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 United Kingdom).

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]

Common arguments against include:[citation needed]

  • It disrupts functioning and traditional state entities
  • It creates enormous human suffering
  • It creates new grievances that could eventually lead to more deadly violence, such as the Korean and Vietnamese wars.
  • It prioritizes race and ethnicity to a level acceptable only to an apartheid regime
  • The international system is very reluctant to accept the idea of partition in deeply divided societies


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