Secession lagniappe

Claiming a 2.7 square-mile spot of land between Croatia and Serbia, a Czech libertarian has declared the Republic of Liberland as a sovereign micronation.  Croatia controls access to the disputed area but apparently does not formally claim it.  Straight from Liberland’s snazzy web presence:

Liberland came into existence due to a border dispute between Croatia and Serbia. This area along the west bank of the Danube river is not claimed by Croatia, Serbia or any other country. It was therefore terra nullius, a no man’s land, until Vít Jedlička seized the opportunity and on 13 April 2015 formed a new state in this territory – Liberland. The boundary was defined so as not to interfere with the territory of Croatia or Serbia. Its total area of approximately 7 km² is now the third smallest sovereign state, after the Vatican and Monaco.  The motto of Liberland is “To live and let live” because Liberland prides itself on personal and economic freedom of its people, which is guaranteed by the Constitution, which significantly limits the power of politicians so they could not interfere too much in the freedoms of the Liberland nation.

Chris Roth’s piece is a good overview but closes with a warning:

Of all these past attempts, President Jedlička might do well to note the fate of the Republic of Minerva.  He chose the Minerva Reefs because they were pieces of “land” that had fallen between the cracks of two established states, Fiji and Tonga, which were not claiming them.  But then as soon as the project got rolling, the neighbors changed their minds and wanted in on the project.  That ended badly.  Imagine how much uglier it could get if Jedlička not only lost his utopia invaded but found himself literally in the middle of a renewed territorial battle between Serbs and Croats.  Liberland might be in a pretty spot, but it’s one of the most volatile borders in recent history.

Vice and Quartz also have decent articles out.  The story is getting tons of play, with over 300,000 people applying for physical or digital residence.  It is getting enough play that perhaps a whole lot of people who have never before really thought about initial land acquisition, homesteading rights, the determinants of a state, the legitimacy of state power, the concept of national exit, and micronations… just did so.    No matter what, if anything, comes of Liberland, there is at least that positive.  Overall, I was struck by how seriously many outlets took the premise in their articles.

Why decentralism?

Mark Lutter’s Freeman piece on Google-run cities is up on Newsweek.  More Lutter & private cities.

Migrant deaths as Europe’s biggest challenge

More (see last lagniappe) on shared space roads from TAC

Quiz! Name all the six-letter countries.  (Who can beat 23?)

The blue-city model

Twelve “absurd” communist buildings still standing

Foreign policy hawk biases

*****

China is not loosening its electoral grip on Hong Kong.

Even more on Chinese island-building, micronations, history, & geopolitics all in one short article.

The chances of progress in Tibet.  I’m not very optimistic.

Big news: Largest party in Republika Srpska threatens a referendum on leaving Bosnia.

2000px-Republika_Srpska_simple_svg

Republika Srpska’s position within Bosnia

The Catalan (anti-independence) Ciudadanos party, highlighted on this blog before, might have a silver lining for fans of the market.

48% of Brits (vs. 34% against) think Scotland will be independent in the next twenty years.  Related: Is the Union doomed?

Lots of good comments on this Crooked Timber post on the U.K. and the SNP.

Hunger strikes for Corsican autonomy

More on Grexit.  Cowen on Grexit.

Novorossiya flags at UEFA qualifying matches

Losing their religion in Crimea

Headwinds in Kurdistan

Yemen then and now: The sad chronicle of a failed state

Very good deep-dive on where Somaliland stands

They’ve built their state now. 24 years and counting, and it’s got everything it should have: rule of law, elections, a basic respect for human rights. But far from being impressed, the international community shows little sign of noticing, let alone caring. Somalilanders are getting the message. And although they’re not yet willing to admit it, they are beginning to lose faith.

Mozambique’s parliament threw out the opposition party’s autonomy proposal, as expected.

Burundi could implode if things continue to go wrong.  It, unfortunately, does have all the ingredients.

*****

The State of Jefferson’s newest enemy:  The Keep It California PAC

Caribou, ME is postponing a public hearing on a split

Secessionist billboards in Arkansas

What would the demographics of a South Florida state look like?

Puerto Rican bankruptcy

(Image sources 1 & 2)

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