A geopolitical term to describe the fragmentation of a region into several small states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other.
Any disintegration process, such as that of the Internet being divided into separate enclaves.
Balkanization, or Balkanisation, is a geopolitical term, originally used to describe the process of fragmentation or division of a region or state into smaller regions or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other. It is considered pejorative. The term refers to the division of the Balkan peninsula, formerly ruled almost entirely by the Ottoman Empire, into a number of smaller states between 1817 and 1912. The term however came into common use in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, with reference to the numerous new states that arose from the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Russian Empire. At the end of the Cold War, there was a new wave of Balkanization after the Breakup of Yugoslavia and the Breakup of the Soviet Union. The term is also used to describe other forms of disintegration, including, for instance, the subdivision of the Internet into separate enclaves, the division of subfields and the creation of new fields from sociology, and the breakdown of cooperative arrangements due to the rise of independent competitive entities engaged in "beggar thy neighbour" bidding wars. Balkanization is sometimes used to refer to the divergence over time of programming languages and data file formats. The term has been used in American urban planning to describe the process of creating gated communities.
Balkanization is the fragmentation of a larger region or state into smaller regions or states, which may be hostile or uncooperative with one another. It is usually caused by differences of ethnicity, culture, and religion and some other factors such as past grievances. The term is pejorative; when sponsored or encouraged by a sovereign third party, it has been used as an accusation against such third party nations. Controversially, the term is often used by voices for the status quo to underscore the dangers of acrimonious or runaway secessionism. Balkanization is a type of political fragmentation.
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