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Analysis of the Article "Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order", Written by James D. Fearon

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In the tenth Reading Article in Comparative Politics where the article titled “Separatist Wars, Partition, and World Order”, written by James D. Fearon in 2004, who is a political science professor at Stanford University. He starts by strongly criticizing how states approached establishing Wilsonian partitions as ad hoc resolutions have been a destructive method in trying to remedy against ethnonationalist conflicts. However, many state powers that see these partitions fail to suppress tension between ethnicities is carelessly concluded ad partitions ending up with states that have poorly defined borders, because, geographically, leaving ex-majority groups becoming minorities in the newly partitioned state or vice versa, leading to the minorities becoming bitter and paranoid within their own state, in the fear that they won’t receive equal consideration of equality by ensured by the integrity of the state. To make things even worse, partitioned states can have a tendency to encourage a domino effect, starting off with a precedent of two dangerous incentives. The first being the provocation of violence to appeal to international pressure for partition and the second is partitioning as an immediate solution would undermine the international environment along with weakened states that lack authority. He instead believes there should be an emphasis to observe partition through the perspective of the international standards that would try to suppress these dangerous incentives while encouraging human rights, enforce states to abide by it through sanctions who don’t reach the minimum standards, especially for oppressed people, and only support partition when it is based on mutual consent from all parties involved.

The international community usually try to resolve partition through five different kinds of ad hoc approaches can be identified, the first approach is from weak international protected subsidiary states under the influence of stronger states through the means of international organizations in nations such as Cyprus, Bosnia, Northern Iraq, and Kosovo. The second kind is the hesitation from a lack of any to no determination for implementation to act upon these ethnonationalist conflicts, because of either little interest as seen with groups such as the Kurds in Turkey, the Tamils in Sri Lanka, and the Tuaregs in Mali or because of potential repercussions of coming at odds with other powerfuls states such as with much of the subjugation in provinces like those between Russia and Chechnya, China and Tibet, and India and Kashmir. The third approach are the flimsy attempts by the international community to medegate the political havoc when implementing partition, when this is by mutual consent of some sort such as the countries of East Timor, Eritrea, and Czechoslovakia. The fourth approach is stabilized ceasefires and partition that maintains the de facto status quo with such landlocked regions like Nagorno-Karabakh and Somaliland as an example. Then the fifth and final kind is many of the efforts aiding the negotiations towards agreements in regards to the distribution of power in nations such as the countries of Northern Ireland and Angola.

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Those five ad hoc approaches by the international community have been primarily hectic and ineffective toward resolving the problem with ethnonational partitions. Nevertheless, Fearon again argues that the current best remedy towards these complex and chaotic circumstances is by having the international community is to apply pressure on countries that are resistant towards meeting the bear minimum for human rights amongst minority groups along with support mutually agreed upon by all constituents for dividing the countries as rational and peaceful as possible.


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