A sphere of influence is a determinate region within which a single external power exerts a predominant influence, which limits the independence or freedom of action of political entities within it.


Buffer Zone Great Power Influence Power Political Entity International Order 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    See G.W. Rutherford, ‘Spheres of influence: an aspect of semi-suzerainty’, American Journal of International Law, vol. 20, no.2 (1926) pp. 300–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
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  3. 3.
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  7. 7.
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  8. 8.
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  11. V.I. Lenin, Imperialism, The Highest Stage of Capitalism, A Popular Outline (New York: International Publishers, 1977) p. 119.Google Scholar
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  19. 26.
    It was not merely that the sovereignty of so-called backward peoples was denied; in important cases they were regarded as being entirely beyond the pale of international law. The American envoy, Caleb Cushing, argued that as China did not recognize the ‘law of nations’, civilized states need not be bound by legal considerations in their dealings with China. See Tyler Dennett, Americans in Eastern Asia (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1941) p. 164.Google Scholar
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  24. 39.
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  26. 41.
    A.J. Toynbee, A Study of History, abridgement by D.G. Somervell (London: Oxford University Press, 1962) pp. 111–12 and p. 116.Google Scholar
  27. 42.
    On the distinction between frontiers and boundaries, see Ladis D. Kristof, ‘The nature of frontiers and boundaries’ in W.A. Douglas Jackson (ed.), Politics and Geographic Relationships (New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1964) pp. 134–44. Kristof points out that whereas ‘frontier’ is not a legal concept ‘boundary’ is, in that boundaries define the legal territorial limits of sovereign states.Google Scholar
  28. 43.
    H. Duncan Hall, Mandates, Dependencies and Trusteeship (London: Stevens, 1948) p. 3.Google Scholar
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    D.C.M. Platt, Finance, Trade, and Politics in British Foreign Policy (Oxford: Clarendon, 1968) pp. 220–4.Google Scholar
  30. For Persia, see also F. Kazemzadeh, Russia and Britain in Persia, 1864–1914 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1968).Google Scholar
  31. 47.
    H.A. Gibbons, An Introduction to World Politics (New York: Century, 1923) p. 182.Google Scholar

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© Paul Ernest Keal 1983

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  • Paul Keal

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