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See also: balkanization


Alternative forms[edit]


Balkan +‎ -ization. The term is a reference to the conflicts that the Balkan peninsula experienced in the 20th century.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌbɔːl.kən.aɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌbɑl.kən.aɪˈzeɪ.ʃən/


Balkanization (countable and uncountable, plural Balkanizations)

  1. (historical, chiefly political science) The fragmentation of a geopolitical region into several small states that are often hostile or non-cooperative with each other.
  2. (by extension, informal) Any disintegration or fragmentation process.
    Synonym: fragmentation
    demographic balkanization
    • 2002, Carol M. Swain, The New White Nationalism in America, Cambridge University Press, →ISBN, page 94:
      Issues that are already hotly contested become even more divisive in the context of social balkanization.
    • 2006, Anil K. Jain, Ruud Bolle, Sharath Pankanti, Biometrics: Personal Identification in Networked Society, Springer Science & Business Media, →ISBN, page 401:
      In other words, will the biometric future feature biometric centralization whereby one biometric would dominate multiple applications, or will we see biometric balkanization where multiple biometrics are used for multiple applications?

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