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For the linguistic usage of this term, see Balkan sprach- It was coined in the early 19th century.[4] The term howbund.
ever came into common use in the immediate aftermath
Balkanization, or Balkanisation, is a geopolitical of the First World War, with reference to the numerous
new states that arose from the collapse of the AustroHungarian 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
Dissolution of the Soviet Union.
There are also attempts to use the term Balkanization in
a positive way equating it with the need for decentralisation and sustenance of a particular group or society.
Current research on the positive aspects of Balkanization
is carried out by Sran Jovanovi Weiss with Centre for
Research Architecture[5] at Goldsmiths College.[6][7]
The larger countries within Europe, often being the result
of the union of several historical regions or nations, have
faced the perceived issue of Balkanization. The Iberian
Peninsula and Spain especially has from the time of AlAndalus had to come to terms with Balkanization,[8] with
several separatist movements existing today including the
Basque Country and Catalan independentism.

The Balkans from 1796 to 2008

Quebec has been the scene of a small but vociferous

partition movement from the part of anglophone activist
groups opposed to the idea of Independence of Quebec.
One such project is the Proposal for the Province of Montreal, which wishes for the establishment of a separate
province from Quebec from Montreals strongly anglophone Anglo-Saxon and immigrant communities.
In January 2007, regarding the growing support for
Scottish independence, the then-Chancellor of the Exchequer of the United Kingdom, and later Prime Minister,
Gordon Brown talked of a Balkanisation of Britain.[9]
Independence movements within Britain also exist in
England, Wales, Cornwall and a reunication movement
The Bulgarian campaign showing the state of the Balkans during in Northern Ireland.

term, originally used to describe the process of fragmen- 2 Other uses

tation or division of a region or state into smaller regions
or states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with one
The term is also used to describe other forms of disanother.[1] It is considered pejorative by some.[2]
integration, including, for instance, the subdivision of
the Internet into separate enclaves,[10] the division of
subelds and the creation of new elds from sociology,
1 Nations and societies
and the breakdown of cooperative arrangements due
to the rise of independent competitive entities engaged
The term refers to the division of the Balkan peninsula, in extquotedblbeggar thy neighbour extquotedbl bidformerly ruled almost entirely by the Ottoman Empire, ding wars. The term has been used in American urinto a number of smaller states between 1817 and 1912.[3] ban planning to describe the process of creating gated


communities. Andrej Grubacic rejects the racist, colo- [6] Sran Jovanovi Weiss at the Centre for Research Architecture
nialist conception of balkanization as a process by
which ancient, ethnic hatreds lead to a process of
[7] Shapes of Balkanization - Exhibition at Akademie Schloss
chauvinistic fragmentationusually juxtaposed to enSolitude in Stuttgart, Germany 2006 by the Normal Arlightened, Anglo-European federalization and unicachitecture Oce, a design practice founded by Sran Jotion. Grubai terms this account as balkanization from
vanovi Weiss
aboveOrientalist, colonialist, racist literature acting as
the bulwark for the like policies advanced by the Eu- [8] McLean, Renwick (29 September 2005). Catalonia steps
up to challenge Spain. The New York Times.
ropean Union and United States, particularly in BosniaHerzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo. He contrasts it, on the [9] BBC News | Politics | UKs existence is at risk - Brown.
other hand, with what he terms balkanization from be13 January 2007.
low, a narrative that insists on social and cultural anities, as well as on customs in common resulting from in- [10] Google lays out browser aims, Financial Times, September 4, 2008
terethnic mutual aid and solidarity, and resulting in what
can be termed an interethnic self-activity, one that was [11]
severed through the Euro-colonial intervention. The historical legacy on which Grubai draws is that of the
Balkan Federation, an horizontal organization of peoples,
with no nations or states, organized regionally and organically for mutual aid and empowerment, a world where
many worlds t. [11]

See also
Yugoslav Wars
Balkan Federation
Feudal fragmentation
Protracted social conict
Multinational state
Sectarian violence
Social polarization


[1] Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary 1. to break up (as a

region or group) into smaller and often hostile units.
[2] Vidanovi, Ivan (2006).
Renik socijalnog rada
Udruenje strunih radnika socijalne zatite Srbije;
Drutvo socijalnih radnika Srbije; Asocijacija centra za
socijalni rad Srbije; Unija Studenata socijalnog rada.
ISBN 86-904183-4-2.(Serbian)
[3] Balkanization Encyclopdia Britannica
[4] Perceptions: Journal of International Aairs. Center for
Strategic Research. Summer 2013. p. 128.
[5] See http://www.gold.ac.uk/architecture/

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