Invisible Countries: Journeys to the Edge of Nationhood

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Yale University Press, Jun 26, 2018 - Social Science - 295 pages
A journalist explores how our world’s borders came to be and how self-proclaimed countries across the globe could change the map.
What is a country? While certain basic criteria—borders, a government, and recognition from other countries—seem obvious, journalist Joshua Keating investigates what happens in areas of the world that exist as exceptions to these rules. Invisible Countries looks at semiautonomous countries such as Abkhazia, Kurdistan, and Somaliland, as well as a Mohawk reservation straddling the U.S.-Canada border, and an island nation whose very existence is threatened by climate change.
Through stories about these would-be countries’ efforts at self-determination, Keating shows that there is no universal legal authority determining what a country is. He also argues that economic, cultural, and environmental forces could soon bring an end to our long period of cartographical stasis. Keating combines history with incisive observations drawn from his travels and interviews with residents, political leaders, and scholars in each of these “invisible countries.”


Authors Note
How Countries Conquered the World
Knights of the East Side
Virtual Countries Real Borders
Land of the Free
Out of State
The New

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About the author (2018)

Joshua Keating is a foreign policy analyst, staff writer, and editor at Slate. Previously, he was a an editor at Foreign Policy. He lives in Washington, D.C.

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