The fragmentation of a region into smaller, often hostile, political units
The term comes from the Balkan Peninsula of Europe, a region that has balkanized may time, and is still undergoing balkanization.
The former Yugoslavia has become five independent countries and the province of Kosovo is currently fighting to break away of what is left of Yugoslavia.
The former USSR balkanized into sixteen independent countries with Russia being the largest.
UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPTS TO BALKANIZE A COUNTRY:
The process whereby regions within a state demand and gain political strength and growing autonomy at the expense of the central government
BALKANIZATION vs. DEVOLUTION
Balkanization usually results in a new independent State.
Devolutionary pressures result in increased autonomy for a region. If strong enough, these devolutionary pressures may result in complete balkanization
EXAMPLES OF DEVOLUTION
Indian Reservations in the U.S.
Dayton Agreement on Bosnia
Kurds in Iraq
Chechnya in Russia
SOME CENTRIFUGAL FORCES
EXAMPLES OF CENTRIPETAL FORCES
A policy of cultural extension and potential political expansion aimed at a national group living in a neighboring country
For example, when India mistreated the Muslims living in state of Jammu and Kashmir, the Muslim government of neighboring Pakistan threatened, and ultimately wet to, war [map]
Irredentism is often a cause of cultural conflicts as countries protect members of their cultural group living in neighboring countries.
SOLUTION / PREVENTION
The post World War II animosity between the United States and the USSR.
The cold war was exhibited through huge military buildups and the quest for alliances with other countries.
This had a significant impact on many countries affecting their:
- support for rebellions
- economic structure
and sometimes resulting in war supported by the U.S. and USSR superpowers.