Balkanization

balkans

Balkanization [bawl-kuhn-uh-zey-shuhn] 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. The term arose from conflicts in the 20th century Balkans. While what is now termed Balkanization has occurred throughout history, the term originally described the creation of smaller, ethnically diverse states following the breakup of the Ottoman Empire after World War I.

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.

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