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A dominant minority is a minority group that has overwhelming political, economic, or cultural dominance in a country, despite representing a small fraction of the overall population (a demographic minority). Dominant minorities are also known as alien elites if they are recent immigrants.
The term is most commonly used to refer to an ethnic group which is defined along racial, national, religious, cultural or tribal lines and that holds a disproportionate amount of power. A notable example is South Africa during the apartheid regime, where White South Africans, or Afrikaners more specifically, wielded predominant control of the country, despite never composing more than 22% of the population. African American-descended nationals in Liberia, Sunni Arabs in Ba'athist Iraq, the Alawite minority in Syria (since 1970 under the rule of the Alawite Assad family), and the Tutsi in Rwanda since the 1990s have also been cited as current or recent examples.
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- Shia Alawites in Syria
- Muhajirs in Pakistan
- North Yemeni Arabs in Yemen
- Sunni Muslims in Bahrain
- Tigrayans in Ethiopia since 1991
- Tutsi in Rwanda
- West Germans in East Germany
- Brasiguayos in Paraguay (despite making up less than 2% of the Paraguayan population, Paraguayans of Brazilian descent control most of the industrial and economic sector)
- Ethnic Chinese in most of Southeast Asia (in several countries, this group makes up 15% or less of the population while owning over 60% of the economy of such countries)
- Indians in Fiji
- Indians in Kenya
- Indians in Madagascar (despite making up less than 1% of the population, by 2000 they controlled between 50% to 60% of the economy)
- Indians in Uganda (despite making up less than 1% of the population, they dominate the economy and produce most of the country's tax revenues)
- Indian diaspora in most of East Africa
- White South Africans still own the majority of businesses in South Africa
- Arab Sudanese in (pre-independence) South Sudan
- Afro-Guyanese in Guyana
- Ahom Tribe in erstwhile Ahom Kingdom now modern-day Assam, India
- Americo-Liberians in Liberia
- Anglo-Quebecers in Quebec prior and up until the Quiet Revolution
- Arabs in the Zanzibar Sultanate
- Azerbaijanis in the Safavid dynasty and the Qajar dynasty of Persia
- Baltic Germans in modern Estonia and Latvia during the crusader state era, subsequent local German states, Swedish rule in Estonia and later the Russian Empire
- Burgundians in the Kingdom of the Burgundians
- Burmese Indians in Myanmar
- Caldoches in New Caledonia
- Catholics in South Vietnam
- Catholics in the Electorate of Saxony and Kingdom of Saxony (from the 1 June 1697)
- Catholics in Old Swiss Confederacy (from the Second War of Kappel to the Toggenburg War)
- Chinese in the Beiyang Mongolia
- Dutch and Indo people in the Dutch East Indies (modern-day Indonesia)
- Franks in the Frankish Empire
- French Lusignans in medieval Cyprus
- French speakers in Belgium before World War II
- Greeks in the Hellenistic states, including Ptolemaic Egypt, the Seleucid Empire, the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and the Indo-Greek Kingdom
- Greek Phanariotes in the Danubian Principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia
- Germanic peoples in the Western Roman Empire
- Germanic peoples, in particular Goths, in the late 5th century Eastern Roman Empire under the patrician Aspar
- Germanic peoples in the former territories of the Western Roman Empire during the Early Middle Ages
- Germanic Herules, Rugii and Scirii in the 5th century Kingdom of Italy
- Gutian people in Mesopotamia in the late 3rd millennium BC
- Hungarians and Transylvanian Saxons in Transylvania
- Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
- Indo-Aryan kings dominating the Hurrian peoples in the kingdom of Mitanni
- Indo-Aryan Maryannu dominating Palestine during the late 2nd millennium BC
- Indo-Aryans in Vedic India
- Indo-European Hittites among the Hattians
- Indo-Europeans among the Kassites
- Iranian peoples among the Cimmerians
- Japanese in the Korea, Taiwan, Manchukuo and Tsingtao Concession, China
- Kassites in Babylonia during the late 2nd millennium BC
- Krios in Sierra Leone
- Lombards in the Kingdom of the Lombards in Italy
- Ostrogoths in the Ostrogothic Kingdom of Italy
- Latins in the Crusader states
- Mainlanders in Taiwan (Republic of China) during the martial law period
- Manchurians in the Qing Dynasty, China
- Mongolians in the Yuan Dynasty, China
- Normans in the countries they conquered
- Norse–Gaels in the Irish Sea and Scottish Sea during the Viking Age
- Parni in the Parthian Empire
- Paulistas in early 20th century Brazil
- Peninsulares in the New World, modern-day Mexico, Colombia, Philippines, Cuba, and other nations of the former Spanish Empire
- Phoenicians in Ancient Carthage
- Pieds-Noirs in French Algeria
- The Protestant Ascendancy in British-ruled Ireland
- Ethnic Russians in the Baltic Soviet Republics, central Asia and various other Republics.
- Rus' people (Norsemen) in Kievan Rus'
- Sakas in the Indo-Scythian Kingdom
- Scots-speaking Lowlanders in Scotland prior to the Highland Clearances
- Serbian people in Kosovo after the break-up of Socialist Yugoslavia
- Sikhs in the Muslim-majority Punjab India from the early 18th to the 20th century.
- Sudanese Arabs in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (modern-day Sudan and South Sudan)
- Arab Sunni Muslims in Saddam Hussein-era Iraq
- Suebi in the Kingdom of the Suebi in Gallaecia
- Swedes in Finland during the Swedish rule and Russian Grand Duchy period
- Vandals and Alans in the Kingdom of the Vandals and Alans at Carthage
- Visigoths in the Visigothic Kingdom of Iberia
- White Bolivians and Mestizo in Bolivia
- White Anglo-Saxon Protestants in the United States
- White Jamaican in Jamaica
- White Namibians in Namibia under South African rule during apartheid
- White Rhodesians in Rhodesia
- White South Africans in South Africa during apartheid
- Yuezhi in the Kushan Empire
- Colonialism, particularly exploitation colonialism and plantation colonies
- Middleman minority
- Minority influence
- Model minority
- Tyranny of the majority
- World on Fire, a book that introduces the concept of "market-dominant minority"
- Oded Haklai. A minority rule over a hostile majority: The case of Syria.
- Khan, Maryam (1 April 2014). "Ethnic Federalism in Pakistan: Federal Design, Construction of Ethno-Linguistic Identity, and Group Conflict". Harvard Journal on Racial and Ethnic Justice (Harvard JREJ). doi:10.2139/ssrn.2185435 – via ResearchGate.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-09-09. Retrieved 2013-08-31.
- "Neue Proteste für eine Unabhängigkeit Südjemens". 10 July 2017.
- Bolliger, Monika (12 May 2017). "Drei Regierungen für Jemen - NZZ" – via NZZ.
- "AFP News Single: Nachrichten Holzminden". www.tah.de.
- "Bahrain country profile - Overview". BBC. BBC News. 25 November 2014. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "International Religious Freedom Report for 2013". State.gov. US State Department. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- "Bahrain: The Authorities Continue to Oppress the Shia Sect". Bahrain Center for Human Rights. Retrieved 1 April 2015.
- Dahir, Abdi Latif (30 October 2016). "Ethiopia's crisis is a result of decades of land disputes and ethnic power battles". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 4 February 2017.
For a quarter of a century, the Tigrayans, who make up only 6% of the country’s over 100 million population, have enjoyed disproportionate influence and representation in government.
- Decker, Markus. "Studie: Westdeutsche dominieren die Eliten – sogar in Ostdeutschland".
- Decker, Markus. "Studie: Westdeutsche dominieren die Eliten – sogar in Ostdeutschland".
- "Osten wird von westdeutschen Beamten beherrscht". 25 September 2013 – via Tagesspiegel.
- "Der Tag mit Jenny Friedrich-Freksa - Dominieren Westdeutsche die Eliten?".
- "Brasileiros abrem 7 de cada 10 indústrias do Paraguai".
- Chua, Amy (2003). World On Fire. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 978-0385721868.
- Siegel, Matt; Veisamasama, Malakai (16 September 2014). "Ghosts of ethnic conflicts past haunt Fiji vote". www.reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- Chua, Amy (2003). World On Fire. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. p. 113. ISBN 978-0385721868.
- "Gujarati of Madagascar - Pray Africa".
- Dawood, Farhana (15 May 2016). "Ugandan Asians dominate economy after exile". www.bbc.com. BBC News. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
- Chua, Amy (2003). World On Fire. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. p. 246. ISBN 978-0385721868.
- Anwar, Mohammad Amir. "White people in South Africa still hold the lion's share of all forms of capital".
- Yasmin Saikia. Fragmented Memories.
- President William V. S. Tubman, 1944 - 1971.
- U.S. Department of State. U.S. Relations With Liberia.
- Nicole Itano. For Liberians, old ties to US linger.
- Chua, Amy (2003). World On Fire. Knopf Doubleday Publishing. p. 23. ISBN 978-0385721868.
- "Italy: Fifth-century political trends". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
Its growing number of non-Roman military detachments tended increasingly to have their own ethnic leaders and to be organized according to their own rules. Ricimer (in power 456–472, by this time only in Italy) was a Germanic tribesman, not a Roman. He was culturally highly Romanized and, as such, was himself part of a tradition of Romano-Germanic military leadership that went back to the 370s, but he could not, as a “barbarian,” be emperor, and he made and unmade several emperors in a search for a stable ruler who would not undermine his own power. Significantly, in 456–457 and 465–467 he ruled alone, subordinate only to the Eastern emperor in Constantinople.
- "Ricimer". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
- "Flavius Ardaburius Aspar". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
Aspar’s influence increased; he was made a patrician after Marcian, who had formerly been in his service, became emperor in 450. When Marcian died Aspar had a protégé raised to the throne as Leo I (February 457). The general, head of a Gothic army devoted to him, was then at the height of his power. Leo, however, was not content to be Aspar’s puppet... A conspiracy organized by the Isaurians and Leo in 471 led to Aspar’s murder, and German domination over Eastern Roman policy ended.
- Wolfram, Herwig (2005). The Roman Empire and Its Germanic Peoples. University of California Press. p. 7. ISBN 0520244907.
In real life, these tribes were surprisingly small... In defiance of the facts, we hear to this day of barbarian hordes. These people are likewise presented as conquerors of the Roman Empire, even though they constituted a vanishing minority within it.
- "Ancient Rome: The Barbarian Kingdoms". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
The barbarians were everywhere a small minority. They established themselves on the great estates and divided the land to the benefit of the federates without doing much harm to the lower classes or disturbing the economy.
- Phillips, E. D. (1963). "The Peoples of the Highland: Vanished Cultures of Luristan, Mannai and Urartu". Vanished Civilizations of the Ancient World. McGraw-Hill: 241. Retrieved 25 July 2018.
During the 2nd millennium the long process began by which Indo-European peoples from the northern steppes beyond the Caucasus established themselves about Western Asia, Iran and northern India. Their earliest pressure perhaps drove some the native peoples of the mountains to migrate or infiltrate and sometimes come as invaders into Mesopotamia and northern Syria, even in the 3rd millennium. The Indo-Europeans then drove their way through these peoples, drawing many of them in their train as subjects or allies, and appeared themselves early in the 2nd millennium as invaders and conquerors in the Near East. For the first half of the millenium the highlanders under Indo-European leadership dominated the older peoples of the plains, most of whom were Semites. The most powerful of these Indo-Europeans were the Hittites who ruled Anatolia, and later extended their dominion over northern Syria, but their connection with our three cultures is not direct, unles more Hittite influence was felt in Urartu than has so far appeared. Two other peoples are directly relevant, namely the Kassites from the Zagros mountains in the region of Luristan, and the Hurrians, who spread from regions further north, particularly from Armenia. Both were themselves native peoples of the highland, and spoke languages which were not Indo-European, but belonged to a group sometimes loosely called Caucasian, once widespread but later surviving only in the Caucasus. They were led by Indo- European aristocracies small in numbers but great in energy and achievement. They were the first to use the horse in war to draw the light chariot with spoked wheels. Indo-European names of gods at least appear among the Kassites, and of gods and rulers much more obviously among the Hurrians, in whom this element was clearly stronger. In both cases the names reveal the Indic branch of the Indo-European family, of which the main body moved through Iran to conquer northern India.
- "Cimmerian". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
The origin of the Cimmerians is obscure. Linguistically they are usually regarded as Thracian or as Iranian, or at least to have had an Iranian ruling class.
- "Theodoric". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
With his people, who may have numbered 100,000 persons, Theodoric arrived in Italy in late August 489... his people could not legally intermarry with Romans.
- "Italy: The Ostrogothic Kingdom". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, conquered Italy and killed Odoacer in 493. The decades of the Ostrogothic kingdom in Italy (493–552) can be seen as the first true period of Germanic rule in the peninsula, for an entire tribe of 100,000 to 200,000 people came with Theodoric... Theodoric, who did not want the Ostrogoths to become Romanized, encouraged them to keep their distance from the Romans. Yet such apartheid did not last. Some Romans joined the army; many more Goths became landowners, legally or illegally, and adopted civilian Roman cultural traditions.
- "Spain: Visigothic Spain to c. 500". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved August 23, 2018.
Despite the collapse of imperial rule in Spain, Roman influence remained strong. The majority of the population, probably about six million, were Hispano-Romans, as compared with 200,000 barbarians... A Roman law that prohibited intermarriage between the two peoples was, however, abolished in the late 6th century. Still, the task of bringing the two peoples together and of achieving some sort of political and cultural unity was a formidable one.
- Barzilai, Gad. Communities and Law: Politics and Cultures of Legal Identities (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003). ISBN 978-0-472-03079-8
- Gibson, Richard. African Liberation Movements: Contemporary Struggles against White Minority Rule (Institute of Race Relations: Oxford University Press, London, 1972). ISBN 0-19-218402-4
- Russell, Margo and Martin. Afrikaners of the Kalahari: White Minority in a Black State ( Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1979). ISBN 0-521-21897-7
- Johnson, Howard and Watson, Karl (eds.). The white minority in the Caribbean (Wiener Publishing, Princeton, NJ, 1998). ISBN 976-8123-10-9, ISBN 1-55876-161-6
- Chua, Amy. World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability (Doubleday, New York, 2003). ISBN 0-385-50302-4
- Haviland, William. Cultural Anthropology. (Vermont: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993). p. 250-252. ISBN 0-15-508550-6.