Who Will Join the Club of Nations Next?

Very interesting feature that muses on an upcoming “nation-state baby boom” from Frank Jacobs and Parag Khanna – The New World – Interactive – NYTimes.com.

NYT | The New World


14 thoughts on “Who Will Join the Club of Nations Next?”

  1. It has always been interesting to me when I look at the lines on a map to try and think “What prompted someone to draw a line here?”. After all, the lines are just imaginary borders between countries. I often wonder if there are people living directly on that line, and whether they think of themselves as part of the country on the left or the right.
    What defines a country? Is it a collection of people who are tied together with the same economic, social, and cultural beliefs? Or is it the ink lines on a map? I am supportive of the division of these countries. As times and peoples change, it seems obvious that the map must change as well.

    1. Its very interesting, just as you stated. I have a little information that might help you. In the mid 1800s, many European countries met at the Berlin Conference to establish borders and trade regulations in African nations. They drew borders not according to cultural differences which have ended up in huge conflicts. Many of these conflicts are well known, such as Sudan and the Rwandan Genocide.
      So what I’m saying is that when it came to many of these countries, particularly in Africa, the country wasn’t initially established according to economic, social and cultural beliefs as you said but it is the opposite it was based upon the colonization of the African continent. So you were more correct when you asked “is it the ink lines on a map.”
      I do agree with you. And am vey appreciative of your comment. It is about time that these countries divided and became soverign.

  2. The tremendous implications of boundaries being redefined and re-drawn all over the globe instill both a sense of suspenseful excitement and a daunting fear. If the Treaty of Westphalia ushered in a new era of local and international politics, the current tides of global politics are comparable to that time. The unrest and the constant power struggle of the oppressed who refuse to accept the status quo anymore can be seen as the beginning of power shifts and realignment. We have lived in a unipolar world for decades, in which the US has served as the dominant power; even this is changing. Sentiments about how China will grow to rival the US in all facets are widespread. What are the implications of a bipolar world? Is a bipolar world relatively stable? Under what conditions will it be peaceful? With so much uncertainty in this mess of a dance by self-interested actors, there is much speculation and uneasiness.

    Personally, I have been raised in the Republic of Korea and I am a little surprised that the journalist of this article states rather primitively that North and South Korea could soon be one country. Unification with North Korea is a sensitive, inflammatory topic between different age groups, political groups, economists, etc in South Korea. Many are adamantly against unification because of economic instability, cultural assimilation, which will take decades to recover from. South Korea has established itself as a relevant player (as much as a small archipelago could) in the global economy. At what expense is unification a worthwhile cause?

    Despite the skepticism and violence surrounding boundary issues, it is undeniable that change has been thrust upon global politics and that there has been and will be a continuous shift of power throughout the world.

  3. Of these possible border realignments, I feel like the most interesting is the failed state of Belgium. It is geographically small yet culturally and politically divided between the Flemish and the Dutch. How does a Western state deal with its political paralysis that has been hanging around, with a few short breaks, since 2007 (http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/01/06/belgium_lumbers_on)? How does the international community react to a potential breakup of a western, industrialized state? This ongoing problem displays that Western states are not immune to political failure and possibly foreshadows political crises within other Western countries due to ideological and cultural differences.

    1. I think Belgium is a really interesting one as well. It is a good example of how international politics affects the inner workings of countries. A lot of Belgians would be okay with the split but neither side wants to give up Brussels. As the center of the EU it brings a lot to the local economy. Along with the this, the North has most of the industry and so it will be interesting to see if the cultural differences ever overcome the economic ties between the two. Maybe if there is enough EU integration they can separate without having to worry about losing economic benefits.

  4. What really interested me was China possibly absorbing Siberia.
    Being from Mexico, it really spoke to me that one of the biggest perceived threats to making this happen is all the Chinese immigration into Russia. Although different in many ways from the events leading to the Mexican-American War, one of the things that they share in common is the fact that the loss of territory for Mexico began because, although the region belonged to Mexico, it was mainly populated by Americans – that easily led to the US claiming the land because, although it was not legitimately theirs, their citizens lived in it and they felt some obligation to protect their interests.
    I included a link, but look at the map, it is amazing to me that Mexico lost so much land, but it could be argued that this started because they did not protect their border enough to keep foreigners out – and then things spiraled out of control.

    1. I also think that the China and Siberia realignment is interesting, and the Mexico-US comparison is worth thinking about. The big difference however–and what I think is the most interesting aspect of the border between China and Siberia–is that China and Russia are two world powers that have a complex and invested relationship.
      To me, it will fascinating to see what the tipping point will be. What circumstances would be present for Russia to accept a gradual takeover by China? Or will China be aggressive in redefining its northern border?

  5. I find it interesting that there currently is a “nation-state boom” in the ever increasingly globalizing world we live in today. When peoples are constantly moving to and fro and ideas, goods, and religion are being shared unreservedly, many would think the idea of nation-state would slowly be disappearing, not re-emerging even stronger. Yet, contrary to that thought, one can still find the world to be a highly diverse place. In fact, globalization often provokes a strong reaction on the part of local peoples, making them all the more determined to maintain what is distinctive about their way of life. An increased nationalism rises today despite intense, all-encompassing mass culture due to globalization because people seek to project their own culture and feel connected to their rich heritage. In efforts to retain their uniqueness, nation-states like the ones highlighted above are indeed emerging.

  6. I may be cheating slightly, but I think Palestine has a very good chance of eventually becoming a much more recognized state. The current situation is not sustainable. Eventually, the two sides must agree to one of the many proposed solutions, probably likely ending up as a one-state or two-state solution. For Americans, the two state solution would have us see the creation of a new country, while for the rest of the world, the one-state solution would erase a border in the Middle East.
    To read more on the one and two state solutions:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/20/one-state-solution-palestinians-israel

    1. I agree, Pakistan should become a state, however, it should join with the state of Israel and form a new state rather than go for the two state solution. If the two-state solution comes to pass, then we may have the makings for WWIII with all of the Arab world on the side of Palestine, along with several other countries, and the US supporting Israel. With such a situation, along with all of the hate for Israel that has built up in that region, full scale war would inevitably break out. We may be in a baby boom for nation states in the world, but it isn’t always a good thing for them to be created.

  7. I don’t know much about Somalia, but it’s always so interesting to me that much of the Somalian economy comes from pirating. These armed pirates literally hijack cargo ships, kidnap the crew, and demand ransom payments. In 2011, these Somalian pirates attacked over 150 ships, took control of 25 of them, and profited over $100 Million! Fortunately, the number of hijacked ships has gone way down in 2012 due to increased on-board defenses. There have only been about 5 hijacked ships in 2012. So now Somalia is probably going to break into three smaller countries: Somalia, Puntland, and Somaliland. It mentioned that piracy will still probably be a main contributor to the economy, and I guess we’ll see how long piracy continues to be largely successful. More on Somalian piracy: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/party-somali-pirates-attacks-article-1.1168127

  8. Taking in mind that Russia has the second largest nuclear arsenal and has similar political ideologies with China, I don’t think China will take over Siberia at any circumstances, but I would love to see North and South Korea come together as one nation.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s