Remnants of empire

Once upon a time, European countries had lots of colonies and other dependencies throughout the world. Now they have relatively few, mostly small islands in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and Pacific. More broadly, there are many fewer dependencies, and more independent countries, than before.

So here’s the question: What places in the world satisfy the following three conditions:

  1. They are governed — at least in considerable measure — by different countries for an indefinite time in the future, and not just as a pure military base or as research outpost such as an Antarctic zone. (I acknowledge that what constitutes a “foreign country” naturally requires somewhat subjective calls about what’s a different country and what’s part of the same country: I think that, for instance, Kaliningrad is truly a part of Russia, as is Alaska for the United States.)
  2. They are on a continent or on island(s) that contain at least 5,000 square kilometers of land, or about 2,000 square miles. (Many very small islands have indeed remained dependencies, but I want to set them aside here.)
  3. They are not contiguous with, or straight across the sea (naturally, a subjective matter) from, the country that runs them. Thus, don’t count Tibet and China, Western Sahara and Morocco, Northern Ireland and England, or Svalbard and Norway. (This is one rough and imprecise way of judging whether the dependency should indeed been seen as a separate place rather than part of the same country.)

I’ll give honorable mention to the commenter who offers the most accurate list from memory, without doing any research. When offering answers, please pay close attention to the rules above — when I asked this 10 years ago, for instance, I got several messages that mention Guantanamo or other bases (which violate rule 1) or that mention small islands or archipelagoes such as the Faeroes or Bermuda (which aren’t large enough to fit within rule 2).

Eugene Volokh teaches free speech law, religious freedom law, church-state relations law, a First Amendment Amicus Brief Clinic, and tort law, at UCLA School of Law, where he has also often taught copyright law, criminal law, and a seminar on firearms regulation policy.
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Sasha Volokh | February 12