"Over the centuries, a diversity of nations have resorted to policies of international seclusion. From great imperial powers to obscure mountain kingdoms they have tried to seal themselves off from the outside world. They have resorted to various measures to restrict or eliminate interaction with foreign countries in diplomatic, economic, military and socio-cultural spheres.This study examines the policies and practices of a number of self-isolated countries. The intention is not to present an exhaustive list, but rather to consider a fairly representative selection of voluntarily isolated states, both historical and contemporary. Nor will detailed case studies be undertaken; instead, a brief overview of the main features of the various states' isolation will be presented.The discussion will be arranged around a series of key questions. What motivated policies of self-isolation? What were the major domestic and external manifestations of such policies? In cases where voluntary isolation was abandoned, when, how and why was it done? And, finally, how viable an option is isolationism in this day and age?"