Balance of power – Condition of roughly equal strength between opposing countries or alliances of countries.
Boundary – Invisible line that marks the extent of a state’s territory.
City-State – A sovereign state that comprises a town and the surrounding countryside.
Colonialism – Attempt by one country to establish settlements and to impose its political, economic, and cultural principles in another territory.
Colony – A territory that is legally tied to a sovereign state rather than completely independent.
Compact state – A state in which the distance from the center to any boundary does not vary significantly.
Elongated state – A state with a long, narrow shape.
Federal state – An internal organization of a state that allocates most powers to units of local government.
Fragmented state – A state that includes several discontinuous pieces of territory.
Frontier – zone separating two states in which neither state exercises political control.
Gerrymandering – Process of redrawing legislative boundaries for the purpose of benefiting the party in power.
Imperialism – Control of territory already occupied and organized by an indigenous society.
Landlocked state – A state that does not have a direct outlet to the sea.
Microstate – A state that encompasses a very small land area.
Perforated state – A state that completely surrounds another one.
Prorupted state – An otherwise compact state with a large projecting extension.
Sovereignty – Ability of a state to govern its territory free from control of its internal affairs by other states.
State – An area organized into a political unit and ruled by an established government with control over its internal and foreign affairs.
Unitary state – An internal organization of a state that places most power in the hands of central government officials.