Under certain conditions territories are recognized as having the right to self-determination. This gives rise to accepted difficulties in the case of existing dependent areas, but raises more serious problems when the principle is considered equally applicable to component parts of existing independent countries in which the majority of people of those areas express the desire for self-determination. There is no recognized limit to the application of this principle.
The term "Balkanization", which has its roots in the situation in the Balkans around 1912, refers to a condition in which many small nations, filled with national pride and hatreds and jealousies and egged on by demagogues, take up arms against one another. In the resulting state of war, no territory is able to pursue a course of peaceful self-determination or development. Antagonisms increase, causing further fragmentation.