Absolutist regime (Régime absolu): A political regime in which a singular ruler has unlimited centralized authority. In an absolutist regime, there are no checks to the leader in power. This form of political system is seen in monarchies or dictatorships.

Ad hoc: This Latin phrase typically refers to ad hoc commissions or committees, which are temporary committees, created to address a specific subject.

Amendment: The act of amending a law, constitution, or other document by means of a formal procedure (parliamentary or constitutional).

Article 5 of the European Charter of Local Self-government (Article 5 de la Charte européenne de l’autonomie locale): “Changes in local authority boundaries shall not be made without prior consultation of the local communities concerned, possibly by means of a referendum where this is permitted by statute,”.

Article 10 of the European Charter of Local Self-government (Article 10 de la Charte européenne de l’autonomie locale): Article 10 section 1, “Local authorities shall be entitled in exercising their power to co-operate and, within the framework of the law to form consortia with other local authorities in order to carry out tasks of common interests,”. Article 10 section 2, “The entitlement of local authorities to belong to an association for the protection and promotion of their common interests and to belong to an international association of local authorities shall be recognized in each state,”. Article 10 section 3, “Local authorities shall be entitled, under such conditions as may be provided for by the law, to co-operate with their counterparts in other States,”.

Auto governance: Auto governance is an abstract concept that refers to multiple levels of government. It also describes a population or group capable of exercising all functions of power without any intervention from a higher authority.

Autocephaly (Autocéphale): In a religious context, means “property of being self-headed”; thus, when there is an autocephaly a Christian church’s head bishop does not report to any higher-ranking bishop.

Autonomy (Autonomie): The right of a government to self-govern.



Border (Frontière): A limit that separates two different zones or regions characterized by either physical phenomenon (mountains, rivers, etc.) or different human characteristics (language, culture, etc.).



Cantons: In France, the arrondissements and departments are divided into cantons. Cantons are administrative divisions and are used as constituents for the elections for the General Council. In Switzerland, each canton is considered as a member state of Switzerland.

Cantonal Court: (Tribunal cantonal) In Switzerland, while the Federal Supreme Court is Switzerland’s highest court each canton in Switzerland also has its court. These courts hear cases at first instance.

Central administration (Administation centales): Central administration refers to the seats of different ministers typically situated in Paris. The central administrations participate in the expansion of laws, projects, and ordinances. They guide deconcentrated services and ensure that government decisions are carried out.

City-state (CitéEtat): A geographic space controlled exclusively by a city. Current examples are Monaco, Singapore and the Vatican.

Cluster: Clusters are business networks constituting the majority of small locally based business, where the means of production is often in the same region.

Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe (Comité des Ministres du Conseil de l`Europe): The statutory decision making body of the Council of Europe.

Commune: An administrative constituency formed from a number of countries.

Compulsory vote (Vote obligatoire): Nations with compulsory voting laws requires citizens who are eligible to vote, to register and vote in elections. Countries in Europe that have compulsory voting systems are Belgium, Liechtenstein, and Luxembourg.

Condominium: When used in the context of international public law, a condominium is a territory in which multiple sovereign states, through a formal agreement, exert a conjoint sovereignty over a region.

Constitutional monarchy (Monarchie constiutionnelle): In a constitutional monarchy, the power is shared between a monarchy and a constitutionally organized government. Examples of nations in Europe with this system of government are Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands, Spain, and Sweden

Council of Europe (Conseil de l`Europe): The Council of Europe is an intergovernmental organization with the objectives to defend human rights, promote European diversity and culture, and work against issues such as racism and intolerance.

Congress of local and regional authorities (Congrès des pouvoirs locaux et régionaux): A bicameral body dedicated to the existence of two separate powers. One at a regional level and the other at a local level.

Constituent state (Pays constitutif): A form of regional government where a territory is a constitutional entity and is part of a larger sovereign state.

Constituency (Circonscription électorale): A group of individuals who vote within a specific region to elect an individual to represent them.

Coup (Putsch): A military overthrow of the ruling government.



Decentralization of Federal States (Décentralisation des états fédéraux): The act of transferring power from the federal government to local and regional governments.

Deliberative body (Organe délibérant): A gathering or assembly of individuals with the objective of close consideration and discussion of topics.

Devolved government (Gouvernement décentralisé): A government that has given power to local and regional territories to govern at a subnational level and have the ability to enforce legislation.

Diaspora: The dispersion of an ethnic community across various regions in the world.

District: A territorial administrative subdivision. The size of the district vary depending on how states employ the term.



Eastern Catholic Church (Eglise catholique orientale): These churches follow ancient liturgical eastern traditions while also being in communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Eastern catholic churches are under the authority of the Bishop of Rome.

Ecclesiastical territorial entity (Région ecclésiastique): An organization of various dioceses, headed by an archbishop who has jurisdiction over it.

Economics of Scale (Economies d’échelle): In regards to the government, economics of scale states that the larger the government is and the more people and regions it contains, the lower the costs. Thus this view tends to favor a more centralized government with larger districts or regions as opposed to multiple small local governmental institutions.

Eurasian Economic Community (Communauté économique eurasiatique): Founded in 2000, this economic organization had five members (Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, and Russia) and worked towards cooperation in the economic, technological, agricultural, industrial, humanitarian, and energy sectors.

Eurasian Economic Union (Union économique eurasiatique): Founded in 2014 this union was the succeeding organization of the Eurasian Economic Community.

European Charter of local self-governance (Charte européenne de l`autonomie local): The only international treaty devoted to collective territorial law. Despite some deficiencies, the Charter has served as a vital guide for countries wanting to establish a democratic regime at a local level. The Council of Europe voted unanimously to ratify the Charter in 1985.

European Committee on Democracy and Governance (Comité européen sur la démocracie et la gouvernance): This intergovernmental organization within the Counsel of Europe works to exchange information for the modernization of democratic institutions, reform of public administration and participation by both citizens and governments at all levels.

European Label of Governance Excellence-ELoGE (Le label européen d’excellence en matière de gouvernance): This award is given to local authorities who have demonstrated a high level of governance when measured against the benchmark.

European Union (Union Européenne):

Executive Body (Organe exécutif): The executive body is one of the three powers, along with the legislative and judiciary, and is in charge of managing the political practices of the State and controlling the application of the law developed by the legislative power.


Federal state (Etat fédéral): A federal state is composed of multiple autonomous entities, each endowed with its own government while recognizing an overarching communal superior authority. The sovereignty is shared among the federal state and its federal entities. The Federal State can be considered as the opposite of a Unitary State.

Fixed cost (Coûts fixes): Expenses that are independent of the number of good or services sold by the enterprise.


General Administration (Administration générale): The general administration brings together all regional governments. The civil administrators, the administrative secretaries, and the adjoining administration generally carry out the functions of the general administration.

General Competence (La clause générale de compétence): Communities are granted general intervention capacity without the need to enumerate their powers.

German Democratic Republic (République démocratique allemande): The German Democratic Republic (GDR), also known as East Germany, is a former communist state that existed from 1949 to 1990.

Grand Duke and Grand Duchess (Grand Duc et Grande Duchesse): This is a title for specific monarchs and members of the monarch’s family. This rank is below that of an emperor, king, or archduke but above a sovereign prince or marquees. In present day, in the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg, Henri the Grand Duke of Luxembourg has been reigning since 2000.



Horizontal Organizations (organisations horizontale): A type of structure for an organization or business where there is little to no separation between the executive and the employees.



Insurgency (Insurrection): An attempt by a group of individuals opposed to the current government to overthrow those in power. Insurgents typically attempt to take control by the use of violent force.

Intercommunal cooperation (Cooperation intercommunale): This designates different forms of cooperation between the various communities.

International Monetary Fund – IMF (Fonds monétaire international-FMI): The IMF works towards creating financial stability, economic cooperation and releases reports and statistics to assist with reforms for countries in crisis.


Land Register (Cadastre): An official register of a piece of real estate including the boundaries, ownership, and property value.

Land Value Tax (Taxe foncière): The land value tax is a tax based solely on the value of the land ignoring any buildings or constructions on that land.

Latifundium (latifundiaire): This term describes a large privately owned plot of land. Grain, olive oil, and wine were the primary exports for this type of land. There is still a dominance of this system today and Agrarian reforms, with the goal do ending this dominance, are implemented in governments throughout the world.

Local autonomy (Autonomie locale): The right and capacity of the collective community, within the framework of the law, to regulate and direct themselves. This lends the responsibility for the local government to help the local population and play an important role in public affairs.

Local collectivity (Collectivité locale): An administrative entity that benefits from a large local autonomy in regards to their jurisdiction, procedure for exercising power, and accomplishing their missions.

Local democracy (Démocratie locale): The right of the citizens to participate in public affairs by the Democratic Community Principles for all member states of the Council of Europe.

Local Liberties (Liberté locale): These are liberties granted by the European Charter of local autonomy.

Locality (Localité): A broad description of a place or district without any reference to persons nor occurrences there.



Majority Representation (Scrutin majoritiare): In a majority representation electoral system, one can appoint all the seats in the electorate to members of the majority party.

Marginal Cost (Coût marginal): The additional costs incurred when one produces additional units of a good or service.

Motion of no confidence (Motion de censure): This motion is used to demonstrate to the head of state that an elected official no longer has the support or confidence of the parliament. This may be due to an official not fulfilling their obligations or making decisions that are detrimental to the government or nation.

Municipality (Municipalité): This term can refer to a city or other district that holds some powers of self-government or can refer to the local government itself.

Mutualization (mutualisation): To make a risky decision which could result in the burden being place on the population.



Non-compulsory vote (vote-nonobligatoire): Seen as the opposite of compulsory voting, where citizens that are eligible to vote are not required to vote by law.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization –NATO (Organisation du traité de l`Atlantique nord-OTAN): NATO is a political and military alliance, which strives to guarantee liberty and security for all members.

NUTS: Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics.



Organization for the economic co-operation and development – OECD (Organisation de coopération et de développement économiques OCDE): The mission of the OECD is to promote political cooperation and to improve the social and political wellbeing throughout the world.

Ohrid Agreement (Accords d’Ohrid): The agreement had the objective of “securing the future of Macedonia’s democracy” and improving the relations between Macedonia and the Euro-Atlantic community. The Ohrid Agreement was signed between the government of Macedonia and representatives from Albania minority in the hopes of granting greater rights to the Macedonian Albanians.

Ottoman Empire (Empire Ottoman): A grouping of territories controlled by the Sultan Ottoman between the 1354 and 1922.



Parliament: A parliament is an assembly, generally elected, that assures the representation of the people in the states or administrative divisions. It has two main functions: make and undo laws and control the governmental action of the country.

Parliamentary Republic (Régime parlementaire): Within a parliamentary republic, the executive bodies (head of state, government) and the legislative body (Parliament) are distinct. However, there remains communal domains of actions (for example, the right of initiative where both have the ability to propose a bill) and means of mutual actions. The Parliament can hold the government liable (if the head of state is acting irresponsibly) and the executive can declare the dissolution of the parliament.

Perestroika: The literal meaning of the term is “restructuring”. During the time of the Soviet Union, Perestroika was a political, movement within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. This term was widely associated with Gorbatchev and his push for the development of communication and transparency.

Peri-urban (Péri urbain): This term describes areas that are in proximity to both the city and the countryside. Also called “outskirts”, theses spaces represent a mix between urban and rural structures.

Prerogative (prérogative): A benefit or right to a particular function, a state.

Planning (Planification): Management by public powers for the economic and social development aided by a plan.

Pogrom: A violent and deliberate persecution of an ethnic or religious minority. This term is most commonly used in reference to the anti-Semitic violence in Russia in the late 1800s.

Proportional Representation (Scrutin proportionnel): When the number of seats attributed are in accordance with the number of votes.

Provincial State (Etat Providence): In a large sense, the collection of economic and social intervention of the State. In a smaller sense, the intervention of a state in the social domain, and in particular within the system of social protection.



Rationalization (Rationalisation): The organization of a task to obtain its most effective leans of functioning.

Redistribution Politics (Politique de redistribution): In cultural anthropology, this term refers to the system of having a centralized collection of goods, which is redistributed among the public. This term can also refer to the allocation of revenue resulting in economic activity by allowing everyone to benefit; hence correcting economic inequalities.

Reform (Réforme): Change brought about by laws through institutions, to obtain the best result.

Region (Région): A territory in which the scope is determined by an administrative or economic unit by means of the similarities of territories such as: climate, vegetation or a cultural community.

Republic (République): A type of political organization in which those who have power righteously exert it by means of an entrusted mandate from a social body.

Romanian Greek Catholic Church (Eglise grecaue-catholique roumaine): One of the east catholic churches. Cardinal Lucian Meresan, Archbishop of Fagaras and Alba Lulia, has served as the head of the church since 1994.

Romanian Orthodox Church (Eglise Orthodoxe roumaine): An autocephaly jurisdiction of the Orthodox Church.


Semi-presidential republic (Régime semi-présidentiel): This type of political regime is when a directly elected President and Prime Minister work alongside the parliament but at the same time are also responsible to them. There are a grand number of nations with Europe with this type of political system including Austria, Bulgaria, Finland, France, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, and Ukraine.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics -USSR (Union des république sociqlistes soviétiques): The former Eurasia Empire from 1917 to 1991.

Sociological observatory for changes (Observatoire sociologique du changement): A research center in Sciences Po focusing on research in the sociology field while taking a generalist and comparative approach.

Sovereignty (Souveraineté): A supreme power acknowledged by the State that implies the exclusivity of its competence over the national territory (internal sovereignty) and its independence in an international order where it is only limited by its own engagements (external sovereignty).

Strategy on innovation and Good Governance at local level (La Stratégie pour l`innovation et la bonne gouvernance au niveau local): This strategy defines 12 European principles of good governance at local level to be use to improve local governance and create coalitions between all actors. To view the strategy and the 12 principals more in depth see,

Subsidiarity (subsidiarité): A senior level that only deals with affairs that cannot be regulated locally.

Succession (Sécession): An action carried out by a fraction of the population with the goal of separating from the state to form separate state or to reunite with another. Succession can be carried out in a peaceful or violent manner.

Sultan: The title of sovereigns from various Muslim states.

Suzerainty (Suzeraineté): Suzerainty is a situation in which a region or a nation is dependent on a more powerful entity who allows them to have an interior autonomy but controls all international affairs. This entity is called the Suzerain.


Tiebout model (Modèle Tiebout): This model states that the majority of public goods are provided by local expenditures and thus if there are multiple communities then the preferences of individuals, in relation to public goods, will be revealed by the choice of community in which they choose to live. This forces neighboring communities to be competitive with one another to keep their residents and attract others.

Treaty of Maastrich (Traité de Maastricht): In 1992, this treaty established the European Union and modified the treaties that established the European communities.

Treaty of Paris (Traité de Paris): The Treaty of Paris (1951) established the European Coal and Steel Community. This Community eventually became part of the European Union

Treaty of Rome (Traité de Rome): This treaty signed in Rome in 1957 established the European Economic Community and the European Community of Atomic Energy. These organizations would later become the future European Union.


Unicameral Parliament (Parlement monocaméral): This is a single-house legislative system in which there is one legislative body.

Unitary Authority (Autorité unitaire): This local authority benefits from a distinctive autonomy allowing it to complete government functions.

Unitary State (Etat Unitaire): A Unitary State is a form of government where all citizens in a state are governed by a single power. This form of government is the most widespread throughout Europe and the world.

Universal Suffrage (suffrage universel): When all citizens of a nation have the right to vote regardless of sex, race, etc.

Urban Municipality (Municipqlité urbaine): Refers to municipalities that are located in an urban unit.


Vertical Organizations (organisation vertical): A type of structure for an organization or business, which is set up similar to a pyramid with executives on the top, managers in the middle, and employees on the bottom. Executives then rely on managers to carry out and transmit directives to employees (also known as hierarchical organizations).



The Balance:


Cooperate Finance Institute:

Collins dictionary:

The French government portal for economics, finances, and public accounts:

European Commission:

Merriam Webster:

OSCE: and

Oxford Dictionary:

Oxford Scholarship:

Toute l’Europe:

The World Bank: