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Cold War

Subject: History

The antagonism between the USA and USSR lasting from the late 1940s until the late 1980s, ‘cold’ because it was waged through diplomatic and ideological means rather than force. Britain ...

Cold War

Cold War   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
268 words

... War The aggressive ideological stand-off between Western allies and the Soviet Union and its satellites that operated from the end of the Second World War until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 ( see West ). As the Second World War ended, divergent visions for post-war Europe emerged. The Western allies sought reconstruction within a framework of democracy and capitalism, which sought to limit the rise of communism , both in Europe and around the world. The Soviet Union wanted to advance socialism, propagate communist ideology, and to foster...

third world

third world   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Geography (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...world Originally, a synonym for those nations that aligned themselves with neither the West nor with the Soviet bloc during the Cold War. Today, the term is used to denote nations with the smallest UN Human Development Indices (HDI). There is no objective definition of Third World or ‘Third World country’, and these countries are also referred to as ‘the South’, developing countries, and least developed countries. H. Arendt (1970) argues that ‘the Third World is not a reality but an ideology’. D. H. Aldcroft (2007) refers to ‘Europe’s third world’ when...

Second World

Second World   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
33 words

...World A term used to define the Soviet Union and allied communist countries in eastern Europe. It is a term deriving from the Cold War . See also First World ; Third World...

superpower

superpower   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
56 words

...A state so dominant in international affairs that it is able to exert power and influence across the world in political, economic, cultural, and/or military terms. The term has been applied to the British empire, the Soviet Union, and the USA, which since the end of the Cold War , is arguably the only...

Second World War

Second World War   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
173 words

...over 50 million people, including civilians, died through the administering of ‘total war’ and the Holocaust . Beyond the size, scale, and effects of the war, it had a number of long-term effects, reshaping the political map, setting the stage for the Cold War that followed, providing the impetus for new supranational political agencies (e.g., United Nations , IMF , World Bank ), and military alliances (e.g., NATO ), and ushering in the nuclear...

Cuba

Cuba   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
157 words

...is officially socialist and a leading communist country during the Cold War ( see communism ). Cuba is an island state in the Caribbean and was (until 1898 ) a Spanish colony. In 1959 the communist Fidel Castro and his associates staged a coup, and in 1965 Cuba became a one-party state and ally of the former USSR. Because of its close proximity to the USA, Cuba was on the front line of the Cold War, as evidenced by the Cuban missile crisis of the early 1960s that threatened a ‘hot war’ between Cuba and America. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union...

environmental security

environmental security   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
95 words

...security A geopolitical policy discourse relating national and international well-being to climate change and related environmental issues. It arose in military circles after the end of the Cold War , linking together a number of otherwise disparate threats to peace and stability including so-called water wars, resource conflicts, oil scarcity, and environmental refugees . Critics, including many human geographers, detect a measure of environmental determinism in such attempts to ground future threats in environmental, as opposed to more broadly...

Moscow

Moscow   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
93 words

... The capital city of Russia and of the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (the USSR). During the Cold War , Moscow was a metonym in the West for communism, totalitarian rule, and the threat of nuclear war. Since the break-up of the USSR in 1989 Moscow has become a major international city as well as the seat of the Russian prime minister, president, and parliament. It is Russia’s largest city with almost twelve million inhabitants and is said to be home to more billionaires than any other city in the...

West, the

West, the   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
178 words

...in contrast with the Orient, Asia, or the East ( see Orientalism ), and associated with Christendom, the region dominated by Christian rulers. During the Cold War the main referent shifted to the USSR and the West embraced those parts of the world colonized and settled by Europeans (e.g. Australia) as well as political allies (e.g. Japan) alongside North America. After the end of the Cold War, commentators who subscribed to the view that humanity could be divided into civilizations often contrasted the West with either Islam or ‘the Rest’ ( see Clash...

First World

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A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
139 words

...and complexity of their national economy or the high per capita income enjoyed by citizens. The term originated in the Cold War and referred to the democratic and capitalist countries allied against the communist bloc. Here, Second World referred to those sharing a communist ideology, and Third World was applied to those countries that were politically neutral. Given their general affluence, since the end of the Cold War, the First World has subsequently been regarded as developed nations with liberal democratic political systems and advanced...

resource wars

resource wars   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
344 words

...wars The armed conflicts associated with the competition for natural resources ( see war ). It is an imprecise term, but has been popularized by Michael Klare, who argues that future conflicts will not be driven by ideology, as they were in the Cold War , but by the race to gain access to oil, water, and land. Climate change and resource depletion are argued to intensify the prospect ( see peak oil ). In one sense, almost all wars are about resources, if one includes territory as a resource. This was true for the inter-state rivalries of the...

Area Studies

Area Studies   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
340 words

...Studies ( see regional geography ). Compared with five decades ago, area studies is less something human geographers practise and more something they subject to critical scrutiny. Farish’s recent book on the Cold War and how geographical knowledge entered into it is a fine example. References Farish, M. (2010), Contours of the American Cold War . Wesley-Smith, T. and Goss, J. (eds.) (2012), Remaking Area Studies...

First World War

First World War   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
196 words

...and associated ill health. The war was a major geopolitical event and at its termination three empires ceased to exist (the Russian, Austro-German, and Ottoman). The political map of Europe and what came to be known as the Middle East was redrawn as territory was either reassigned between nation states or vested in new ones such as Iraq. The war’s social, political, technological, and economic legacy was long and large, including sowing the discontent that would lead to the Second World War ( 1939–45 ), the Cold War , and to later instability across...

domino theory

domino theory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
90 words

...theory A Cold War geopolitical notion that once one country came under the control of a communist government aligned with the USSR, neighbouring states would follow through a process of spatial contagion. This domino effect was voiced by US President Eisenhower in the 1950s, and later used to describe the danger that if Cambodia fell to communism, then Thailand and Malaysia might follow. The idea possibly neglects the extent to which internal rather than external forces are responsible for political change and overstates the significance of geographical...

military-industrial complex

military-industrial complex   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
88 words

...and services, moves of personnel between the two sectors, and policy dialogue. It is said to constitute a single powerful entity spanning capital and the state , with a vested interest in defence spending and the continuation of warfare. According to Trevor Barnes , the Cold War military-industrial complex embraced many geographers. Further reading Barnes, T. (2008), ‘Geography’s underworld: the military–industrial complex, mathematical modelling and the quantitative revolution’, Geoforum 39:...

Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
102 words

...by the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) separating the parts of the city under GDR control from those governed by the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). It symbolized the sharp divisions between the capitalist West and the communist Eastern Bloc during the Cold War . Its physical demolition by citizens of the two Germanies in 1989 was hailed as a sign that democracy and the market had triumphed over autocracy and state economic planning. The term ‘Berlin Wall’ is still used as a metaphor for seemingly absolute borders and...

NATO

NATO   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
82 words

...Treaty Organization is a military alliance between 29 states, mainly in North America and Western Europe, founded in 1949 , and headquartered in Brussels, Belgium. Its members are committed to collective self-defence, initially with the threat of the USSR in mind ( see Cold War ). Since 1989 , however, NATO has engaged in military operations unrelated to the immediate defence of member states, in the former Yugoslavia ( 1994 ), Afghanistan ( 2003 ), and Libya ( 2011...

perestroika

perestroika   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
96 words

... A late 1980s political movement within the Soviet communist party that contributed to the collapse of the Soviet empire and the end of the Cold War . Formulated in 1986 by the Soviet premier Mikhail Gorbachev, perestroika was a programme of economic, political, and social restructuring designed to reform and open up Soviet institutions and create a market economy. New freedoms for public assembly, free speech, and private ownership undermined the authoritarian regime and led to democratic movements in Eastern Europe. By the summer of 1991 ,...

Western Europe

Western Europe   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
73 words

...Europe 1. In geographical terms, the western half of Europe and the countries within it. 2. In political terms, those European countries allied with the USA and opposed to the Soviet-led Eastern bloc during the Cold War . The two definitions do not overlap. For example, Austria and Switzerland are generally described as lying within Western Europe, but they were not US allies. See also Berlin Wall ; Eastern Europe ; the West...

geoeconomics

geoeconomics   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Human Geography

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Social sciences, Human Geography
Length:
93 words

...The spatial organization of economic activity within and among nation states and the study thereof. More specifically, the term has been used in conscious parallel with geopolitics . It invokes the idea, first apparent in the 1990s, that with the end of the Cold War economic issues such as trade dominated international relations in place of strategic or military concerns. It can also therefore be read as a discourse on global economic affairs. Further reading Sparke, M. (1997), ‘Geopolitical fears, geoeconomic hopes’, Annals of the Association...

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