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Stateless nation

This article is about a nation lacking a nation state. For a community lacking a government, see stateless society. For persons lacking state affiliation, see statelessness.

A stateless nation is an ethnic group, religious group, linguistic group or other cohesive group which is not the majority population in any nation state. The term implies that the group "should have" such a state, and thus expresses irredentism. This is orthogonal to statelessness in the sense of an individual's complete lack of a legal nationality: members of stateless ethnic groups may be citizens/nationals of the country in which they live, or they may be denied citizenship by that country. Stateless nations are usually not represented as a nation in international sports such as FIFA, Olympics or in international communities such as the United Nations. Nations without state are classified as fourth world nations.[1]

Stateless nations either are dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Kurdish people are found in Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia and Syria) or form the native population of a province within a larger state (such as the Uyghur people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region within the People's Republic of China). Some stateless nations historically had a state, which was absorbed by another; for example, Tibet's declaration of independence in 1913 was not recognized, and it was invaded in 1951 by the People's Republic of China which claims that Tibet is an integral part of China, while the Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under unlawful occupation.[2][3] Some ethnic groups were once a stateless nation that later became a nation state (for example, the nations of the Balkan such as the Croats, Serbs, Bosnians, Slovenes, Montenegrins, Kosovars and Macedonians were once part of a multinational state of Yugoslavia. Since the breakup of Yugoslavia many nation states were formed). The Romani people may be a special case, being distributed among numerous countries with no clear homeland; as a traditionally "nomadic" people, the Romani/Roma are a classical "stateless nation" without aspiration to sovereign territory. As not all states are nation states, there are a number of ethnic groups who live in a multinational state without being considered "stateless nations". As there are several thousand individual languages and fewer than 200 independent states, it follows that the vast majority of ethnic groups is "stateless" in the sense that they do not have their own nation state.

Consequences of colonialism and imperialism

During the imperial and colonial era, powerful nations extended their influence outside their homeland and this resulted that many occupied nations lost their self-determination and suffer since then as a stateless nation.[4] In some cases the indigenous ethnic groups were victims of atrocities or were forcibly expelled from their homeland, for example Chagossians.[5] Some nations have been victims of "carve out" and their homeland was divided among several nations. Even today the colonial boundaries are visible that were detected during the colonial era and differ from cultural boundaries. This caused that people of same language or culture were separated by national borders, for example New Guinea splits as West Papua (former Dutch colony) and Papua New Guinea (former British colony).[6] During decolonization, the colonial powers imposed a unified state structure irrespective of the ethnic differences and released their colony as a multinational state. This led that many ethnic groups have become a minority in the successor states and lost their right to self-determination. Because of the ethnic differences came in some countries to discrimination, ethnic conflict, separatism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced assimilation, and partition.[7]

Nationalism and Stateless nations

Most peoples have their own history, language, culture, religion and customs, but the rise of own national consciousness make them to a nation.[8] A nation can exist without a state but a state can not without a nation, this is well represented by the stateless nations. In a multinational state different national consciousnesses can coexist or compete, example Britain, there exists the English nationalism and Scottish nationalism both held together by British nationalism. Nationalism is often brought into connection with separatism, because a nation reaches its completeness by its independence. [9] Throughout history, numerous nations declared their independence, but not all ended successfully with a state. Even today, there are unresolved autonomy and independence movements around the world.

Not all claim themselves as a nation or aspire for a state. Some of them identify themselves more as part of the multinational state and believe that their interests are well represented by it. It is also associated with Pan-nationalism. (Spanish nationalism, Indian nationalism or Chinese nationalism).[10]

Claims of stateless nations

This list of stateless nation was created based on the following criteria.

  • Has no own Sovereign State.
  • Does not form a majority in any Sovereign State.
  • Autonomist or secessionist movements is known to exist.
  • Not recognized by any UN members.
People Flag Language (ca.) Predominant religion Population Continent States Homeland Irredentist movement Notes
Tamil people Tamil language Hinduism 77,000,000 Asia Sri Lanka, India Tamilakam and Tamil Eelam Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, Tamil nationalism, LTTE, Sri Lankan Civil War, TNLA [11] regional autonomy in Tamil Nadu
Sindhi Sindhi Islam 60,000,000 Asia Pakistan, India Sindhudesh JSQM, JSMM, Sindhudesh Liberation Army
African Americans African American English Christianity 42,000,000 North America United States Black Belt (U.S. region) UNIA-ACL, African Blood Brotherhood, Communist Party USA c. 1928-1930,[12][13][14] Nation of Islam, Organization of Afro-American Unity, Republic of New Afrika, Black Liberation Army, Black Guerrilla Family, various New Communist Movement groups[15][16]
Kurds Kurdish language Islam 35,000,000 Asia Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Syria Kurdistan Kurdish–Turkish conflict, Kurdish-Iranian conflict, Iraqi-Kurdish conflict, and Kurdish–Syrian conflict regional autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan
Yoruba people Yoruba language Christianity 35,000,000 Africa Nigeria, Benin, Togo Yorubaland Oodua Peoples Congress
Igbo people Igbo language Christianity 30,000,000 Africa Nigeria Biafra Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra
Sikhs Punjabi language Sikhism 27,000,000 Asia India, Pakistan Khalistan Khalistan movement
Occitan people Occitan, French Christianity 16,000,000 Europe France, Italy, Spain Occitania Occitan nationalism (Occitan Party, Partit de la Nacion Occitana, Libertat)
Baloch people Balochi Islam 10,000,000 Asia Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan Balochistan Balochistan conflict
Andalusian people Andalusian Spanish Christianity 9,500,000 Europe Spain Andalucia Andalusian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Uyghur people Uyghur language Islam 9,000,000 Asia China Chinese Turkestan Irredentism is politically fragmented (East Turkestan Liberation Organization, East Turkestan independence movement) limited autonomy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Catalan people Catalan, Spanish, French, Aranese Christianity 8,000,000 Europe Spain, France Catalonia Catalan separatism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Circassians Circassian language Islam 8,000,000 Asia Russia Circassia Russo-Circassian War, Circassian nationalism regional autonomy in Circassia
Tatars Tatar language Islam 7,000,000 Asia Russia Tatarstan All-Tatar Public Center regional autonomy in Tatarstan
Québécois French language Christianity 6,200,000 North America Canada Quebec Quebec sovereignty movement The total population of the Province of Quebec is 7.9 million, of which 6.2 million are French speakers
Riffian people Riffian language Islam 6,000,000 Africa Morocco, Spain Rif Rif War, Rif Republic Controlled by Morocco (95%). Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla as autonomous cities.
Shan people Shan language Buddhism 6,000,000 Asia Burma Shan State Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha
Tibetan people Tibetan language Buddhism 6,000,000 Asia China Tibet Tibetan independence movement limited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region
Kashmiri people Kashmiri language Islam 5,600,000 Asia India, Pakistan, China Kashmir Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir Administered by India (Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh), by Pakistan (Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan), by China (Aksai Chin).
Scottish people English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic Christianity 5,200,000 Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish independence regional autonomy in Scotland
Walloons French, Wallon, Picard, German Christianity 5,200,000 Europe Belgium Wallonia Partition of Belgium, Walloon Movement regional autonomy in Wallonia, Seeks independence from Belgium or reuniting with France.
Lozi people Lozi Christianity 5,153,000 Africa Zambia Barotseland Barotse Patriotic Front[17]
Kabyle people Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic Islam 5,000,000 Africa Algeria Kabylie Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie
Acehnese people Acehnese language Islam 4,000,000 Asia Indonesia Aceh Insurgency in Aceh regional autonomy in Aceh
Hmong people Hmong language Buddhism 4,000,000 Asia Laos, China, Vietnam, Thailand Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Insurgency in Laos
Puerto Rican people Spanish, English Christianity 3,638,484 North America United States Puerto Rico Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, Boricua Popular Army Unincorporated territory of the United States
Rohingya people Rohingya language Islam 3,600,000 Asia Burma Rakhine State Rohingya conflict in Western Burma
Assyrian people (aka Syriac/Aramaean people) Neo-Aramaic language Christianity 3,500,000 Asia Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey Assyrian homeland Assyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence
Breton people French, Breton, Gallo Christianity 3,120,288 Europe France Brittany Breton nationalism
Welsh people English, Welsh language Christianity 3,000,000 Europe United Kingdom Wales Welsh independence regional autonomy in Wales
Galician people Galician language Christianity 2,800,000 Europe Spain Galiza Galician nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Basque people Basque, Spanish Christianity 2,600,000 Europe France, Spain Basque Country Basque nationalism
Naga people Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole Christianity 2,000,000 Asia India Nagaland Naga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast India regional autonomy in Nagaland
Chechen people Chechen language Islam 2,000,000 Asia Russia Chechnya and Dagestan Chechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria regional autonomy in Chechnya
Sardinian people[18][19][20][21] Sardinian, Corso-Sardinian, Italian, Catalan, Ligurian Christianity 1,661,521 Europe Italy Sardinia The movement advocating independence is quite fragmented Regional autonomy in Sardinia
Canarian people Spanish, Guanche language (extinct) Christianity 1,600,000 Europe Spain Canary Islands Canarian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mainland Spain.
Frisians Frisian language Christianity 1,500,000 Europe Netherlands, Germany Frisia Frisian National Party the creation of a new Frisian state
Bodo people Bodo language Hinduism 1,300,000 Asia India Bodoland National Democratic Front of Bodoland
Tuareg people Tuareg language Islam 1,200,000 Africa Mali, Niger Azawad Tuareg rebellion (2012)
Inuit Inuit languages Christianity with native 1,000,000 North America Canada, United States, Denmark Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland, Autonomy in Canada
Mapuche Mapudungun Christianity 1,000,000 South America Argentina, Chile Araucanía Mapuche conflict
Ryukyuan people Ryukyuan, Japanese Buddhism 1,000,000 Asia Japan Ryukyu Kingdom Ryukyu independence movement
Māori people Māori, English Christianity with native 750,000 Australia New Zealand New Zealand Māori protest movement
Australian Aborigines Aboriginal languages Christianity with native 680,000 Australia Australia Australia Movement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Cornish people Cornish English, Cornish Christianity 534,300 (only Cornwall) Europe United Kingdom Cornwall Cornish nationalism, Mebyon Kernow, Cornish Nationalist Party Cornwall demand a devolution or autonomy.
Hawaiian people Hawaiian language Christianity with native 527,000 North America United States Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement
Ogoni people Ogoni language Christianity with native 500,000 Africa Nigeria Ogoniland Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Corsican people 50px Corsican, French, Ligurian Christianity 322,120 Europe France Corsica Party of the Corsican Nation
Sami people Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Christianity 163,400 Europe Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia Sapmi Have their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland
Lakota people (Sioux) Lakota, English Christianity with native 103,255 North America United States Lakotah Sioux Wars, Lakota Freedom Movement Native American reservation politics
Faroese people Faroese language Christianity 66,000 Europe Denmark Faroe Islands Faroese independence movement regional autonomy in Faroe Islands

See also

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  1. ^ David Newman, Boundaries, Territory and Postmodernity
  2. ^ Clark, Gregory, In fear of China, 1969, saying: "Tibet, although enjoying independence at certain periods of its history, had never been recognised by any single foreign power as an independent state. The closest it has ever come to such recognition was the British formula of 1943: suzerainty, combined with autonomy and the right to enter into diplomatic relations."
  3. ^ "The Legal Status of Tibet". Cultural Survival. 
  4. ^ Redie Bereketeab, Self-Determination and Secession in Africa: The Post-Colonial State
  5. ^ "Chagossians have waited more than forty years for justice, there should be no delay now." Our response to Government Statement on Chagossian Return". chagos support UK. 
  6. ^ Richard Devetak, Christopher W. Hughes, Routledge, 18.12.2007, The Globalization of Political Violence: Globalization's Shadow
  7. ^ Donald L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict
  8. ^ George W. White, Nationalism and Territory: Constructing Group Identity in Southeastern Europe
  9. ^ James Minahan, Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations: A-C
  10. ^ Ian Adams, Political Ideology Today p.73
  11. ^ "Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  12. ^ 1928 and 1930 Communist International Resolutions on the Negro Question in the United States [1928 and 1930 Communist International Resolutions on the Negro Question in the United States]
  13. ^ Haywood, Harry, The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro Question in the United States, 1933
  14. ^ Gilmore, Glinda, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, 2008
  15. ^ "1981 - RWH Pamphlet - Build the Black Liberation Movement". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Full text of "In Defense of the Right to Political Secession for the Afro-American Nation"". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  17. ^ "Assessment for Lozi in Zambia". Minorities at Risk. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  18. ^ Map of stateless nations in Europe - Eurominority
  19. ^ Encyclopedia of the Stateless Nations, James Minahan, pg. 1661
  20. ^ Atlas of Stateless Nations in Europe: Minority Peoples in Search of Recognition, Mikael Bodlore-Penlaez, 2011
  21. ^ New Challenges for Stateless Nationalist and Regionalist Parties, Eve Hepburn

External links