Why is Balkanisation considered offensive

Status
Closed
Mar 2011
100
#1
I think Balkansation is a really useful term, that can be used to describe would could happen in the UK or Syria, for example. However, it says here [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balkanization"]Balkanization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame] that the term is 'pejorative' (with a reference to an article I can't read as it's not in English). I can understand that it could be offensive from a federal point of view, but that wouldn't constitute the term in itself being pejorative, would it?
 

Sicknero

Ad Honorem
May 2012
4,407
Here to Eternity
#2
I don't know either. The reference you mention is a Serbian book not an article, it's A Dictionary of Social Work which I guess might ring alarm bells for some.

Anyway there's a comment here - Talk:Balkanization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - arguing that the term is not pejorative as used in English and asking for that point to be removed from the article or at least edited.

I think the term dates back to the beginning of the 20th century and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan Wars that happened before WW1.

Interesting point anyway and if a word is derogatory in the part of the world that iniitially gave rise to it (although I think it was first coined in English), then perhaps there is an argument for finding another word to use.

Some interesting discussion of it here too - http://www.wordwizard.com/phpbb3/vi...sid=7d927f1265f9acb9ff0e3a194645f376&start=15
 
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Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,071
Canary Islands-Spain
#3
Balkanisation is pejorative because it refers to the fact that the many political entities existing in the Balkans were born of troublesome wars, were highly unstable, badly shaped in terms of ethnics and economy and then, prone to warfare, within frontiers and with neighbours. In short, a non viable political system.


Since those characteristics define perfectly the nature of the Balkans since mid 19th century, the negative connotation of the term is correct.
 

Sicknero

Ad Honorem
May 2012
4,407
Here to Eternity
#4
^ I see your point. It implies a negative outcome although I know many here (Slovenia) who think it's had a positive outcome.

Which on reflection is perhaps the point.
 
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Likes: Futurist
Mar 2011
100
#5
Thanks to both of you for your replies. So, we can conclude, it is pejorative, if you're approaching the subject from a federal perspective. I'm sure many people thought 'Balkanisation' was great when people became free from the yoke of Ottoman rule, and later Yugoslavian rule. Many people in the UK would love Blakanisation to happen here, too (Scots, Welsh, Irish even some Cornish).
Also, we could consider Balkanisation as viable political solution to otherwise insurmountable problems; can anyone really see the Syrian crisis being resolved without Balkanisation?
On a side point, should we capitalise the B in Balkanisation?
 

KGB

Ad Honorem
Apr 2011
3,385
#9
Well, the term is born after the Berlin congress in 1878 and the initial meaning is "political fragmentation despite any ethnic reasons" - meaning the fragmentation of the Balkan peninsula in all possible sorts of states and political formations.

Later, after the huge mess of the Second Balkan war, the term got wider meaning:
- immoral, some times drastic actions between former allies, unprincipled and unscrupulous changing of the political positions without paying any attention to the even basic morality in politics;
- a heavy and difficult to solve political mess, with ruthless aggression against "others" and brutal atrocities;
- no limits in the political unmorality.

The other name of the Balkans used to be "the powder keg of Europe" ...

The "devil is not so black", actually, there is a lot of fake propaganda about the mutual agression of the Balkan people against each other, but still...

So yes, it has a pejorative, but also a "crisis - fear" meaning.
 
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Mar 2011
100
#10
Consider that I'm defining the term according to the logic of usual practice.
Logic stands alone, without 'usual practice'. Thus, it stands to logic, that the break up of a federal region, into autonomous states, need not be inherently negative. It could be positive. It completely depends on your opinion.
 
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