CISV NA but no country?

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During my recent visit to Madrid I was told that CISV Spain was happy about the development within one of their newer chapters in Barcelona. However, I also heard that CISV Barcelona was initially planning to become it's own NA as "CISV Catalonia".

Whether this rumour is true or not, it is interesting, how a number of NAs seem to exist, that don't represent a country of their own. Here are the ones I could think of:

CISV Hongkong - part of China
CISV Greenland - part of Denmark
CISV Faroe Islands - also part of Denmark

The only advantage I could come up with, of being an NA instead of a chapter, besides general autonomy, was that you get a voting right in the international board. From the "administration rules" point of view, CISV Greenland can send a delegation to a village in CISV Denmark, but couldn't if it was merely a chapter. Also there are cultural aspects and a question of infrastructure whether a chapter like CISV Faroe Islands would really profit from being part of CISV Denmark.

On the other end of the spectrum are chapters that are so dislocated from the rest of their NA, that it's quite a pain being part of that NA:

CISV San Francisco (all the other US chapters are in the East)
CISV French Guyana (which I don't think exists any more)

Personally, I'd like CISV to move beyond country borders - one of reasons I like the concept "World of Chapters" so much, discussed over at Devils some time ago. CISV chapters should be grouped by practicability reasons, not by political borders. Why not turn the USA into two NAs, and group Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands into a Benelux-NA?

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I forgot: Kudos to Marcos for this notion!

Regarding Denmark, I just found out that it is actually the Kingdom of Denmark, which is a kingdom consisting of Denmark, Greenland and Faroe Islands.

This kind of is equal to Great Britain, which is only a part of the country United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so essentially England, Scotland and Wales is a member of CISV, whereas Northern Ireland is not.

On a more theoretical level I think the point is that we need to strike a balance between everybody is an NA and multi-level-chapter-structures (like those found in parts of Norway).

A small number of NAs will definitively be more effective as a board, and less trustees and national secretaries there are less organisational time "lost" in administration. On the other hand super-NAs might easily turn into more bureaucratic than the EU...

@LLL: I'm surprised you consider "kingdoms" borders more valid than political borders. :)

Well, Kingdoms are not all that bad. (Long live the King!)

My (probably poorly made) point is that we sometime do have NAs that are part of the same Kingdom. Question is then 'what is a country'; Greenland, Faroe Islands and (main) Denmark. My understanding is that all three are (on paper) equal parts of the Kingdom (i.e. the country).


From my point of view (which may be totally wrong), NA's were grouped according to countries in order to have more cultural diversity in programmes.
I agree that having NAs grouped by proximity would be better in terms of costs and administration, but although we could have 4 different "Brazils" and some other "USAs" the cultural differences between those countries wouldn't be significant and CISV programmes could lose in terms of content/participant learning.
It has been argued wether nationality defines a culture and wether CISV should base its structure in a concept so questionable as nationality, which is dissapearing in the 21st century. From what I see, the NAs who are not a country (according to the UN-concept of country) are regions that are "special regions" in terms of country administration (Hong Kong for example has some administrative autonomy). One can always question "What about countries that have split into 2 or more such as the USSR, Checoslovakia and Yugoslavia and countries that have merged and had CISV NA's before?". It's something that can create some confusion regarding CISV administration and lead to situations talked in this post.
This is the way CISV found dealing with things, which has advantages and disadvantages..


Won't make any points, but just to add more info on non-country NAs (in this case it's a PA):

there's also a CISV Macau!

I'd have to agree with Ze that the reason CISV chose the UN's concept of a country is to create "cultural units" that are the least disputable. What I'm trying to say, is that of course there are different cultures within one country (say the French and the Flamish in Belgium, or Arabs and Jews in Israel) and there are cultures that go beyond borders (Germany and Austria, maybe) - but how to settle this discussion? People from Hamburg will claim that Bavarians have a way different culture. Political countries are probably the easiest way to figure out who belongs to which culture. But why settle for the most simple solution?

I would say that we should keep the UN system of nations, with some exceptions for autonomous/special areas (like Faroe Islands, Greenland, Macau and Hong Kong). Domestic cultural differences in countries can be dealt with by use of chapters, as in most cases the differences are not so big that the chapters cannot easily cooperate. (Belgium possibly being an exception.)

Culture-groups is also something already existing within CISV as IO tries to ensure that one activity does have a balance between scandinavians, german speakers, spanish speakers and anglo-saxons.

The future on the other hand is interesting; with so much migration in the world we are likely to see an increase in "strange" delegations, be it "Pakistanis"[*] from Norway, "Turks" from Germany and so on. [*] Here meaning the nationality in the broader sense, more dependent on cultural belonging than type of passport.

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This page contains a single entry by Nick published on May 14, 2009 1:03 AM.

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