Anarchy- Lack of overarching international order.
Balance of Power- A system in which individual actors (or alliances) on the world stage work to maintain roughly equal power and prevent one actor from achieving dominance.
Bilateralism- the conduct of political, economic, and cultural relations between two sovereign states
Colonialism- Practice of a foreign power settling into and occupying another territory.
Constructivism- Belief that the state of world politics has been structured by people. Therefore, the international system is fluid.
Democratic Peace Theory- Belief that democracies are less likely to go to war with each other because of the costs of war are ultimately placed on the citizenry; which can lead to elected officials facing scrutiny by voters.
Despotism- A system of government which a single leader holds supreme authority over its territory.
Deterrence Theory- The idea that states possessing nuclear weapons will not use them against one another for fear of retaliatory nuclear attack
External Sovereignty- When a government completely controls its foreign affairs and is recognized internationally.
Failed State- A state whose government has disintegrated and no longer controls the majority of the territory it claims.
Globalization- Process of increased international interaction and cooperation.
Hegemonic Stability Theory- Belief that the international system needs a single, dominant power to ensure stability.
Hegemony- The power or control of one state over all others (can be applied globally or regionally).
Internal Sovereignty- When a government is recognized as legitimate by the governed and controls its internal affairs.
Interventionism- Belief that a state should be involved or influence another state’s affairs
Isolationism- Belief that a state should not interfere in outside issues or alliances
Multi nation state- A state that contains multiple nations within its borders e.g. Spain with the Spanish, Basques, and Catalan.
Multi state nation- A nation that inhabits more than one state e.g. Koreans, Kurds
Mutually Assured Destruction- The idea that a nuclear strike carried out by a state against another nuclear capable state will result in a retaliatory nuclear strike and escalate into a nuclear war that leads to the complete destruction of both.
Nation- A group of people with a common history, culture, and language.
Nationalism- A strong sense of pride regarding one’s nation
Nation state- A state comprised of and governed by one ethnic group
Neorealism- Power is the motivation for all state actions in international relations
Non-governmental Organization (NGO)- International organization that acts independently of governments
Patriotism- A strong sense of pride regarding one’s country
Rational Political Ambition Theory- A theory in which elected officials will make policy decisions based on the interests of their base in order to get reelected and stay in power
Realism- States are the central actors in international politics, seeking power and acting in their own self interest. The international political system is anarchic.
Realpolitik- Foreign policy based on calculations of power and the national interest of the state.
Security dilemma- A situation in which one state increases its means of defense in order to achieve a higher degree of security, which, however is interpreted by another state as an act of aggression which causes that state to increase its defenses, thus leading to armament spiral.
Soft power- Use of persuasion, rather than force to obtain a policy objective.
State- An entity with population, territory, sovereignty and a monopoly of organized violence
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Diez, T., Bode I., & Fernandes Da Costa, A. (2011). Key Concepts in International Relations. London: SAGE Publications Ltd