Stateless nation

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
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] Ethnic groups in Asia, Africa, Australia and the Americas often lost their self-determination by a result of colonialism and suffer since then as a stateless nation. The colonial powers imposed a unified state structure irrespective of the ethnic differences and released their colony later as a multinational state. Many ethnic groups have become a minority who have to live in a state that is mostly dominated by a majority. Because of the ethnic differences came in some countries later to discrimination, ethnic conflict, separatism, ethnic cleansing, genocide and partition.[4] 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.

Claims of stateless nations[edit]

This is a list of groups without a nation of their own for which an autonomist and secessionist movements is known to exist. Groups claiming to be representatives of these stateless nations are fighting for their rights to self-determination with peaceful and violent movements, but their sovereignty and legitimacy is not recognized by the world community.

People Flag Language (ca.) Population States Homeland Irredentist movement Notes
Tamil people
Flag of Tamil Eelam.svg
Tamil language 77,000,000 Sri Lanka, Republic of India Tamilakam and Tamil Eelam Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, Tamil nationalism, LTTE, Sri Lankan Civil War, TNLA [5] regional autonomy in Tamil Nadu
Flag of Sindhudesh.svg
Sindhi 60,000,000 Pakistan, India Sindhudesh JSQM, JSMM, Sindhudesh Liberation Army
African Americans
RNA Flag 08I09.svg
African American English 42,000,000 United States Black Belt (U.S. region) UNIA-ACL, African Blood Brotherhood, Communist Party USA c. 1928-1930,[6][7][8] Nation of Islam, Organization of Afro-American Unity, Republic of New Afrika, Black Liberation Army, Black Guerrilla Family, various New Communist Movement groups[9][10]
Flag of Kurdistan.svg
Kurdish language 35,000,000 Iraq, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Syria Kurdistan Kurdish–Turkish conflict and Kurdish-Iranian conflict regional autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan
Yoruba people
Flag of the Yoruba people.svg
Yoruba language 35,000,000 Nigeria, Benin, Togo Yorubaland Oodua Peoples Congress
Igbo people
Flag of Biafra.svg
Igbo language 30,000,000 Nigeria Biafra Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra
Punjabi language 27,000,000 Republic of India, Pakistan Khalistan Khalistan movement
Palestinian people
Flag of Palestine.svg
Arabic language 11,000,000 West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Israel Palestine Arab–Israeli conflict limited autonomy in the Palestinian territories, majority in Jordan
Baloch people
Flag of the Balochistan Liberation Army.svg
Balochi 10,000,000 Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan Balochistan Balochistan conflict
Andalusian people
Flag of Andalucía.svg
Andalusian Spanish 9,500,000 Spain Andalucia Andalusian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Uyghur people
Kokbayraq flag.svg
Uyghur language 9,000,000 People's Republic of 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
Flag of Catalonia.svg
Catalan language 8,000,000 Spain, France Catalonia Catalan separatism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Flag of Adygea.svg
Circassian language 8,000,000 Russian Federation Circassia Russo-Circassian War, Circassian nationalism regional autonomy in Circassia
Flag of Tatarstan.svg
Tatar language 7,000,000 Russian Federation Tatarstan All-Tatar Public Center regional autonomy in Tatarstan
Flag of Quebec.svg
French language 6,200,000 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
Shan people
Flag of the Shan State.svg
Shan language 6,000,000 Burma Shan State Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha
Tibetan people
Flag of Tibet.svg
Tibetan language 6,000,000 People's Republic of China Tibet Tibetan independence movement limited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region
Kashmiri people
Kashmir independent.svg
Kashmiri language 5,600,000 Republic of India, Pakistan, People's Republic of 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
Flag of Scotland.svg
English, Scots, Scottish Gaelic 5,200,000 United Kingdom Scotland Scottish independence regional autonomy in Scotland
Flag of Wallonia.svg
French, Wallon, Picard, German 5,200,000 Belgium Wallonia Partition of Belgium, Walloon Movement regional autonomy in Wallonia, Seeks independence from Belgium or reuniting with France.
Kabyle people
Berber flag.svg
Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic 5,000,000 Algeria Kabylie Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie
Acehnese people
Flag of Aceh.svg
Acehnese language 4,000,000 Indonesia Aceh Insurgency in Aceh regional autonomy in Aceh
Hmong people
Hmong Flag.png
Hmong language 4,000,000 Laos, People's Republic of China, Vietnam, Thailand Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Insurgency in Laos
Puerto Rican people
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg
Spanish language 3,638,484 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 nationality flag.png
Rohingya language 3,600,000 Burma, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia Burma, Rakhine state Rohingya conflict in Western Burma
Assyrian people (aka Syriac/Aramaean people)
Flag of Assyria.svg
Neo-Aramaic language 3,500,000 Syria, Iraq, Iran, Turkey Assyrian homeland Assyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence
Breton people
Flag of Brittany (Gwenn ha du).svg
French, Breton, Gallo 3,120,288 France Brittany Breton nationalism
Welsh people
Flag of Wales 2.svg
English, Welsh language 3,000,000 United Kingdom Wales Welsh independence regional autonomy in Wales
Galician people
Bandeira galega civil.svg
Galician language 2,800,000 Spain Galiza Galician nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Basque people
Flag of the Basque Country.svg
Basque language 2,600,000 France, Spain Basque Country Basque nationalism
Naga people
Unofficial flag of Nagaland.svg
Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole 2,000,000 Republic of India Nagaland Naga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast India regional autonomy in Nagaland
Chechen people
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg
Chechen language 2,000,000 Russian Federation Chechnya and Dagestan Chechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria regional autonomy in Chechnya
Canarian people
Flag of the Canary Islands (simple).svg
Spanish, Guanche language (extinct) 1,600,000 Spain, Venezuela, Cuba Canary Islands Canarian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mainland Spain.
Interfrisian Flag.svg
Frisian language 1,500,000 Netherlands, Germany Frisia Frisian National Party the creation of a new Frisian state
Bodo people
Bandera Bodoland.svg
Bodo language 1,300,000 Republic of India Bodoland National Democratic Front of Bodoland
Tuareg people
MNLA flag.svg
Tuareg language 1,200,000 Mali, Niger Azawad Tuareg rebellion (2012)
Corsican people Flag of Corsica.svg Corsican language 1,000,000 France Corsica Party of the Corsican Nation
Flag of Greenland.svg
Inuit languages 1,000,000 Canada, United States, Denmark Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada, Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland, Autonomy in Canada
Flag of the Mapuches.svg
Mapudungun 1,000,000 Argentina, Chile Araucanía Mapuche conflict
Ryukyuan people
Ryukyu independence flag.svg
Ryukyuan language 1,000,000 Japan Ryukyu Kingdom Ryukyu independence movement
Occitan people
Flag of Occitania (with star).svg
Occitan language 100,000 to 800,000 France, Italy, Spain Occitania Occitan Party
Māori people
Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg
Māori, English 750,000 New Zealand New Zealand Māori protest movement
Australian Aborigines
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg
Aboriginal languages 680,000 Australia Australia Movement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Cornish people
Flag of Cornwall.svg
Cornish English, Cornish 534,300 (only Cornwall) United Kingdom Cornwall Cornish nationalism, Mebyon Kernow, Cornish Nationalist Party Cornwall demand a devolution or autonomy.
Hawaiian people
Kanaka Maoli flag.svg
Hawaiian language 527,000 United States Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement
Sami people
Sami flag.svg
Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian 163,400 Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia Sapmi Have their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland
Lakota people (Sioux)
Pine Ridge Flag.svg
Lakota, English 103,255 United States Lakotah Sioux Wars Native American reservation politics
Faroese people
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg
Faroese language 66,000 Denmark Faroe Islands Faroese independence movement regional autonomy in Faroe Islands

See also[edit]


  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. ^ Donald L. Horowitz, Ethnic Groups in Conflict
  5. ^ "Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  6. ^ 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]
  7. ^ Haywood, Harry, The Struggle for the Leninist Position on the Negro Question in the United States, 1933
  8. ^ Gilmore, Glinda, Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, 2008
  9. ^ "1981 - RWH Pamphlet - Build the Black Liberation Movement". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  10. ^ "Full text of "In Defense of the Right to Political Secession for the Afro-American Nation"". Retrieved 18 October 2014. 

External links[edit]