I, personally, am interested in conflicts around the world. The Carter Center [http://www.CarterCenter.org] estimates that there are about 30 major armed conflicts occurring around the world today. Our press ignores most of these unless something dramatic happens. We will examine some of these conflicts in our online lectures. You may want to look for news reports on some of the less known conflicts for your news journal or for your 10 sites assignments.
Here we will discuss the basic terminology and concepts needed to understand the geography of cultural conflicts.
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.
East Timor: The former Portuguese colony on the eastern half of the island of Timor have become independent from Indonesia.
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
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.