Relatively settled borders today?

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,153
Sydney
#11
also the Cyprus situation with a border cutting up the island

borders fluctuate like continental plates ,in area of friction they are pretty much at the mercy of the local conditions .
each eruption is followed by readjustments with attending aftershocks

until the next cycle
 

sparky

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,153
Sydney
#12
On the break up of the USSR ,
it was like the old Russian and the Ottoman Empire deeply multicultural , as Empire ten to be

after WW1 the Ottoman reinvented themselves as Turkey , the country of the Turks with exclusively Turkish concern
Russia re- emerging after the fall of the wall is now a Russian state , with exclusively Russian concern
it's extend is less than what it was in Peter the Great times , a lot of territory was cut off
it is now a time of re- gathering some of those traditional Russian lands given away by various regimes
 
May 2015
987
The Netherlands
#13
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?
Pre-modern states or empires had no borders, but boundaries or frontiers that were highly fluid. With the proliferation of the modern state as the dominant expression of political organisation in the world, clear-cut borders became the norm. The evolution of international law after 1945 has made the appropriation of territory or settling of border disputes by forceful means illegitimate. Also, democratization is an important factor here. Democratic countries are less prone to start interstate conflicts, especially if the other country is also democratic.

The UN is as effective or ineffective as its member states want it to be.

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.
The USSR was never a nation, but a federation or union of sovereign republics. The republics that constituted the USSR simply broke away from it without changing their respective borders.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,565
Las Vegas, NV USA
#14
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The USSR was never a nation, but a federation or union of sovereign republics. The republics that constituted the USSR simply broke away from it without changing their respective borders.
Are you saying a federation is not a nation? Some define nations in terms of ethnicity but a federation is a sovereign state where sovereignty is divided between internal polities and a central government. The US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the former USSR are/were federal states. The current "Russian Federation" may not be a true federation since Putin now appoints the leaders of most of its various subdivisions. In the former USSR real power was also centered in Moscow.
 
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Aug 2014
93
New York, USA
#15
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.
The USSR was never a nation, but a federation or union of sovereign republics. The republics that constituted the USSR simply broke away from it without changing their respective borders.
Not true, in fact a lot of the borders between Russia and the other states were/still are unsettled. Just in 2008, Russia transferred 174 sq km to China as part of their border negotiations. Of course this didn't get much attention in the Western press, but it happened nevertheless. Another example, Russia just negotiated its border with Estonia (in 2014!) to resolve the issue of Saatse boot. When the USSR fell apart, Russia ended up with a lot of awkward borders, because technically they were the same country and people really didn't pay attention to the borders of the republics (that's how Crimea ended up in Ukraine in the first place). Similarly, I believe China has border disputes with literally every single country it borders except Russia...
 
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May 2015
987
The Netherlands
#16
Are you saying a federation is not a nation? Some define nations in terms of ethnicity but a federation is a sovereign state where sovereignty is divided between internal polities and a central government. The US, Canada, Germany, Switzerland and the former USSR are/were federal states. The current "Russian Federation" may not be a true federation since Putin now appoints the leaders of most of its various subdivisions. In the former USSR real power was also centered in Moscow.
I have to agree that 'nation' is a somewhat ambigious term that is used to signify a sovereign state or a collection of people possessing a common culture or heritage, of which the state is the political expression. It is frequently used as a synonym for sovereign state, but technically that is incorrect. Federations can be nations and sovereign states, but not all of them are. For instance, the late German Empire was a federal state, but some of its constituent states - like Bavaria - still possessed their own army and diplomatic service. In that sense the German Empire was not a sovereign state. The UK is generally seen not as a nation but as a commonwealth of four nations (that also constitute separate countries) and the Russian Federation is a multi-national state, but we still consider both to be sovereign states. In that sense the Soviet Union was a sovereign state and you were right. I just wanted to pointed out that it was not a unitary state that dissappeared. It was always a union of republics (sovereign republics since 1977).

Not true, in fact a lot of the borders between Russia and the other states were/still are unsettled. Just in 2008, Russia transferred 174 sq km to China as part of their border negotiations. Of course this didn't get much attention in the Western press, but it happened nevertheless. Another example, Russia just negotiated its border with Estonia in 2014!
You might be right, but I don't think your examples are particularly relevant to the dissolution of the Soviet Union based on the existing political state structure in 1991. As far as I know the borders between the respective member states stayed pretty much the same during the process.
 
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stevev

Ad Honorem
Apr 2017
2,565
Las Vegas, NV USA
#17
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Federations can be nations and sovereign states, but not all of them are. For instance, the late German Empire was a federal state, but some of its constituent states - like Bavaria - still possessed their own army and diplomatic service. In that sense the German Empire was not a sovereign state. The UK is generally seen not as a nation but as a commonwealth of four nations (that also constitute separate countries) and the Russian Federation is a multi-national state, but we still consider both to be sovereign states. In that sense the Soviet Union was a sovereign state and you were right. I just wanted to pointed out that it was not a unitary state that dissappeared. It was always a union of republics (sovereign republics since 1977).
The German Empire (1871-1918) liked to be represented as separate states when it was to their advantage. In 1910 they sent 6 or 7 delegations to the funeral of Edward VII in London. They wanted to send delegations for all the states and free cities but settled for the smaller number after negotiations. They wouldn't cover the Bavarian King's debts because he was Bavaria's, not the Reich's king. They even said there was no German Army, but only a military alliance of German states. Nevertheless they had a written constitution which said otherwise. The Imperial Government was supreme and it's laws superseded the laws of any state or free city. The Imperial Government was effectively controlled by Prussia which outvoted all the other states put together.
 
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VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,174
Brassicaland
#18
Pre-modern states or empires had no borders, but boundaries or frontiers that were highly fluid. With the proliferation of the modern state as the dominant expression of political organisation in the world, clear-cut borders became the norm. The evolution of international law after 1945 has made the appropriation of territory or settling of border disputes by forceful means illegitimate. Also, democratization is an important factor here. Democratic countries are less prone to start interstate conflicts, especially if the other country is also democratic.
Are the borders of current states a relatively modern thing?

Teslatron said:
Not true, in fact a lot of the borders between Russia and the other states were/still are unsettled. Just in 2008, Russia transferred 174 sq km to China as part of their border negotiations. Of course this didn't get much attention in the Western press, but it happened nevertheless. Another example, Russia just negotiated its border with Estonia (in 2014!) to resolve the issue of Saatse boot. When the USSR fell apart, Russia ended up with a lot of awkward borders, because technically they were the same country and people really didn't pay attention to the borders of the republics (that's how Crimea ended up in Ukraine in the first place). Similarly, I believe China has border disputes with literally every single country it borders except Russia...
As the largest part of the USSR, Russia certainly wants even more out of the former USSR.
How will Russia develop?
 
Oct 2018
671
Adelaide south Australia
#19
Do the borders between the PRC and Vietnam and the PRC and Tibet count?

What about Switzerland and every bordering country?

Have never managed to take the UN seriously, although I guess it has slightly more credibility than its predecessor, the League Of Nations .
 

VHS

Ad Honorem
Dec 2015
4,174
Brassicaland
#20
Do the borders between the PRC and Vietnam and the PRC and Tibet count?

What about Switzerland and every bordering country?

Have never managed to take the UN seriously, although I guess it has slightly more credibility than its predecessor, the League Of Nations .
We have discussed what Tibet was like during the vacuum of 1911-1950.
The great Tibet (or Xizang) debate
It was quite a chaotic place and was NOT a country at all; all the villages and settlements had independent authorities.
The "de facto" independence only meant that it did NOT have external authorities at that time.