Relatively settled borders today?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Earlier in history, borders of states were relatively fluid, and the borders could fluctuate significantly due to military victories and conquests.
For example, the size of the Tang Dynasty at its height and its downfall fluctuated from around 10 million square kilometres to around 3 million square kilometres.
The Northern Song Dynasty is the so-called "smallest" unified Dynasty of China (then, Song Dynasty failed to control all of the "so-called" traditional territories of China); it was substantially larger than
Songhai Empire, the largest African empire in history.
Currently, we observe relatively settled borders today.
Why interstate armed conflicts are so rare today?
What render today's borders relatively settled?
How effective is the UN?


Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
Like the Ukraine??

The UN is useful as a permanent place to negotiate, discuss and interact. But if someone wants to invade somewhere whatever, then the UN is no use at all
This is the exception rather than the rule.
Borders usually don’t fluctuate that much today.


Ad Honoris
May 2014
The fact that the international community doesn't tolerate much border changes nowadays probably has a lot to do with this. For instance, any NATO country that attempted to forcibly change its borders would probably have to deal with military action from the other NATO countries.


Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
Nahh , As long as the Russians loose something NATO will sit back and watch

there is absolutely nothing settled about borders ,
they depend on the polities which claim them and it could be taken from them at the stroke of a pen by a winner
Aug 2010
Welsh Marches
It is hardly the UN that keeps borders stable, it is the international reaction against anyone who uses force against neighbouring countries; Russia is rather the exception because it doesn't mind being a rogue nation or suffering economic disadvantage because its main ambition is to assert its position as a 'great power' in the old-fashioned way.
Likes: Futurist


Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
Las Vegas, NV USA
Border changes should include the case where an entire nation disappears. The USSR disappeared at the end of 1991; replaced by a number of independent states including the Russian Federation. The latter has a bit more than half the population of the former USSR. Since then the only de facto border change was the annexation of Crimea by Russia. It's not wise to believe that this is the last border change involving the Russian Federation.
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Dec 2017
Regnum Teutonicum
I think borders do fluctuate a lot today, the difference is that, today they mostly don't fluctuate by war.

If we take post World War 2 Europe as an example:
- The Soviet Union broke apart -> all those countries borders fluctuated
- Czechoslovakia broke apart -> two countries with fluctuating borders
- Break-up of Yugoslavia and Kosovo War -> nearly a whole region with fluctuating borders
- Malta independent from UK -> two more countries with fluctuating borders
- The GDR, Berlin and the Saarprotectorate were absorbed by Germany -> 1 more country with fluctuating borders
- Germany ceded its eastern territories to Poland (and the Soviet Union) in 1990 -> one more country with fluctuating borders
- Germany grew by territory it acquired from the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg and France -> four more countries with fluctuating borders
- Very small territorial exchanges by Switzerland and Germany -> one more country with fluctuating borders

That means only 20 european countries had no border changes since World War 2 at maximum (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Vatican, Monaco and San Marino. And that doesn't even count decolonization.
Jan 2010
Atlanta, Georgia USA
In Europe, it's the result of the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) that ended the Thirty Years War.

Although not always respected, it created the principle of respecting the territorial integrity of nation states.

"The main tenets of the Peace of Westphalia were:

  • All parties would recognize the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, in which each prince would have the right to determine the religion of his own state (the principle of cuius regio, eius religio). The options were Catholicism, Lutheranism, and now Calvinism.[11][12]
  • Christians living in principalities where their denomination was not the established church were guaranteed the right to practice their faith in private, as well as in public during allotted hours.[16]
  • General recognition of the exclusive sovereignty of each party over its lands, people, and agents abroad, and responsibility for the warlike acts of any of its citizens or agents. Issuance of unrestricted letters of marque and reprisal to privateers was forbidden." Peace of Westphalia - Wikipedia