People stand over a world map at the Monument to the Discoveries in the Belem parish of Lisbon, Portugal, on Aug. 21, 2014.
(Frederic Soltan/Corbis via Getty Images)
How many countries are there in the world? It’s a seemingly simple question. But like so many things in geopolitics, the answer is, well...complicated. The 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States listed four requirements for statehood: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government and the capacity to enter into relations with other states. The issue, however, is defining who meets that criteria, which varies depending on who you ask.
To empower members to confidently understand and navigate a continuously changing and complex global environment.