International Condominiums

For the vast majority of people, a condominium is a suite in a commonly-held apartment building that is owned rather than rented.  Condominiums, however, also exist in international law. Not as apartment complexes lying on international borders, or anything like that. Rather, a condominium is a piece of territory shared equally by two or more…

Continue Reading →

A Gallery of Contrasts Along International Borders

We may think of borders as merely invisible lines on maps, but over time these ‘imaginary’ lines can become very real indeed. Countries regulate (or fail to regulate) the usage of their lands in very different ways. US astronaut and former NASA Chief Scientist John Grunsfeld remarked earlier this year how the differences in land…

Continue Reading →

The European Green Belt: From Conflict to Conservation

Recent articles have discussed both the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation and the Korean Demilitarised Zone, two areas formerly densely inhabited by humans that have been largely abandoned in recent times for environmental and political reasons.  Thanks to this abandonment, nature has begun to reclaim these areas with regenerating vegetation regenerating and growing wild animal populations,…

Continue Reading →

Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part VII: East Asia and Southeast Asia/Oceania)

Today, we present the second-to-last portion of our multi-part look at places around the world where a regional name at-large is used on both opposing sides of the border in the official names of administrative divisions.   Korea (North Korea/South Korea) Source: Kokiri, http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Korean_dmz_map.png.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence. This, of…

Continue Reading →

Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part VI: West Asia)

Azerbaijan (Azerbaijan/Iran) The region of Azerbaijan, divided between the Republic of Azerbaijan in the north and the Iranian provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, and Ardabil in the south, has been split since 1812-13, when the Russian Empire, steadily extending its reach southward along the Caspian Sea, captured the khanates in the portion of Azerbaijan…

Continue Reading →

Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part V: Africa)

This is part five of our seven-part Same Name, Other Side of the Border series. Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo/Republic of the Congo) The multitude of places named Congo or Kongo take their name from the kingdom of Kongo, an empire in west-central Africa that existed from approximately 1390 in what is now the…

Continue Reading →

Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part IV: Southern and Eastern Europe)

Tyrol (Austria/Italy) How the German-speaking province of South Tyrol (German/Ladin Südtirol; Italian Alto Adige or Sudtirolo) came to be part of Italy rather than part of Austria like the rest of Tyrol is a consequence of the result of World War I.  Between 1140 and 1919, the land that comprises the modern Austrian state of…

Continue Reading →

Same Name, Other Side of the Border (Part III: Western and Northern Europe)

We continue with Part III of our multi-part look at places around the world where a regional name at-large is used on both opposing sides of the border in the official names of administrative divisions.   Part I (North America) can be found here and Part II (South America) can be found here. Brabant, Limburg, and…

Continue Reading →