Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries

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Opening sentence readability

I'll start off by saying that I'm not an active contributor to this project, but I'd like to make a recommendation on the opening sentences in country articles. Currently, I believe the opening sentences of these articles are too busy with with pronunciation and official name jargon that it hurts readability. (See MOS:LEADALT) For example:

Vietnam (UK: /ˌvjɛtˈnæm, -ˈnɑːm/, US: /ˌvətˈnɑːm, -ˈnæm/ (About this sound listen);[1] Vietnamese: Việt Nam [vîət nāːm] (About this sound listen)), officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV; Vietnamese: Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam (About this sound listen)), is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants...

99% of readers don't care about the pronunciation and official name details. They scan past all of that that until they see "...is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula..." so they can keep reading. I'm sure most of you do it too. I am recommending that this WikiProject adopt a footnote policy for information like this in the lead. For example:

Vietnam,[a] officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam,[b] is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants...

or

Vietnam[c][d] is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With an estimated 92.7 million inhabitants...

I think this drastically improves readability and invites the reader in nicely into the lead, instead of asking them to strain their eyes just to read the first sentence. This policy was adopted over on the Video Games project for Japanese titles with success (WP:JFN). Thoughts? TarkusAB 22:29, 5 June 2017 (UTC)

Notes

  1. ^ Pronunciation: UK: /ˌvjɛtˈnæm, -ˈnɑːm/, US: /ˌvətˈnɑːm, -ˈnæm/ (About this sound listen);[2] Vietnamese: Việt Nam [vîət nāːm] (About this sound listen)
  2. ^ Abbreviated SRV; Vietnamese: Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam (About this sound listen)
  3. ^ Pronunciation: UK: /ˌvjɛtˈnæm, -ˈnɑːm/, US: /ˌvətˈnɑːm, -ˈnæm/ (About this sound listen);[3] Vietnamese: Việt Nam [vîət nāːm] (About this sound listen)
  4. ^ Officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam (SRV; Vietnamese: Cộng hòa Xã hội chủ nghĩa Việt Nam (About this sound listen))

References

  1. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 
  2. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 
  3. ^ Jones, Daniel (2003) [1917], Peter Roach, James Hartmann and Jane Setter, eds., English Pronouncing Dictionary, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, ISBN 3-12-539683-2 
Nobody??? I might take this discussion to one of the more popular country pages with this issue then... TarkusAB 22:31, 8 June 2017 (UTC)
@TarkusAB: - Sounds like a great idea to me. See also Wikipedia:Wikipedia Signpost/2017-06-09/Op-ed. Kaldari (talk) 21:33, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

RfC on unrecognized bordering countries

The consensus here is that, as a general rule, unrecognized (de facto) states should not be listed as "bordering countries" in the same way that recognized (de jure) states are. Only de jure states should be listed as neighboring countries. However, the consensus also acknowledges that the mention of de facto states should not be neglected outright. In general, the relevant de jure bordering country's name should have an explanatory footnote that describes the de facto situation and links readers to relevant articles.

This should not, however, be taken as a hard rule that all articles must conform to. The discussion reflects and allows for the fact that this may not necessarily be the right way to address the issue in all situations, and exceptions can be made. Common sense should be used. If the existence of an unrecognized bordering country is particularly germane to an individual article, that article may list the unrecognized state as a bordering entity in greater detail than a mere footnote. Such exceptions should be made on an article-specific, case-by-case basis, supported by local consensus.
Editors are reminded that, per overarching consensus, the threshold for content inclusion is verifiability, not truth. When discussing exceptions, weight should be assigned based strictly on reliable sources, and not the mere existence of a situation on the ground.

Lastly, I will note that this was not only a formal RfC, but was advertised to the community at centralized discussion. Therefore, editors may, at their discretion, use this consensus to update any relevant policy, guideline, information, or Wikiproject pages, as needed. Swarm 21:51, 19 October 2017 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This stems from the current disagreement about the inclusion of the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic) among bordering countries in Iran's lead. It raises the question of including also other self-proclaimed countries not recognized by any UN member (Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, Republic of Somaliland, Donetsk People's Republic, Luhansk People's Republic and, in future, potentially others) among bordering countries in other articles on countries (which AFAIK is not directly covered by any relevant policy or guideline, such as WP:LEAD or WikiProject Countries#Lead section).

Should the articles about countries mention self-proclaimed entities not recognized by any UN member among bordering countries? Brandmeistertalk 20:42, 20 September 2017 (UTC)

Survey

  1. No, but with a possible efn note. Most articles appear to follow the long-standing standard - bordering countries are presumed to be sovereign UN states, as on most geographical maps and in major encyclopedias. As the Republic of Artsakh is one of the self-proclaimed entities not recognized by the UN community, it is not labelled on most geographical maps, so in my view this is WP:UNDUE. Also, as some entities not recognized by the UN are currently disputed territories, mentioning them among bordering countries is WP:POV. As my proposal to mention Artsakh in a footnote failed, Iran's article appears to be one of the few that mention non-UN entities among its bordering countries. Perhaps a relevant provision could also be made in related policies/guidelines. Brandmeistertalk 20:42, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
  2. No, per WP:UNDUE, although I agree that a footnote is appropriate in such circumstances. Kaldari (talk) 21:31, 20 September 2017 (UTC)
  3. Yes I don't consider such proposal to be of undue weight. It just needs to be made very clear in the article that such country is unrecognised (I don't like how it is done in the Iran article, I think it needs to be placed last before recognised countries in a separate sentence). There also needs to be some defined limit, which would be no micronations. Inclusion of those is undue weight. Please, no mentioning of the Imperial Throne!😄 81.106.34.193 (talk) 21:50, 21 September 2017 (UTC) (User:My name is not dave, who has placed his account on enforced wikibreak).
  4. No but I'd be ok with a footnote. Chris Troutman (talk) 17:19, 22 September 2017 (UTC)
  5. Either, leave to local consensus. Provided the territories in question are described as an unrecognized state etc. I don't see how including them is an NPOV issue. We're not saying Wikipedia endorses their claim to statehood (which would be absurd), just that they exist and they share a border. On the other hand I also don't see any reason to prescribe their inclusion/exclusion in all cases. It should be left to editorial judgement on individual articles, because conceivably there are some cases where the existence of a bordering unrecognized territory is significant (e.g. the Donetsk People's Republic is clearly relevent to our articles on both Ukraine and Russia), and some cases where it isn't (e.g. Iran doesn't appear to have any involvement or relations with the Artsakh Republic, so why bother mentioning it?). See Wikipedia:Avoid instruction creep. – Joe (talk) 01:10, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  6. No - does not seem to meet the definitions of Country and particularly Sovereign state mentions the role of recognition. If the WP:COMMONTERM or WP:WEIGHT of mentions are predominantly saying it as a nation, then perhaps a footnote. If it is a de Facto or de Jure state, then that would be said - but not that it is a country. Markbassett (talk) 02:40, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  7. Noting that this RFC has received interest from few of the regulars at List of states with limited recognition, who would normally be able to discuss this in a general and informed manner (I may advise editors there that it is here). I think the premise of saying "yes" or "no" in this RFC is a case of WP:CREEP. We don't need a general rule, we need editors to reach an editorial decision based on policies and guidelines, according to the facts of the individual situation. That having been said, one of the policies that must be taken in account is WP:WEIGHT. The prevalence of the view that these are states - and that includes both those with strictly no international recognition and those with little international recognition - is far below that of those that are undisputed or little-disputed (including all UN member states) and that difference needs be taken into account. I struggle to think of any article on which you could neutrally include Artsakh alongside Armenia and Azerbaijan on a list without qualification. So in the case in question I would either not list Artsakh or include it only as a footnote. Kahastok talk 19:07, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  8. Yes - Statehood is independent of recognition by other states as per Sovereign state#Declarative theory. As long as the state meets the criteria set out by the Montevideo Convention, i.e. if said state has a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states, then it should be included provided it is made clear that it is not recognised. The aforementioned criteria would exclude micronations from inclusions.-- Kzl55 (talk) 19:58, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
    The problem with the Montevideo Convention is that it is in no way controlling international law, and its definition is severely lacking, and both under and over inclusive. U.S. states and Indian tribes meet the definition under the Montevideo Convention. Further, micronations are in fact recognized and are in fact members of the UN, so your point seems merit-less. ‡ Єl Cid of ᐺalencia ᐐT₳LKᐬ 04:34, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
    It may be your opinion that US states meet Montevideo, but others have other opinions. I've seen a whole spectrum of positions from the very inclusive to the very exclusive argued on Wikipedia. Per WP:NOR we as Wikipedians have no business determining whether any given entity meets Montevideo or not - that's for reliable sources to do. The real problem with Kzl55's argument is that in every case that this discussion affects you are likely to find sources arguing both sides. The argument treats Montevideo as clear-cut and unambiguous, where in fact it is open to wide interpretation. As an aside, note also that no micronation is a member of the UN - you're thinking presumably of microstates. Kahastok talk 21:01, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  9. Objection the situation with each disputed/non-country/frozen conflict is unique. In this case Atlrtsakh is defacto independent and a disputed territory hetween two other countries in the list of bordering states. As written "is bordered to the northwest by Armenia, the de facto independent Republic of Artsakh, the Republic of Azerbaijan, and the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan; to the north by the Caspian Sea..." is appropriate because it is a frosen conflict and Iran is not a perty so we are not making a political statement about Iran's territory. I would not agree to listing the rebel areas of Ukraine as "bordering" Ukraine or Russia as that is a hot conflict with actively shifting front lines and involves Russia invading Ukrainian territory. Legacypac (talk) 20:38, 23 September 2017 (UTC)
  10. No - Because statehood is determined by the recognition of other nations and international organizations. A footnote would be acceptable if the footnote clearly explains that recognition (or lack of it) of the putative "state". Beyond My Ken (talk) 06:33, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  11. No as default position, but a footnote or similar could be apt in some cases as suggested by others when WEIGHT demonstrates de facto existence. Pincrete (talk) 13:12, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  12. No, footnote (Summoned by bot) Undue, and needs to be UN recognised just for simplicity and to stave off nationalist zealots. L3X1 (distænt write) 23:38, 24 September 2017 (UTC)
  13. No as a user with little experience in geopolitical editing – this legitimises such entities to the point of WP:UNDUE. For example, labelling Hutt River Principality as a country bordering Australia would verge on the absurd, so some standard must be applied, and that standard exists. No objection to an efn. Triptothecottage (talk) 11:56, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
    FTR, the distinction between a micronation and a state with limited recognition is well-established in the literature. If we were to list the states with limited recognition such as Artsakh, it would not mean listing micronations such as Hutt River. Kahastok talk 17:46, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
  14. Yes - with efn or other indication this is not a fully (or at all as the case may be) recognized country. The reality on the ground is that an Armenian proxy entity is on that stretch of border. Same is true of other unrecognized states that de-facto control ground (if it is just a claim - not interesting) - as the geopolitical reality is that if you drive over that stretch of border - you'll be arrested by Armenians. If there is a shooting conflict between Iran and Armenia - this area will be involved as well. Listing Principality of Hutt River would be UNDUE and absurd. Listing Artkash, South Ossetia, Luhansk/Donetsk, Transnistria, etc. - is not. The question to be asked should be - is a military force in actual control of this region.Icewhiz (talk) 06:48, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    For visiting Artsakh, which the UN considers a de jure part of Azerbaijan, you're currently required to gain a permission from Azerbaijani authorities (same as Crimea in case of Ukraine, for example). I don't think there's a serious border control enforced at the Artsakh border, given it's not diplomatically recognized. So theoretically after getting an Azerbaijani permission, you can cross the territory at some uncontrolled stretch of the border. Brandmeistertalk 08:21, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    De-jure, Ukraine might claim soverignity over Crimea. De-facto - it is an internal flight (or ferry - bridge coming soon) from Russian turf. Should you attempt to enter by Ukraine - you will stop at a Russian checkpoint. Regarding visiting Artsakh - Azerbaijani permission papers won't get you far. Nor would crossing over the semi-hot border from Azerbaijan be easy. Entering from Armenia - would be easy - as you might see here - Visa policy of Artsakh. De-facto - the Armenian proxy force controls this territory. The reality on the ground is such that Azerbaijan has absolutely no sway internally - though visiting Artsakh will prevent you (unless there is a detachable stamp provision - might be) from entering Azerbaijan. [1]. Regarding the border with Azerbaijan - it is highly militarized with a hot shooting conflict occasionally (e.g. in 2016) - Attempting to cross over in a "uncontrolled stretch" - quite possibly will get you shot by the Aremenians or the Azeris. Diplomatic recognition - has little to do with the actual physical reality here.Icewhiz (talk) 08:36, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    You're talking about the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact. The border does not appear to be militarized alongside Iranian state border and, probably, from the north (at least not to such an extent). Brandmeistertalk 08:52, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    The border with Iran (inside NK proper, and in the territory controlled by the Armenian military between NK and Armenia) - is probably less guarded. However Azerbaijani permission is irrelevant (both because NK authorities, in control of the ground, won't recognize it, and because the Azeris aren't likely to grant such permission). To the best of my knowledge - [2][3] - "legal" (per NK) entry to NK is only possible via Armenia. So - if you want to play hide and seek with Iranian and NK/Armenia border guards.... I guess that is possible, probably not advisable.Icewhiz (talk) 09:14, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  15. Yes, provided of course the border with the entity is described in reliable sources. If you have an infobox, ideally you would write, what? Borders with "Armenia (military occupying Azerbaijan)"? Borders with "Azerbaijan (Armenian occupation)"? Borders with "Azerbaijan" without mentioning there is more than one government and border involved? The first two options are each incomplete without the other, and the last is unacceptable because if hostilities broke out people would rush to Wikipedia to find themselves confused that a border war is going on with a state that doesn't border Iran. It is optimal to say the entity name, say it is internationally unrecognized, say who it is aligned with, say who it is formally considered owned by by diplomats from abroad, say who runs it etc. But if space is ever lacking, the name with link gets you the rest. Wnt (talk) 12:06, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    As has been noted above, such reliable sources, including reference works, are in minority. And equating a state border with the border of a self-proclaimed non-UN entity is mixing apples and oranges. Specifically, per WP:UNDUE, "Wikipedia should not present a dispute as if a view held by a small minority deserves as much attention overall as the majority view. Views that are held by a tiny minority should not be represented except in articles devoted to those views (such as Flat Earth). To give undue weight to the view of a significant minority, or to include that of a tiny minority, might be misleading as to the shape of the dispute. Wikipedia aims to present competing views in proportion to their representation in reliable sources on the subject". The only place I can think of for such cases is an explanatroy footnote. Brandmeistertalk 14:24, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    I feel skeptical about that, but I'm not going to argue about it - that's an article specific content problem. If a large majority of sources list the bordering countries of Iran and omit that, then you can follow the sources without concern, but that varies by article. Wnt (talk) 21:40, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
  16. No, but a footnote may be appropriate. (see below 06:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)) The lede of an article is not the appropriate place to be mentioning the claims of non-UN states, and would be undue weight. A footnote of appropriate length or a sentence or two in a "Geography" section could clarify that the de jure country does not actually control that area of the border. From a public policy standpoint, if these were included in the lede, it would just attract more edit warring which can easily be avoided. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 20:42, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    You're treating these unrecognized states as if they were mere territorial claims, like various parties make in the Himalayas or the South China Sea. But, I mean, the Wikipedia article ought to represent the facts on the ground. If you could physically walk into a territory and see street signs and post offices for the Artsakh Republic, then that is not some fringe claim, it's what is. Wnt (talk) 21:47, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    It's fine if it appears in a footnote or in another section as long as it's not in the lede. The territorial disputes of Armenia and Azerbaijan are not so relevant that it has to be mentioned in the lede of a third country. The respective ledes for Armenia and Azerbaijan mention the dispute, as they clearly should. Wikipedia articles on countries already have issues fitting all of the most relevant topics about their own country without devoting space to those of others. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 22:32, 26 September 2017 (UTC)
    I must emphasize that the question above wasn't about the lead: "Should the articles about countries mention self-proclaimed entities not recognized by any UN member among bordering countries?" - that is an extreme and unreasonable position as written, not just a soft comment about where to put what. I think we ought to all recognize that the main article text needs to mention such things, and indeed, should mention regions even when they are not even slightly claiming independence, e.g. "Canada occupies much of the continent of North America, sharing land borders with the contiguous United States to the south, and the US state of Alaska to the northwest." I would still say though that the lead depends on the article - for example, Albania mentioned Kosovo in the lead in 2005, long before the province had claimed independence. [4] Wnt (talk) 10:58, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
    You're correct, but most irrelevant. Just like ledes of country articles, the country articles themselves are balancing acts which involve figuring what relevant information about the country is in or not. Mentioning Alaska in the Canada is fine, because the US indisputably controls Alaska, so that's not a good comparison. I guess a more nuanced take would be Usually no, but they should be assessed on a case by case basis, and a footnote for self-governing regions should generally be appropriate. The "among bordering countries" is also problematic. If they are mentioned in the article text, it should be specified how they are different from the recognized countries. ---- Patar knight - chat/contributions 06:07, 5 October 2017 (UTC)
  17. Under no circumstances- it has no recognition by any UN member states. It is an unrecognized nation, even less legitimate than Kurdistan, which is unmentioned in the leads of Iraq and Turkey. I don't understand the argument for including it. There are formal mechanisms in place for the international recognition of states. As none of these have been successful, it is not a state. Again, I don't see any merit in claims that it should be included. Individual U.S. states recognizing it are beyond irrelevant - the Executive Branch is the sole organ of the U.S. government capable of granting recognition to countries. ‡ Єl Cid of ᐺalencia ᐐT₳LKᐬ 04:31, 27 September 2017 (UTC)
  18. Rarely. IMO, if a region claims to be independent, its claim is notable, and no country enforces (or even tries to enforce) other rule over that area, then it should be listed as a bordering country. עוד מישהו Od Mishehu 06:51, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
  19. No. Stick with the weight of international recognized countries and let the world sort it out. We don't want to get into the business of trying to weigh assorted unrecognized claims that someplace is a new country. Alsee (talk) 17:11, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
  20. No - Somaliland, Donetsk, Transnistria, and other similar territories might be self-governing, but they are not considered sovereign states by the overwhelming majority of UN members. If we were to treat them as though they are, then we are in effect suggesting that they do have international recognition, or that their self-proclaimed independence is widely endorsed. This is incorrect, and per everyone else, runs contrary to WP:UNDUE. Kurtis (talk) 03:13, 29 September 2017 (UTC)
  21. Mu Political geography is complex and changes over time. Each case should be judged on its merits rather than trying to build a hard rule around a recent institution. Andrew D. (talk) 08:34, 1 October 2017 (UTC)
    @Andrew Davidson:, mostly out of curiosity - but maybe also a slight help to whomever closes this. In the context of this RfC, what would be the difference between "mu" (negative in Japanese and Korean, so WP says) and "no" (negative in English)? - Nabla (talk) 12:09, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
    An answer of "no" would tend mean that we have a rule which says that we should not have such content. "Mu" means that that the OP is begging the question. My position is that we should not have a general rule but that each case should be judged on its merits. My position is based on the policies WP:BURO, WP:CREEP and WP:NOTLAW which counsel against such proliferation of vexatious rules. See also hard cases make bad law. Andrew D. (talk) 12:35, 8 October 2017 (UTC)
  22. No, but in such cases perhaps add a footnote such as "Additionally, the unrecognized states of ...".  Sandstein  12:32, 2 October 2017 (UTC)
  23. Yes. Wikipedia needs to best reflect the situation on the ground in my opinion. These articles should mention these entities as neighboring states with limited recognition. i.e.
    In the case of Iran I would have the article say:
    "Iran is bordered by the following, in a clockwise fashion, starting from the North; the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, Iraq, Turkey, Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan, Armenia, the mostly unrecognised Republic of Artsakh, and Azerbaijan."
    In the case of Armenia I would have the article say:
    "Armenia is bordered by the following, in a clockwise fashion, starting from the North; Georgia (country), Azerbaijan, the mostly unrecognised Republic of Artsakh, Iran, Azerbaijan's exclave of Nakhchivan, and Turkey."
    In the case of Azerbaijan I would have the article say:
    "Azerbaijan is bordered by the following, in a clockwise fashion, starting from the North; Russia, the Caspian Sea, Iran, Armenia, and Georgia (country)."
    (Note: It will naturally state elsewhere in the Azerbaijan article about the break-away region.)
    In the case of the Republic of Artsakh I would have the article say:
    "The Republic of Artsakh is bordered by the following, in a clockwise fashion, starting from the North; Azerbaijan, Iran, and Armenia."
    I know from a personal perspective, that if I was traveling to a certain country and I wished to cross the border into a neighboring country, then I would like to know what the current status was of the territory that I was crossing into was. Wiz9999 (talk) 18:55, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
    • Edited to add: Note: the only states I would consider doing this with are the ones very strictly defined on List of states with limited recognition, meaning Donetsk and Luhansk are out, as these are not unrecognised states. - Wiz9999 (talk) 21:21, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
  24. Yes for entities maintaining de facto control, but with clear description of the status; I think Wiz9999's verbose response here covers that pretty well. But only when it's not ridiculous; I wouldn't include microstates, for example. But it would seem inaccurate not to mention Transnistria as bordering Moldova or Ukraine, for example. — OwenBlacker (talk) 20:41, 3 October 2017 (UTC) via the Feedback request service
    • Edited to add: I would probably not expect to see non-UN-member / not-widely recognised states mentioned in an infobox row, but possibly in an infobox footnote. But I could probably be persuaded either way here. — OwenBlacker (talk) 20:45, 3 October 2017 (UTC)
  25. yes, and no, that is, yes but with due weight, just about as OwenBlacker (just above), or Sandstein (higher up) explained - Nabla (talk) 18:10, 7 October 2017 (UTC)
  26. Yes but use a dotted line - There is something that makes me wonder though. Would it be violating WP:NPOV for doing one or the other as it is a controversial issue? I do think the best way to avoid this would be to use a dotted line for it. Cartography has more decisions than people think as it's wondered if they should use the current situation which can change from day to day or use the official borders and in that case, who do they listen to? I think a dotted line would tell people that it is not exactly recognised by all countries yet but there are claims to it so I suggest a dotted line on maps. The Ninja5 Empire (Talk) 02:20, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
    I assume you are referring to the maps listed in said country's articles. Yes, this is quite a standard practice when showing unrecognised countries on maps. However, the principal discussion here I believe is with regards to the list of neighboring countries in the lead section of the country's article. - Wiz9999 (talk) 14:43, 13 October 2017 (UTC)
  27. Yes, though indicating the status in some manner. The information is important and relevant. DGG ( talk ) 16:47, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
  28. No (invited by the bot) Does not fulfill the common meaning of the word "country". North8000 (talk) 12:03, 16 October 2017 (UTC)
    I find your reasoning here interesting, in that you based it specifically on the word "Country", and not say "Sovereign State" or something. I'm curious, what to you would be the common meaning of the word "country"? Under this definition would the Vatican City be considered a country? Taiwan? How about the Cook Islands or Palestine? I will point out, none of those places are UN members. - Wiz9999 (talk) 19:34, 16 October 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

RFC: History in the Lead Section

The consensus on how much "history should be included in the lead section of a modern country's article should depend on the country.

Cunard (talk) 01:01, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

How much "history" should be included in the Lead Section of a modern country's article? How much is too much and how much is too little? For example, Finland's history represents about half the lead, Canada's represents about a third, Switzerland's is less than a quarter, whereas Federated States of Micronesia has almost none at all.

A subquestion, for anyone really interested, is what is the appropriate balance between pre-modern and modern history in the lead.

Any consensus from this discussion will be added to the guidance at Wikipedia:WikiProject Countries#Lead section. Onceinawhile (talk) 09:09, 14 November 2017 (UTC)

  • It depends on the country. I don't see how you can make a hard and fast rule. Some countries might have little relevant history as an entity (e.g. a newly formed federation of several disparate states with distinct histories). Other countries might have little modern relevance (other than becoming a country by a quirk of history), yet be steeped in history. Same goes for modern/pre-modern - in some cases, Greece and Israel come to mind, the far ago ancient history might have been the impetus for the modern formation. In other cases ancient history might even unknown or not reliably recorded (e.g. Australia) - leading to reliance on archaeological / anthropological / fossil evidence of the pre-contact civilizations.Icewhiz (talk) 11:46, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Leave to local consensus per Icewhiz and per WP:CREEP. The appropriate balance will depend entirely on the article in question and I see little value in attempting to enforce uniformity. Kahastok talk 18:31, 14 November 2017 (UTC)
  • Lead Section as a portion of the total text The correct course would be to restrict the lead section to an approximate percentage of words of the main text of the whole article (i.e. excluding references, bibliography, etc). This would follow the lead section's style rules, and specifically the rule about its length: "The appropriate length of the lead section depends on the total length of the article." While, indeed, every Wikipedia article is a different animal, the rules are quite specific in that there should be a modicum of uniformity. We should follow the established rule in this too and accordingly ascertain the approximate length of the lead section (which is "not a news-style lead or lede paragraph") for every article; not just articles with biographies or about countries. -The Gnome (talk) 08:44, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
Some editors have misunderstood so perhaps it's better that I elaborate a bit. I did not suggest that all articles about countries should have the same amount of text about their history in the lead. I suggested that the length of the text in the lead paragraph should reflect the length of the text in the rest of the article, i.e. in the article's main body. I'm suggesting ratios (per MOS:LEAD) and not absolutes. Articles with different totals of words in their History sections would reflect this difference in the respective leads. Thus, there is no question of "limiting" or "exaggerating" the lead; it'll be a function of the whole. Every country's history is indeed different - and this is why we have articles with varying lengths! The main texts are what defines the leads. -The Gnome (talk) 16:18, 7 December 2017 (UTC)
  • It depends on the country: Different countries have different things about them that are notable, so imposing uniformity could be very restrictive in some cases while requiring uninteresting filler in others. Different countries will have different sorts of histories that are divided up in different ways. For example, for an article about Iraq it would make a lot of sense to at least mention this this was one of the cradles of cradles of civilization, while in an article about Chile, the recent economic structure might be more interesting to feature. The examples above given look perfectly fine in all their diversity. OtterAM (talk) 20:13, 3 December 2017 (UTC)
  • It depends on the country. Per everyone else except User:The Gnome. Countries are all very different from each other; there is no productive way to say that all countries articles must have this much amount of history in the lead. Adotchar| reply here 09:55, 6 December 2017 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Which level of country to list in a table (England/Scotland vs UK)

Hi all. Wikipedia has many tables of things that have a column labelled "Country": ones I edit range from List of battles and other violent events by death toll to List of Yes concert tours (2000s–10s). What I see is a lot of editing back and forth over whether the country listed should be the United Kingdom, or should be England/Scotland/Wales/Northern Ireland. List of Yes concert tours (2000s–10s) long used to say England, Scotland etc., although it now says UK. List of battles and other violent events by death toll has long said UK, but -- and I my prompt to come here today -- there's currently an edit dispute there (e.g., this). Personally, I feel for consistency we should say UK because we don't split the US into States, the UAE into Emirates or the Soviet Union into Republics. But, knowing Wikipedia, there are probably editors who feel deeply that we should do each of those. But I haven't gone against any longstanding status quos.

Is there any actual guideline or advice here? I found Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Countries/Lists of countries, which supports UK over England/Scotland, but is answering a different question, and wasn't entirely conclusive. Bondegezou (talk) 17:21, 20 November 2017 (UTC)

There is, to my knowledge, no hard and fast rule beyond the basics like WP:NPOV. That said, I would suggest that it is not neutral in general to treat modern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as though they were equivalent in status to sovereign states such as France, China or the US. They are not.
(Of course, this is in general. If you're talking about footballers then clearly it won't normally make much sense to insist on referring to the UK. And there's the standard admonishment to avoid anachronism. And so on.)
Those making the case the other way have tended - in the slightly-different context of lists explicitly of countries - to argue primarily based on the use of the word "country". The argument holds that you have to treat as a "country" anything that you can reliably source as ever having been called a "country" - though in practice if you suggest other examples (and there are many) they tend to get rejected out of hand. Kahastok talk 19:12, 21 November 2017 (UTC)
This problem often arises with people rather than places, the general rule there is that the person must identify, and be identified, as Sc, Eng, Welsh or Ir, otherwise they are British. Because it is more common for Sc, We, N.Ir to identify as such (the English generally can't be bothered - part of our cultural arrogance!) - the result is that fewer people are described as English on WP. I don't think it is possible to make a hard-and-fast rule about places. Some events are distintively E,S,W or NI, sometimes the clearest description would be the component country, otherwise default to UK, but I wish people would not get so hot-under-the collar about this. If the decision were mine alone, of the example you give, I would put 'Lockerbie' in Scotland, because it is more exact and the event acquired some distinctively Scottish elements, and is generally thought of (in UK) as 'Scottish', but I would put 'Westminster' as UK, because the UK Parliament was under attack. As Kahastok suggests, the four countries compete seperately in most sports events (and Sc+Eng have their own leagues for football) - except the Olympics. The nearest comparison I can make to US, is that sometimes it would be more useful to say that something happened in Alaska or Hawaii, or with a general descriptor like New England, mid-West etc. rather than US. … … ps personally, I would think that saying BOTH Scotland (or England) and UK was overkill, don't most people know where Scotland is? Even if they don't exactly understand the constitutional subtleties of Eng/GB/UK, which half of us don't! Pincrete (talk) 19:06, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
In an article such as List of battles and other violent events by death toll we would never even consider populating a field headed "country" with "Alaska" or "New England". If the parallel is the US, then the only possible choice is United Kingdom. Kahastok talk 21:49, 25 November 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia guidance is that we should not presume the reader necessarily knows such things: thus, it makes sense to me to use the best known level, which is "UK" or "USA", rather than terms like "New England" or "Wales". Bondegezou (talk) 20:09, 28 November 2017 (UTC)
Alaska and New England, are of course NOT countries, therefore they should never be in infobox as such, I wasn't suggesting that they should. Pincrete (talk) 09:50, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
The "nearest equivalent" is probably not the US, it's more likely to be somewhere like the United Arab Emirates, a federation of historically independent emirates. But even there, "nearest equivalent" does not mean that we should treat the UK in the same way. The position in the UK is complex. Setting that aside, the overriding issue should be the prohibition on edit-warring, and discussion on each article talk page. Consistency would be both impossible to achieve and, in my view, unnecessary. Ghmyrtle (talk) 10:10, 4 December 2017 (UTC)
The country listed should be the United Kingdom. I've always equated England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland with Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec etc etc or Tennessee, Alaska, North Carolina etc etc. PS: Note that the world map on this WikiProject shows the UK entirely in one color, as it should. GoodDay (talk) 13:34, 4 December 2017 (UTC)

Disambiguation links on pages tagged by this wikiproject

Wikipedia has many thousands of wikilinks which point to disambiguation pages. It would be useful to readers if these links directed them to the specific pages of interest, rather than making them search through a list. Members of WikiProject Disambiguation have been working on this and the total number is now below 20,000 for the first time. Some of these links require specialist knowledge of the topics concerned and therefore it would be great if you could help in your area of expertise.

A list of the relevant links on pages which fall within the remit of this wikiproject can be found at http://69.142.160.183/~dispenser/cgi-bin/topic_points.py?banner=WikiProject_Countries

Please take a few minutes to help make these more useful to our readers.— Rod talk 14:42, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

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