Powder keg


Powder keg

Powder Keg is a metaphorical term sometimes used when referring to countries or geographical region where political, socio-economic and historical circumstances have made the area prone to outbursts of wars or other conflicts. The analogy is drawn from a perception that certain territories may seem peaceful and dormant until a minor event triggers a large outburst of violence. [http://www.mrdowling.com/706-powderkeg.html] [http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-11-18-voa15.cfm] The term is most often used to simplify and help the understanding of what many times is a complex set of circumstances that lead to conflicts (see diagram of WWI Powder Keg [http://www.schoolhistory.co.uk/gcselinks/wars/firstwwlinks/worksheets/explosivewwi.pdf] )

While the term is used sometimes to refer to the entire region of Europe it is almost always used to specifically describe countries on the Balkan peninsula and particularly the ex-Yugoslavian countries. The most cited event attributed to the use of the term was the assassination of Franz Ferdinand that took place in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1914 which triggered World War I.

More recently the term has also been used to describe other regions in the world such as the Middle East or Pakistan [http://dir.salon.com/story/news/feature/2005/07/23/rashid/index.html]

The term is metaphorical, referring to the original meaning of "powder keg": a barrel of gunpowder.

ee also

*Powder keg of Europe


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • powder keg — powder kegs also powder keg N COUNT If you describe a situation or a place as a powder keg, you mean that it could easily become very dangerous. Unless these questions are solved, the region will remain a powder keg …   English dictionary

  • powder keg — powder ,keg noun count a situation that is dangerous and may become violent: Religious conflict has turned the city into a powder keg …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • powder keg — ► NOUN 1) a barrel of gunpowder. 2) a potentially explosive situation …   English terms dictionary

  • powder keg — ☆ powder keg n. 1. a small barrel used to store gunpowder 2. a potential source of violence, war, disaster, etc …   English World dictionary

  • powder keg — noun 1. a potentially explosive state • Hypernyms: ↑danger 2. keg (usually made of metal) for gunpowder or blasting powder • Hypernyms: ↑keg * * * noun, pl ⋯ kegs [count] 1 : a small container that is used to hold gunpowder 2 : a place or… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Powder Keg — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Powder Keg Produktionsland USA …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • powder keg — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms powder keg : singular powder keg plural powder kegs a situation that is dangerous and may become violent …   English dictionary

  • powder-keg — see powder keg …   English dictionary

  • powder keg — pow′der keg n. 1) a small, metal, barrellike container for gunpowder or blasting powder 2) a potentially dangerous situation …   From formal English to slang

  • powder keg — /ˈpaʊdə kɛg/ (say powduh keg) noun 1. a small container, shaped like a barrel, for storing gunpowder or powder explosive. 2. a situation in which extreme damage could be easily caused. Also, powderkeg …   Australian English dictionary


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