Balkanization Heads West

by Robert Wright

This map is brought to you by the perennially concerned folks over at It assumes the eventual triumph of intensely focused ethnic and cultural identities over current political geography. Strikes me as a non-crazy scenario; information technology is at least as good at crystallizing interest groups as at opening channels between them. But as the author of this post suggests, these new micro-states would probably wind up in the European Union--and there, I think, lies the hope for stability. Supranational organizations--not just the EU but the WTO and, someday, maybe a stronger UN--could prove a crucial complement to technologically abetted tribalization. How do you say 'Esperanto' in Basque?