber to describe the internal pressures on states that can contribute to their fragmentation or collapse.
Jus ad bellum    The Western concept meaning "just cause of war," which provides a moral and legal basis governing causes for war.
Jus in bello    The Western concept meaning "just conduct of war," which provides a moral and legal basis governing conduct of war.
League of Nations    The first, true general international organization. It existed between the end of World War I and the beginning of World War II and was the immediate predecessor of the United Nations.
Least developed countries (LLDCs)    Those countries in the poorest of economic circumstances. In this book, this includes those countries with a per capita GNP of less than $400 in 1985 dollars.
Less developed countries (LDCs)    Countries, located mainly in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, with economies that rely heavily on the production of agriculture and raw materials and whose per capita GDP and standard of living are substantially below Western standards.
Levels of analysis    Different perspectives (system, state, individual) from which international politics can be analyzed.
Limited membership council    A representative organization body of the UN that grants special status to members who have a greater stake, responsibility, or capacity in a particular area of concern. The UN Security Council is an example.
Maastricht Treaty    The most significant agreement in the recent history of the European Union (EU). The Maastricht Treaty was signed by leaders of the EU's 12 member-countries in December 1991 and outlines steps toward further political-economic integration.
MAD (Mutual Assured Destruction)    A situation in which each nuclear superpower has the capability of launching a devastating nuclear second strike even after an enemy has attacked it. The belief that a MAD capacity prevents nuclear war is the basis of deterrence by punishment theory.
Majority voting    A system used to determine how votes should count. The theory of majoritarianism springs from the concept of sovereign equality and the democratic notion that the will of the majority should prevail. This system has two main components: (1) each member casts one equal vote, and (2) the issue is carried by either a simple majority (50 percent plus one vote) or, in some cases, an extraordinary majority (commonly two-thirds).
Marxism    The philosophy of Karl Marx that the economic (material) order determines political and social relationships. Thus, history, the current situation, and the future are determined by the economic struggle, termed dialectical materialism.
McWorld    This concept describes the merging of states into an integrated world. Benjamin Barber coined this term to describe how states are becoming more globalized, especially with the growth of economic interdependence.
Mediation diplomacy    A negotiation situation where a country that is not involved directly as one of the parties tries to help two or more conflicting sides to resolve their differences.
Merchandise trade    The import and export of tangible manufactured goods and raw materials.
Microstate    A country with a small population that cannot economically survive unaided or that is inherently so militarily weak that it is an inviting target for foreign intervention.
Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR)    A series of understandings that commits most of the countries capable of producing extended-range missiles to a ban on the export of ballistic missiles and related technology and that also pledges MTCR adherents to bring economic and diplomatic pressure to bear on countries that export missile-applicable technology.
Monarchism    A political system that is organized, governed, and defined by the idea of the divine right of kings, or the notion that because a person is born into royalty, he or she is meant to rule.
Monetary relations    The entire scope of international money issues, such as exchange rates, interest rates, loan policies, balance of payments, and regulating institutions (for example, the International Monetary Fund).
Moral absolutism    A philosophy based on the notion that the ends never justify the means, or that morality should be the absolute guide of human actions, particularly in regard to international law.
Moral prudence    The idea that there is a middle ground between amorality and moral absolutism that acts as a guide to human actions, particularly in regard to international law.
Moral relativism    A philosophy that human actions must be placed in context as a means to inform international law.
Multilateral (foreign) aid    Foreign aid distributed by international organizations such as the United Nations.
Multilateral diplomacy    Negotiations among three or more countries.
Multinational corporations (MNCs)    Private enterprises that have production subsidiaries or branches in more than one country.
Multinational states    Countries in which there are two or more significant nationalities.
Multipolar system    A world political system in which power primarily is held by four or more international actors.
Multistate nationalities    Nations whose members overlap the borders of two or more states.
Munich analogy    A belief among post-World War II leaders, particularly Americans, that aggression must always be met firmly and that appeasement will only encourage an aggressor. Named for the concessions made to Hitler by Great Britain and France at Munich during the 1938 Czechoslovakian crisis.
Munich Conference    A meeting between France, Germany, Great Britain, and Italy in 1938, during which France and Great Britain, unwilling to confront Hitler, acquiesced with Germany's decision to annex the Sudetenland (part of Czechoslovakia). This appeasement of Germany became synonymous with a lack of political will.
Nation    A group of culturally and historically similar people who feel a communal bond and who feel they should govern themselves to at least some degree.
Nationalism    The belief that the nation is the ultimate basis of political loyalty and that nations should have self-governing states. See also Nation-state.
National technical means (NTM)    An arms control verification technique that involves using satellites, seismic measuring devices, and other equipment to identify, locate, and monitor the manufacturing, testing, or deployment of weapons or delivery vehicles, or other aspects of treaty compliance.
Nation-state    A politically organized territory that recognizes no higher law, and whose population politically identifies with that entity. See also State.
Naturalist school of law    Those who believe that law springs from the rights and obligations that humans have by nature.
Nature-versus-nurture debate    A dispute regarding whether gender differences are the result of biological factors or socialization factors.
Neocolonialism    The notion that EDCs continue to control and exploit LDCs through indirect means, such as economic dominance and co-opting the local elite.
New International Economic Order (NIEO)    A term that refers to the goals and demands of the South for basic reforms in the international economic system.
Newly industrializing countries (NICs)    Less developed countries whose economies and whose trade now include significant amounts of manufactured products. As a result, these countries have a per capita GDP significantly higher than the average per capita GDP for less developed countries.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)    International/ transnational organizations with private memberships.
Non-status quo situations    Circumstances or events that depart from the existing norm and that portend innovative policy that significantly changes established policy direction.
Nontariff barrier (NTB)    A nonmonetary restriction on trade, such as quotas, technical specifications, or unnecessarily lengthy quarantine and inspection procedures.
Norms    A principle of right action that is binding on members of a group and that serves to regulate the behavior of the members of that group. The word is based on the Latin norma, which means a carpenter's square or an accurate measure. Norms are based on custom and usage and may also become part of formal law. Norms are recognized in international law under the principle of jus cogens (just thought), which states that a standard of behavior accepted by the world community should not be violated by the actions of a state or group of states. In domestic systems, "common law" is equivalent to norms in the international system.
North    The designation for the economically developed countries that lie mainly in the Northern Hemisphere.
North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)    An economic agreement among Canada, Mexico, and the United States that went into effect on January 1, 1994. It will eliminate most trade barriers by 2009 and will also eliminate or reduce restrictions on foreign investments and other financial transactions among the NAFTA countries.
North-South Axis    The growing tension between the few economically developed countries (North) and the many economically deprived countries (South). The South is demanding that the North cease economic and political domination and redistribute part of its wealth.
NUT (Nuclear Utilization Theory)    The belief that because nuclear war might occur, countries must be ready to fight, survive, and win a nuclear war. NUT advocates believe this posture will limit the damage if nuclear war occurs and also make nuclear war less likely by creating retaliatory options that are more credible than massive retaliation.
Objective power    Assets a country objectively possesses and has the will and capacity to use.
On-site inspection (OSI)    An arms control verification technique that involves stationing your or a neutral country's personnel in another country to monitor weapons or delivery vehicle manufacturing, testing, deployment, or other aspects of treaty compliance.
Open diplomacy    The public conduct of negotiations and the publication of agreements.
Operational code    A perceptual phenomenon that describes how an individual acts and responds when faced with specific types of situations.
Operational reality    The process by which what is perceived, whether that perception is accurate or not, assumes a level of reality in the mind of the beholder and becomes the basis for making an operational decision (a decision about what to do).
Organizational behavior    An individual-level analysis approach to decision making that assumes that group dynamics, group interaction, and group and organization structure influence how decisions are made.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)    An organization that has existed since 1948 (and since 1960 under its present name) to facilitate the exchange of information and otherwise to promote cooperation among the economically developed countries. In recent years, the OECD has begun to accept as members a few newly industrializing and former communist countries in transition.
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)    Series of conferences among 34 NATO, former Soviet bloc, and neutral European countries that led to permanent organization. Established by the 1976 Helsinki Accords.
Pacificism    A bottom-up approach to avoidance of war based on the belief that it is wrong to kill.
Pacta sunt servanda    Translates as "treaties are to be served/carried out" and means that agreements between states are binding.
Parliamentary diplomacy    Debate and voting in international organizations to settle diplomatic issues.
Peacekeeping    The use of military means by an international organization such as the United Nations to prevent fighting, usually by acting as a buffer between combatants. The international force is neutral between the combatants and must have been invited to be present by at least one of the combatants. See also Collective security.
Peacemaking    The restoration of peace through, if necessary, the use of offensive military force to make one or all sides of a conflict cease their violent behavior.
Perceptions    The factors that create a decision maker's images of reality.
Persuasive power    "Soft power" such as moral authority or technological excellence.
Plenary representative body    An assembly, such as the UN's General Assembly, that consists of all members of the main organization.
Pole    An actor that generally has been either (1) a single country or empire or (2) a group of countries that form an alliance or a bloc.
Political culture    A concept that refers to a society's general, long-held, and fundamental practices and attitudes. These are based on a country's historical experience and on the values (norms) of its citizens. These attitudes are often an important part of the internal setting in which national leaders make foreign policy.
Political executives    Those officials, usually but not always in the executive branch of a government, who are at the center of foreign policy making and whose tenures are variable and dependent on the political contest for power.
Politics of identity    A view that national identity will be less important in the future than other subnational identities.
Popular sovereignty    A political doctrine that holds that sovereign political authority resides with the citizens of a state. According to this doctrine, the citizenry grant a certain amount of authority to the state, its government, and, especially, its specific political leaders (such as monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers), but do not surrender ultimate sovereignty.
Positivist school of law    Those who believe that law reflects society and the way that people want the society to operate.
Postindustrial economy    A term used to describe economies that have entered a period where the use of robotics and other techniques requires using fewer and fewer workers to produce more and more manufactured goods, thus resulting in downsizing; these economies are based on services and information technologies rather than on industrial production.
Power    The totality of a country's international capabilities. Power is based on multiple resources, which alone or in concert allow one country to have its interests prevail in the international system. Power is especially important in enabling one state to achieve its goals when it clashes with the goals and wills of other international actors.
Power to defeat    The ability to overcome in a traditional military sense--that is, to overcome enemy armies and capture and hold territory.
Power to hurt    The ability to inflict pain outside the immediate battle area; sometimes called coercive violence. It is often used against civilians and is a particular hallmark of terrorism and nuclear warfare.
President of the Commission    Comparable to being president of the European Union (EU), this person is the director of the 20-member European Commission, the policy-making bureaucratic organ of the EU.
Primary products    Agricultural products and raw materials, such as minerals.
Procedural democracy    A form of democracy that is defined by whether or not particular procedures are followed, such as free and fair elections or following a set of laws or a constitution.
Protectionism    The use of tariffs and nontariff barriers to restrict the flow of imports into one's country.
Public diplomacy    A process of creating an overall international image that enhances your ability to achieve diplomatic success.
Real dollars    The value of dollars expressed in terms of a base year. This is determined by taking current value and subtracting the amount of inflation between the base year and the year being reported. Sometimes called uninflated dollars. Any currency can be valued in real terms. See also Current dollars.
Realists    Analysts who believe that countries operate in their own self-interests and that politics is a struggle for power.
Realpolitik    Operating according to the belief that politics is based on the pursuit, possession, and application of power.
Regime    A complex of norms, treaties, international organizations, and transnational activity that orders an area of activity such as the environment or oceans.
Regional government    A possible middle level of governance between the prevalent national governments of today and the world government that some people favor. The regional structure that comes closest to (but still well short of) a regional government is the European Union.
Relative deprivation    The standard of living of people in the South, where many lack the basic necessities, compared to the affluent lifestyles of people in the North.
Relative power    Power measured in comparison with the power of other international actors.
Role    How an individual's position influences his or her thinking and actions.
SALT I    The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty signed in 1972.
SALT II    The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty signed in 1979 but withdrawn by President Carter from the U.S. Senate before ratification in response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Secretariat    The administrative organ of the United Nations, headed by the secretary-general. In general, the administrative element of any IGO, headed by a secretary-general.
Self-determination    The concept that a people should have the opportunity to map their own destiny.
Service economies (trade)    Economies based on the purchase (import) from or sale (export) to another country of intangibles such as architectural fees; insurance premiums; royalties on movies, books, patents, and other intellectual properties; shipping services; advertising fees; and educational programs.
Situational power    The power that can be applied, and is reasonable, in a given situation. Not all elements of power can be applied to every situation.
Social Darwinism    A social theory that argues it is proper that stronger peoples will prosper and will dominate lesser peoples.
Social overstretch thesis    The idea that spending money on altruistic social welfare programs to support the least productive people in society financially drains that economy.
South    The designation for the economically less developed countries, the majority of which are in or near the Southern Hemisphere.
Southern Common Market (Mercosur)    A regional organization that emphasizes trade relations, established in 1995 among Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, with Chile (1996) and Bolivia (1997) as associate members.
Sovereignty    The most essential characteristic of an international state. The term strongly implies political independence from any higher authority and also suggests at least theoretical equality.
Special drawing rights (SDRs)    Reserves held by the International Monetary Fund that the central banks of member-countries can draw on to help manage the values of their currencies. SDR value is based on a "market-basket" of currencies, and SDRs are acceptable in transactions between central banks.
State    A political actor that has sovereignty and a number of characteristics, including territory, population, organization, and recognition.
State-centric system    A system describing the current world system wherein states are the principal actors.
State-level analysis    An analytical approach that emphasizes the actions of states and the internal (domestic) causes of their policies.
State terrorism    Terrorism carried out directly by, or encouraged and funded by, an established government of a state (country).
Status quo situations    Circumstances or events that conform to the existing norm and that are apt to evoke incremental policy decisions that do not significantly change basic policy direction.
Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START I) Treaty I    A nuclear weapons treaty signed by the Soviet Union and the United States in 1991 and later re-signed with Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Ukraine that will limit Russia and the United States to 1,600 delivery vehicles and 6,000 strategic explosive nuclear devices each, with the other three countries destroying their nuclear weapons or transferring them to Russia.
Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START II) Treaty II    A nuclear weapons treaty signed by the Soviet Union and the United States in 1993, which establishes nuclear warhead and bomb ceilings of 3,500 for the United States and 2,997 for Russia by the year 2003 and that also eliminates some types of weapons systems.
Subjective power    A country's power based on other countries' perceptions of its current or potential power.
Subnational actors    Institutions and other elements of a country's political structure, including the political leadership, legislature, bureaucracy, interest groups, political opposition, and the public.
Substantive democracy    A form of democracy that is defined by whether qualities of democracy, such as equality, justice, or self-rule, are evident.
Summit meetings    High-level meetings for diplomatic negotiations between national political leaders.
Superpower    Term used to describe the leader of a system pole in a bipolar system. During the cold war, the Soviet Union and the United States were each leaders of a bipolar system pole.
Supranational organization    Organization that is founded and operates, at least in part, on the idea that international organizations can or should have authority higher than individual states and that those states should be subordinate to the supranational organization.
Sustainable development    The ability to continue to improve the quality of life of those in the industrialized countries and, particularly, those in the less developed countries while simultaneously protecting the Earth's biosphere.
System-level analysis    An analytical approach that emphasizes the importance of the impact of world conditions (economics, technology, power relationships, and so forth) on the actions of states and other international actors.
Tariff    A tax, usually based on percentage of value, that importers must pay on items purchased abroad; also known as an import tax or import duty.
Theocracy    A political system that is organized, governed, and defined by spiritual leaders and their religious beliefs.
Third World    A term once commonly used to designate the countries of Asia, Africa, Latin America, and elsewhere that were economically less developed. The phrase is attributed to French analyst Alfred Sauvy, who in 1952 used tiers monde to describe neutral countries in the cold war. By inference, the U.S.-led Western bloc and the Soviet-led Eastern bloc were the other two worlds. But since most of the neutral countries were also relatively poor, the phrase had a double meaning. Sauvy used the older tiers, instead of the more modern troisième, to allude to the pre-Revolutionary (1789) third estate (tiers état), that is, the underprivileged class, the commoners. The nobility and the clergy were the first and second estates. Based on this second meaning, Third World came most commonly to designate the less developed countries of the world, whatever their political orientation. The phrase is less often used since the end of the cold war, although some analysts continue to employ it to designate the less developed countries.
Transnational actors    Organizations that operate internationally, but whose membership, unlike IGOs, is private.
Transnational advocacy networks (TANs)    IGOs, NGOs, and national organizations that are based on shared values or common interests and exchange information and services.
Transnational corporations (TNCs)    Transnational corporations are business enterprises that conduct business beyond just selling a product in more than one country. Countries with factories in several countries are TNCs, as are banks with branches in more than one country. The businesses are also referred to as multinational corporations (MNCs). The two terms are synonymous; TNC is used herein based on UN usage.
Transnationalism    Extension beyond the borders of a single country; applies to a political movement, issue, organization, or to other phenomena.
Treaty of Amsterdam (1997)    The most recent agreement in a series of treaties that has further integrated the economic and political sectors of the European Union.
Trilateral countries    The United States and Canada, Japan, and the Western European countries.
Tripolar system    A type of international system that describes three roughly equal actors or coalitions of actors that divide the international system into three poles.
Two-level game theory    The concept that in order to arrive at satisfactory international agreements, a country's diplomats actually have to deal with (at one level) the other country's negotiators and (at the second level) legislators, interest groups, and other domestic forces at home.
Unanimity voting    A system used to determine how votes should count. In this system, in order for a vote to be valid, all members must agree to the proposed measure. Abstention from a vote may or may not block an agreement.
UN Conference on Population and Development (UNCPD)    A UN-sponsored conference that met in Cairo, Egypt, in September 1994 and was attended by delegates from more than 170 countries. The conference called for a program of action to include spending $17 billion annually by the year 2000 on international, national, and local programs to foster family planning and to improve the access of women in such areas as education.
UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)    A UN organization established in 1964 and currently consisting of all UN members plus the Holy See, Switzerland, and Tonga, which holds quadrennial meetings aimed at promoting international trade and economic development.
UN Development Programme (UNDP)    An agency of the UN established in 1965 to provide technical assistance to stimulate economic and social development in the economically less developed countries. The UNDP has 48 members selected on a rotating basis from the world's regions.
UN General Assembly (UNGA)    The main representative body of the United Nations, composed of all 189 member-states.
UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)    A UN specialized agency established in 1967, currently having 165 members, that promotes the industrialization of economically less developed countries.
Unipolar system    A type of international system that describes a single country with complete global hegemony.
United Nations (UN)    An international body created with the intention to maintain peace through the cooperation of its member-states. As part of its mission, it addresses human welfare issues such as the environment, human rights, population, and health. Its headquarters are located in New York City, and it was established following World War II to supersede the League of Nations.
United Nations Conference on Population and Development (UNCPD)    The most recent (1994) world conference held in Cairo, Egypt, that focused on the issue of population control and reproductive health.
UN Security Council    The main peacekeeping organ of the United Nations. The Security Council has 15 members, including 5 permanent members.
Uruguay Round    The eighth, and latest, round of GATT negotiations to reduce tariffs and nontariff barriers to trade. The eighth round was convened in Punta del Este, Uruguay, in 1986 and its resulting agreements were signed in Marrakesh, Morocco, in April 1994.
Vertical authority structure    A system in which subordinate units answer to higher levels of authority.
Veto    A negative vote cast in the UN Security Council by one of the five permanent members; has the effect of defeating the issue being voted on.
Vietnam analogy    An aversion to foreign armed intervention, especially in conflicts in less developed countries involving guerrillas. This attitude is especially common among political leaders and other individuals who were opposed to the U.S. war in Vietnam or who were otherwise influenced by the failed U.S. effort there and the domestic turmoil that resulted.
Weapons of mass destruction    Generally deemed to be nuclear weapons with a tremendous capability to destroy a population and the planet, but also include some exceptionally devastating conventional arms, such as fuel-air explosives, as well as biological and chemical weapons.
Weapons proliferation    A situation in which countries build up their arms and nuclear arsenal.
Weighted voting    A system used to determine how votes should count. In this system, particular votes count more or less depending on what criterion is deemed to be most significant. For instance, population or wealth might be the important defining criterion for a particular vote. In the case of population, a country would receive a particular number of votes based on its population; thus a country with a large population would have more votes than a lesser-populated country.
West    Historically, Europe and those countries and regions whose cultures were founded on or converted to European culture. Such countries would include Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United States. The majority of the populations in these countries are also "white," in the European, not the larger Caucasian, sense. After World War II, the term West took on two somewhat different but related meanings. One referred to the countries allied with the United States and opposed to the Soviet Union and its allies, called the East. The West also came to mean the industrial democracies, including Japan. See also Eurowhites.
Westernization of the international system    A number of factors, including scientific and technological advances, contributed to the domination of the West over the international system that was essentially created by the Treaty of Westphalia (1648).
World Bank Group    Four associated agencies that grant loans to LDCs for economic development and other financial needs. Two of the agencies, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), are collectively referred to as the World Bank. The other two agencies are the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA).
World Health Organization (WHO)    A UN-affliated organization created in 1946 to address world health issues.
World Trade Organization (WTO)    The organization that replaced the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) organization as the body that implements GATT, the treaty.
Xenophobia    Fear of others, "they-groups."