"Neocolonialism" refers to a policy of indirectly exerting political or cultural influence over another country or entity, especially a former colony. The term is closely related to "colonialism," which typically entails a direct control of a dependent population or country.
The prefix "neo" is a clue to the meaning of the word, since "neo" means "new." Thus, neocolonialism is a newer form of colonialism. Neocolonialism is usually mentioned in geopolitical discussions, although it can also refer to a type of architecture alternatively labeled "Colonial Revival." Philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre contributed to the discourse on neocolonialism, a term that first appeared around 1960, according to Merriam-Webster.