It sure seems a lot easier when we had the triumvirate of Ottomania, Safavid & the Mughals (who were at the vanguard of syncretism fwiw).
It's pretty obvious that the world is at an inflection (or reaction) point to Western globalising tendencies. Much as English will emerge as a lingua franca, it's instructive to note that it hasn't yet murdered any other languages (apart old Celtic rivals from centuries ago) and remains a real primacy in the Old Commonwealth.
While English in the Old Commonwealth has started to standardise to various varieties, which remain somewhat intelligible with Her Majesty's Speech (which after all seems to be the central standard for this incredibly inchoate & ever-expanding medium) in the African & Asian New Commonwealth English has begun to evolve into different varieties (in Uganda, the language elides with Luganda to form Luglish, High standard English is an upper-class / educated phenomenon).
My point being is that analysts need a geo-historical perspective when analysing the world. I don't write nearly enough these days (even the start of BP represented the last high tide of my writing) but then I'm rather occupied with harnessing my perspectives towards a corporate-commercial end (in my ever-ending war for this Bobo between the Bourgeois & Bohemian, as an aside the Ugandans use "ever" for when they mean "never").
For instance people may agonise over ISIS but at the end of the day when have Sunni Arabs ever gone beyond deserts and plains? When have they gone into the mountains, that domains is for Persians, Turks & shi'ites. The nice tweak of geography is that it's still salient, Israel 2000yrs later captured the wrong part of Palestine and actually is in Philistia instead of Judea.
As a final comment I see the unity of the British Isles so clearly in Uganda. The Irish may stayed apart because of Catholicism (which is no longer as determinant an identity) but the Celtic nations have so inter-mingled with the English that the boundaries are as faint & soft without disappearing. Ironically the United Kingdom is what the European Union dreams to be.