Partition (politics)

In politics, a partition is a change of political borders cutting through at least one territory considered a homeland by some community.[1]

Common arguments for partitions include:

  • historicist – that partition is inevitable, or already in progress[1]
  • last resort – that partition should be pursued to avoid the worst outcomes (genocide or large-scale ethnic expulsion), if all other means fail[1]
  • cost–benefit – that partition offers a better prospect of conflict reduction than the if existing borders are not changed[1]
  • better tomorrow – that partition will reduce current violence and conflict, and that the new more homogenized states will be more stable[1]
  • rigorous end – heterogeneity leads to problems, hence homogeneous states should be the goal of any policy[1]


Notable examples are: (See Category:Partition)

[10] * Three Partitions of Luxembourg, the last of which in 1839, divided Luxembourg between France, Prussia, Belgium, and the independent Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

See also


  2. Norman Davies. God's Playground , p. 28
  3. Stephen R. Turnbull. Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights p. 89
  4. Millot, Claude François Xavier. Elements of General History: Ancient and Modern p. 227
  5. Arthur Hassall. The Balance of Power, 1715–1789, p. 242
  6. "Kentucky". A+E Networks. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  7. "Official Name and Status History of the several States and U.S. Territories". Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  8. "Today in History – June 20: Mountaineers Always Freemen". Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  9. "A State of Convenience: The Creation of West Virginia, Chapter Twelve, Reorganized Government of Virginia Approves Separation". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  10. "The Polish Occupation. Czechoslovakia was, of course, mutilated not only by Germany. Poland and Hungary also each asked for their share." Hubert Ripka Munich, Before and After: A Fully Documented Czechoslovak Account
  11. Davies, p. 101
  12. Samuel Leonard Sharp: Poland, White Eagle on a Red Field
  13. Norman Davies: God's Playground
  14. Debates of the Senate of the Dominion of Canada

Further reading

  • Sambanis, Nicholas, and Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl. "What's in a line? Is partition a solution to civil war?." International Security 34.2 (2009): 82–118.
  • Berg, Eiki. "Re-examining sovereignty claims in changing territorialities: reflections from ‘Kosovo Syndrome’." Geopolitics 14.2 (2009): 219-234.
  • Fearon, James D. "Separatist wars, partition, and world order." Security Studies 13.4 (2004): 394–415.
  • Downes, Alexander B. "More Borders, Less Conflict? Partition as a Solution to Ethnic Civil Wars." SAIS Review of International Affairs 26.1 (2006): 49–61.
  • Kumar, Radha. "Settling Partition Hostilities: Lessons Learned, Options Ahead." The Fate of the Nation-state (2004): 247.
  • O'Leary, Brendan. "Debating partition: justifications and critiques." Revised version of portion of a paper presented at final conference of the Mapping frontiers, plotting pathways: routes to North-South cooperation in a divided island programme, City Hotel, Armagh, 19–20 January 2006. University College Dublin. Institute for British-Irish Studies, 2006.
  • Horowitz, Michael C., Alex Weisiger, and Carter Johnson. "The limits to partition." International Security 33.4 (2009): 203–210.
  • Kumar, Radha. "The Partition Debate: Colonialism Revisited or New Policies?." The Brown Journal of World Affairs 7.1 (2000): 3–11.
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