Chapter 32: The Challenges of the Twenty-First Century

Key Terms

a militant Islamist group originally founded by Osama bin Laden
boomerang generation
young people who must return to their parents’ home in order to make ends meet
Bush Doctrine
the belief that the United States has the right to protect itself from terrorist acts by engaging in pre-emptive wars or ousting hostile governments in favor of friendly, preferably democratic, regimes
charter schools
elementary and secondary schools that, although funded by taxpayer money, are allowed to operate independently from some rules and regulations governing public schools
civil unions
a civil status offered to gay and lesbian couples with the goal of securing the main privileges of marriage without granting them equal status in marriage
credit default swaps
financial instruments that pay buyers even if a purchased loan defaults; a form of insurance for risky loans
Great Recession
the economic recession that began in 2008, following the collapse of the housing boom, and was driven by risky and misleading subprime mortgages and a deregulated bond market
greenhouse gases
gases in the earth’s atmosphere, like carbon dioxide, that trap heat and prevent it from radiating into space
Kyoto Protocol
an international agreement establishing regulations designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the world’s industrialized nations
the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
subprime mortgage
a type of mortgage offered to borrowers with lower credit ratings; subprime loans feature interest rates that are higher (often adjustable) than conventional mortgages to compensate the bank for the increased risk of default
a fundamentalist Muslim group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001
Tea Party
a conservative movement focused primarily on limiting government spending and the size of the federal government
weapons of mass destruction; a class of weapons capable of inflicting massive causalities and physical destruction, such as nuclear bombs or biological and chemical weapons


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