Autonomous administrative division
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An autonomous administrative division is an administrative division of a country that has a degree of autonomy, or freedom from an external authority. Typically it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Decentralization of self-governing powers and functions to such divisions is a way for a national government to try to increase democratic participation, administrative efficiency and/or to defuse internal conflicts. Countries that include autonomous areas may be federacies, federations or confederations. Autonomous areas can be divided into territorial autonomies, subregional territorial autonomies and local autonomies.
By country 
- Autonomous administrative divisions of the People's Republic of China
- Autonomous administrative divisions of India
- Autonomous administrative divisions of Russia
By designation 
The other types of autonomous areas to be found in the world are:
Found only as divisions of Inner Mongolia. In effect, these are autonomous counties (see below).
Autonomous city 
Five cities are formally designated by their countries as autonomous: the capital of Uzbekistan, Tashkent; the Korean administrative city, Sejong, the Spanish exclaves of Ceuta and Melilla; and the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires.
Autonomous commune 
Autonomous community 
The territories into which Spain's provinces are grouped are known as autonomous communities (comunidades autónomas). The Spanish model of state established by the 1978 Constitution is a quasi-federation, consisting of 17 autononomous communities having the constitutional right to self-rule. Spain is not a federation in name and is not yet a fully formed federation, but it does exhibit some of the institutional characteristics of contemporary federal political systems.
Autonomous county 
The most numerous type of autonomous area in China, found both within and outside the larger autonomous prefectures and regions.
Autonomous district council 
Autonomous okrug 
Okrug is a transliterated Slavic loanword usually translated as "district". Okrugs, however, vary more widely in size than other areas commonly identified as "districts", from large first-level divisions to third-level divisions within cities. As of 2008, Russia has four autonomous okrugs.
Autonomous oblast 
Autonomous prefecture 
China has 30 prefectures that are autonomous, mostly in the periphery of the country.
Autonomous province 
Four countries formally designate areas of their territory as autonomous provinces:
- The provinces of Trentino and South Tyrol in Italy.
- Jeju-do, a South Korean offshore island.
- Vojvodina in Serbia.
- Indonesia has the following provinces designated as autonomous: Aceh, Yogyakarta, Papua and West Papua
Autonomous region 
- autonomous regions of China
- The Åland Islands, dependent territory within the Republic of Finland.
- The Autonomous Region of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea.
- Rodrigues, an autonomous dependency within the Republic of Mauritius.
- The autonomous regions of India.
- The four "autonomous regions with special statute" in Italy: Sicily, Sardinia, Aosta Valley, and Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
- The two autonomous regions of Portugal: the Azores and Madeira.
- Nunatsiavut, a self-governing region of Labrador Inuit in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
- The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, in the Philippines.
- The five municipalities, or caracoles in Chiapas, in the southeast of Mexico.
- Mount Athos in Greece.
- Región Autónoma del Atlántico Norte (RAAN) and Región Autónoma del Atlántico Sur (RAAS) in Nicaragua.
- The Nisga'a of British Columbia and Tli Cho of the Northwest Territories in Canada have self-government as a result of treaties.
- In Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan is the only region that has gained official recognition internationally as an autonomous regional entity.
Autonomous republic 
- the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic within Azerbaijan.
- the Autonomous Republic of Adjaria within Georgia (Abkhazia is also regarded an autonomous republic by Georgia, although it declared unilaterally its independence in 1994).
- the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province within Tajikistan.
- the Autonomous Republic of Crimea within Ukraine.
- the Karakalpakstan Republic within Uzbekistan.
Autonomous sector 
Autonomous territorial unit 
Other entities with devolution (autonomy) 
British constituent countries and Crown Dependencies 
In the United Kingdom.
New Zealand dependent territories 
New Zealand has several autonomous islands and atolls in the Pacific Ocean, like the Cook Islands and Niue (two states in free association with New Zealand), the Chatham Islands (a special territory within New Zealand) and Tokelau (a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand).
Ethiopian special woredas 
In Ethiopia, "special woredas" are a subgroup of woredas (districts) that are organized around the traditional homelands of an ethnic minority, and are outside the usual hierarchy of a kilil, or region. These woredas have many similarities to autonomous areas in other countries.
Danish constituent countries 
- Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship
- Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus in Albania (1914).
- Autonomous republics of the Soviet Union (1922–1990)
- Bantustans of apartheid-era South Africa and Namibia.
- Subcarpathian Ruthenia and Slovakia within Czechoslovakia (1938–1939).
- Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire.
- Grand Duchy of Finland of the Russian Empire.
- Hungarian Autonomous Province of Communist Romania (1952–1968)
- Southern Ireland (1921–1922) and Northern Ireland (1921–1972) within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
- Free imperial city of the medieval Holy Roman Empire
- Transjordan of British Palestine
- Aboriginal (First Nation or Native American) reserves and reservations, in, respectively, Canada and the United States.[discuss]
- the five comarcas indígenas ("indigenous regions") of Panama.
- Lluch, Jaime (2011-04-13). "Federacies and Conceptual Stretching: A Critique of the Category of "Federacy"". PSA Annual Conference, 19–21 April 2011, London, British and Comparative Territorial Politics Group panel. The Political Studies Association. Retrieved 2012-04-24.
See also 
- List of autonomous areas by country
- Country subdivision
- Personal union
- List of autonomous regions leaders
- M. Weller and S. Wolff (eds), Autonomy, Self-governance and Conflict Resolution: Innovative Approaches to Institutional Design in Divided Societies. Abingdon, Routledge, 2005
- From Conflict to Autonomy in Nicaragua: Lessons Learnt, report by Minority Rights Group International
- P.M. Olausson, Autonomy and Islands, A Global Study of the Factors that determine Island Autonomy. Åbo: Åbo Akademi University Press, 2007.
- Thomas Benedikter (ed.), Solving Ethnic Conflict through Self-Government - A Short Guide to Autonomy in Europe and South Asia, EURAC Bozen 2009, http://www.eurac.edu/en/research/institutes/imr/Documents/Deliverable_No_9_Update_Set_educational_material.pdf
- Thomas Benedikter, The World's Modern Autonomy Systems, EURAC Bozen 2010; http://www.gfbv.at/publikationen/weitere_publikationen.php