Partition (politics)

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The island of Ireland after partition between the primarily Irish nationalist Southern Ireland (today the Republic of Ireland) and the Irish unionist-majority Northern Ireland (today part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland).

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)

See also[edit]


  2. ^ Norman Davies: God's Playground [1]
  3. ^ Stephen R. Turnbull, Tannenberg 1410: Disaster for the Teutonic Knights [2]
  4. ^ Elements of General History: Ancient and Modern, by Millot (Claude François Xavier) [3]
  5. ^ Arthur Hassall, The Balance of Power. 1715–1789
  6. ^ 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 of the ..., 1939 [4]
  7. ^ Norman Davies: God's Playground [5]
  8. ^ Samuel Leonard Sharp: Poland, White Eagle on a Red Field
  9. ^ Norman Davies: God's Playground [6]
  10. ^ Debates of the Senate of the Dominion of Canada

Further reading[edit]

  • 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.