Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

AN ATLAS OF COUNTRIES THAT DON’T EXIST by Nick Middleton

AN ATLAS OF COUNTRIES THAT DON’T EXIST by Nick Middleton
01 Dec
2015
We all know about the trials and travails of Catalonia, Taiwan, Somaliland, and numerous other infamous ‘non-states’ (at least from the UN’s perspective)

But what about Seborga, a tiny principality surrounded by Italy, entirely unrecognised by its larger neighbour? Or Cabinda, which continues to fight for independence against nearby Angola? Or Moskitia on the Nicaraguan Caribbean coast, or Balochistan, divided up by the 19th century British among what are now Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

Middleton – aided by Sarah Greeno’s wonderful illustrations, and an innovative printing method – briefly explains in turn the unique stories behind each of these ‘countries that don’t exist’. However, these aren’t simply 50 places with similar and well-known struggles for independence, many of which may one day actually become real countries. Instead, it’s an insight into a multitude of different scenarios by which these odd locations can exist and operate, at varying degrees of recognition, outside the established and UN-approved map of geopolitical nation-states.

Particularly fascinating is seeing well-known semi-self-governing places, such as the Isle of Man, Ryukyu (Okinawa) or Rapa Nui, being discussed in the same terms as the high-profile struggles of Tibet, for example, and yet the peculiarity of their statuses make them entirely suitable for inclusion. Many stories cry out for more, Middleton providing only a tease of the bigger picture, but overall, this is a fascinating catalogue of stories and a reminder of how varied the world can be when the established geopolitical order starts fraying at the edges.

AN ATLAS OF COUNTRIES THAT DON’T EXIST by Nick Middleton; Macmillan; £20 (hardback) 

This review was published in the December 2015 edition of Geographical magazine.

Julysub 2020

geo line break v3

Free eBooks - Geographical Newsletter

geo line break v3

geo line break v3

University of Winchester

geo line break v3

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Derby

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Books

by Stefano Mancuso • Other Press • £19.49 (hardback)

Books

by Ben Buchanan • Harvard University Press • £22.95 (hardback)

Books

By Valerie Trouet • Johns Hopkins University Press • £20.00…

Books

Geographical's contributing geographers share their top books for 'staying connected'…

Books

by Chris Goodall • Profile Books • £9.99 (hardback)

Books

by Richard Smyth • Uniform Books • £12.00 (paperback)

Books

by Mark Jaccard • Cambridge University Press • £12.00 (paperback)

Books

by James Crowden • William Collins • £12.00 (hardback)

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Films

The Banff Mountain Film Festival is a yearly cinematic treasure…

Books

Read on for our reviews of some of the latest…

Books

by Paul Wapner • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)