I am nominating this for featured list because I believe that it meets the criteria. This list has largely replaced the old list of countries that was de-FL'ed and redirected at the end of last year, and is far superior - particularly in terms of visual appeal and clarity of definition. Note that the full definition of the inclusion criteria is rather lengthy and as such is summarised in the lead and detailed below the list. Pfainuktalk 15:35, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Please consult significant contributors before nominating; you have the tenth-most edits.
The article has no lead to speak of.
Featured lists do not start "This list..." or any other variations of such. Dabomb87 (talk) 16:45, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
It's true that I am tenth on the list, and also second if you exclude all of those editors who have not edited the article this year and third if you exclude all those who have not edited the article since March 2008. The nature of the list is that editors come and go with some frequency. But if it's a problem then I won't take credit for the list if it passes.
I'm a little confused by your second point. On the contrary, it appears to be pretty common for geographical featured lists to begin, say, "[t]his is a list of Massachusetts counties" or the similar construction "[t]he following list of Israeli cities...". I have changed the lead sentence to say "[t]his is a list of sovereign states..." rather than "[t]his list of sovereign states..." per those examples.
I struggle to think of anything that might go into the lead of the article that isn't already there (except possibly the full definition of the inclusion criteria, which was placed below the list because of its length) without rewriting country or political history of the world. But if you have suggestions, I don't mind listening to them - even if the list doesn't pass this time, we can use it to improve the article. Pfainuktalk 18:04, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I numbered my points to ease the discussion:
I don't really mind that much, although you may want to leave notes at relevant WikiProjects about this FLC. I imagine this is a very important list and getting many eyes is crucial.
Featured lists are now expected to provide background and/or context. If this is hard, you can also summarize the list, e.g. how many recognized UN states are there, what are the more recently recognized states, etc.
Around the middle of last year, we moved away (deprecated if you will) from the verbatim repetition of article's title. Try for something more engaging, such as a definition of the topic. For example, you could start the article as "A sovereign state (no bold) is defined as..." Dabomb87 (talk) 18:55, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment All of the entries use hyphens where there should be an en-dash. For example, "English: United Kingdom - United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" should be "English: United Kingdom – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland". Not a big deal, but the fact that the entire list does it is a big problem. Drewcifer (talk) 20:32, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
I've just gone through with Word's replace tool and believe that this should be resolved. Pfainuktalk 00:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I've also noticed a fair amount of the citations that don't give proper attribution, or do so in the proper citation style. I recommend using citation templates to fix this problem, along with, of course, putting in all of the neccesary information (title, author, date, publisher, etc). Drewcifer (talk) 10:43, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
Comment Fails FL criteria 2 (maybe 1, too) because the lead is too small. Like Dabomb87 said, the lead need to provide some contexts of the list. Three sentences are not enough.—Chris!ct 21:37, 1 March 2009 (UTC)
Fair enough. The criteria we're using for the list were removed to the bottom of the article, ironically enough, because they were thought distracting to the article - it may be worth bringing parts of it back up. Dabomb also gives some good suggestions that I'll have a go with. I won't do it now because I don't write too well at midnight! Pfainuktalk 00:03, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
I reckon I can write something, but I don't think it'll meet criterion 1 without some discussion on talk and a bit more than ten days. Better, perhaps, to give us some time and see if we can come back with something better in a couple of months. I guess you probably worked this out already! It's useful to know your objections - and if you have any more then you're welcome to fire away - and I thank you for your time, but for know I'd like to withdraw this nomination. Not sure how to do this technically, but I'm sure someone does! Thanks again. Pfainuktalk 19:31, 2 March 2009 (UTC)
No problem—try to get feedback from some WikiProjects and maybe list this at peer review. Hope to see you soon! Don't remove the FLC template from the talk page. Dabomb87 (talk) 13:34, 3 March 2009 (UTC)