The Info List - Separatism

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A common definition of separatism is that it is the advocacy of a state of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. While it often refers to full political secession,[1] separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy.[2] While some critics[who?] may equate separatism with religious segregation, racist segregation, or sexist segregation, most separatists[who?] argue that separation by choice may serve useful purposes and is not the same as government-enforced segregation. There is some academic debate about this definition, and in particular how it relates to secessionism, as has been discussed online.[3] Separatist groups practice a form of identity politics, or political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice visited upon members of certain social groups. Such groups believe attempts at integration with dominant groups compromise their identity and ability to pursue greater self-determination.[4] However, economic and political factors usually are critical in creating strong separatist movements as opposed to less ambitious identity movements.[5]


1 Motivations 2 Governmental responses 3 Ethnic
separatism 4 Racial separatism 5 Religious separatism 6 Geographic and socioeconomic separatism 7 Gender and sexist separatism 8 See also

8.1 Lists 8.2 General

9 References 10 Further reading 11 External links


Support for Catalan independence
Catalan independence
is based on the thesis that Catalonia is a nation

Groups may have one or more motivations for separation, including:[6]

emotional resentment and hatred of rival communities. protection from ethnic cleansing and genocide. resistance by victims of oppression, including denigration of their language, culture or religion. influence and propaganda by those inside and outside the region who hope to gain politically from intergroup conflict and hatred. economic and political dominance of one group that does not share power and privilege in an egalitarian fashion. economic motivations: seeking to end economic exploitation by more powerful group or, conversely, to escape economic redistribution from a richer to a poorer group. preservation of threatened religious, language or other cultural tradition. destabilization from one separatist movement giving rise to others. geopolitical power vacuum from breakup of larger states or empires. continuing fragmentation as more and more states break up. feeling that the perceived nation was added to the larger state by illegitimate means. the perception that the state can no longer support one's own group or has betrayed their interests. opposition to political decisions.

Governmental responses[edit]

In 1861, the American Civil War
American Civil War
started after a separatist movement of southern U.S. states seceded from the United States.

How far separatist demands will go toward full independence, and whether groups pursue constitutional and nonviolent or armed violence, depend on a variety of economic, political, social and cultural factors, including movement leadership[7] and the government's response.[5] Governments may respond in a number of ways, some of which are mutually exclusive. Some include:[8]

accede to separatist demands improve the circumstances of disadvantaged minorities, be they religious, linguistic, territorial, economic or political adopt "asymmetric federalism" where different states have different relations to the central government depending on separatist demands or considerations allow minorities to win in political disputes about which they feel strongly, through parliamentary voting, referendum, etc. settle for a confederation or a commonwealth relationship where there are only limited ties among states.

Some governments suppress any separatist movement in their own country, but support separatism in other countries. Ethnic

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separatism is based more on cultural and linguistic differences than religious or racial differences, which also may exist. Ethnic separatist movements include the following:


Mural for Catalan independence
Catalan independence
in Belfast.

Silesians demonstrating in Katowice
(in Silesia).

Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

The Soviet Union's dissolution into its original ethnic groupings which formed their own nations of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. Chechen separatism in the Caucasus, currently the Republic
of Chechnya is part of the Russian Federation
(Russian rule). Serb separatism in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Republika Srpska) and Kosovo
(North Kosovo). Albanian separatism in Kosovo, R. Macedonia and Albanians
in the Republic
of Serbia Greeks (Northern Epirotes) separatism in Northern Epirus
Northern Epirus
region of Albania.[9] Turkish separatism in Cyprus
(Northern Cyprus). South Ossetian and Abkhazian separatism in Georgia. Armenian separatists of Nagorno-Karabakh
in Azerbaijan. Azeri separatists in Iran want to unite the provinces of East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Ardabil
with Azerbaijan. Kurdish separatism in Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran. Silesian separatism in Poland and Czech Republic. Basque, Galician and Catalan separatism
Catalan separatism
in Spain. Minor separatist movements in Andalusia, Asturia, Balearic Islands, Canary Islands, Castile (almost non-existent), León, Navarre and Valencia (see nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain). "Celtic nations"[10] in the British Isles
British Isles
have created various separatist movements from the United Kingdom described as Scottish independence, Welsh Nationalism, Irish Republicanism
and Cornish Nationalism. France's Basque, Catalan, Corsican, Breton, Occitan and Savoyan separatists. Italy's separatist movements in Sardinia, Sicily, South Tyrol and Veneto. Bavarian separatism in Germany, despite the Bavarian Land being referred to as the Bavarian Free State.[11] Belgium granting Dutch-speaking Flanders
and French-speaking Wallonia greater autonomy. In the Netherlands, some Frisians
covet an autonomous country or area (see Fryske Beweging on the West Frisian). Switzerland's division into cantons along geographical, religious and linguistic lines.[12] Russian separatism in Donbass
( Donetsk
People's Republic, Luhansk People's Republic
and War in Donbass) and Crimea
( Annexation
of Crimea) Separatist movements of Pakistan
Separatist movements of Pakistan
including Balochistan movement and the Sindhudesh movement.[13] Separatist movements of India
Separatist movements of India
Jammu and Kashmir [13][14] Sri Lanka's ethnic Tamil minority separatism in Tamil Eelam. Several ethnic minority groups fighting for separate states in Myanmar (Burma), including the Chin, Kachin, Karen, Rakhine, Rohingya, Shan, and the Wa. Ethnic
Malay separatism in Thailand. China's Tibet has a separatist government in exile.[15] Uyghur (Turkic) separatism in China
(Xinjiang). Future of Åland
Future of Åland
separatist political party in the Åland.


Oromo Liberation Front
Oromo Liberation Front
rebels in Kenya armed with AK-47 rifles.

South Sudanese independence referendum, 2011

Africa's hundreds of ethnic groups[16] are subsumed into 54 nation states, often leading to ethnic conflict and separatism,[17] including in Angola, Algeria, Burundi, the Caprivi Strip
Caprivi Strip
in Namibia, Congo and The Democratic Republic
of the Congo, Darfur
in Sudan, Ethiopia, Senegal, South Africa, Uganda, Western Sahara
Western Sahara
and Zimbabwe. The Biafran War
Biafran War
in the 1960s among Igbos, Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba; today's ethnic and oil-related conflict in the Niger
Delta of Nigeria. Conflicts in Liberia
between African-Liberians and Americo-Liberians, people of African-descend who immigrated from the Americas after being freed from slavery. Conflicts between Zulus and Xhosa in South Africa
South Africa
during and after apartheid.[18] Boere-Afrikaners separatists. The Tuareg separatists in Niger
and Mali.[19] Anjouan's separatism in the Union of Comoros
Union of Comoros
as the island is a separate community from that of Comoros.


Independence movement in Puerto Rico
Independence movement in Puerto Rico
with the goal of obtaining complete independence from the United States. Hispanic (mostly Chicano) separatism, as embodied in the Chicano Movement (or Chicano nation) in the United States
United States
sought to recreate Aztlán, the mythical homeland of the Uto-Aztecs comprising the Southwestern United States
United States
which is home to the majority of Mexican Americans.[20] They drew on the Latin American
Latin American
concepts of racial identity such as the bronze race and La Raza Cósmica. Today, a small Raza Unida Party
Raza Unida Party
continues with similar goals. French-Canadian separatists are mainly found in the french majority province of Quebec; Canada; with the goal of creating an independent state for the preservation of french language, culture and french-canadian nation in North America.[21][22][23][24][25] The South is My Country
The South is My Country
in Brazil
Claims independence of 3 states. [26] Garifuna
separatism in Belize. North Caribbean separatism in Nicaragua.


Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia in Sabah
and Sarawak, North Borneo, Federation
of Malaysia. Free Papua Movement
Free Papua Movement
in West Papua, Indonesia. Māori separatism in New Zealand. Bougainvillean separatism in Papua New Guinea.

Racial separatism[edit]

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Some separatist groups seek to separate from others along racial lines. They oppose interracial marriage and integration with other races and seek separate schools, businesses, churches and other institutions; and often separate societies, territories, countries, and governments.

Territories considered for "Aztlán"

Black separatism
Black separatism
(also known as black nationalism) is the most prominent wave advancing the concepts of "Black racial identity" in the United States
United States
and has been advanced by black leaders like Marcus Garvey and organizations such as the Nation of Islam. Critical race theorists like New York University's Derrick Bell
Derrick Bell
and University of Colorado's Richard Delgado argue that US legal, education and political systems are rife with blatant racism. They support efforts like "all-black" schools and dorms and question the efficacy and merit of government-enforced integration.[27] In 2008 statements by Barack Obama's former pastor Jeremiah Wright, Jr.
Jeremiah Wright, Jr.
revived the issue of the current relevance of black separatism.[28] Latin American
Latin American
concepts of racial identity such as the bronze race and La Raza Cósmica found in the small separatist Raza Unida Party. The Chicano Movement
Chicano Movement
(or Chicano nation) in the United States
United States
sought to recreate Aztlán, the mythical homeland of the Aztecs comprising the Southwestern United States.[20] White separatism in the United States
United States
and Western Europe seeks separation of the white race and limits to nonwhite immigration under the argument that these policies are necessary for white race's survival. According to two sociologists writing in 2000, most separatists formally reject any ideology of white supremacy, but some left-wing advocacy groups still continue to oppose such separatist groups.[29] Most North American and many other Native American groups already have a high degree of autonomy. Complete separatism is advocated by some members of the Canadian First Nations, American Indian Movement, Republic
of Lakotah ( Lakota Sioux
Lakota Sioux
people in South Dakota), and tribal groups in Eastern Oklahoma, most notably the Cherokee
people of the Cherokee
Nation of Oklahoma.[citation needed] Hawaiian sovereignty movement
Hawaiian sovereignty movement
seeks some form of sovereignty for Hawaii.

Religious separatism[edit]

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See also: Ecclesiastical separatism Religious separatist groups and sects want to withdraw from some larger religious groups and/or believe they should interact primarily with coreligionists.[citation needed]

English Christians in the 16th and 17th centuries who wished to separate from the Church of England
Church of England
and form independent local churches were influential politically under Oliver Cromwell, who was himself a separatist. They were eventually called Congregationalists.[30] The Pilgrims who established the first successful colony in New England
New England
were separatists.[31] Christian separatist groups in Indonesia,[32][33] India[34] and South Carolina (United States).[35][36] Although some would label some Mennonite
groups, the Amish, the Hutterites and the Bruderhof among the separatist Christians, several academics have found this to be false. Rod Dreher, journalist and editor for the American Conservative said of the Bruderhof, "They do live separate lives, but they aren't strict separatists...they invite their neighbours outside the community to come over for a common meal".[37] Zionism
sought the creation of the State of Israel
State of Israel
as a Jewish homeland, with separation from gentile Palestinians. Simon Dubnow, who had mixed feelings toward Zionism, formulated Jewish
Autonomism, which was adopted in eastern Europe by Jewish
political parties such as the Bund and his own Folkspartei before World War II.[38] Zionism
can also be seen as somewhat ethnic too, however, as its definition of who is Jewish
has often included people of Jewish
background who do not practice the Jewish
religion. It is further complicated as some who had ancestors who converted to Judaism, such as some Ethiopian Jews, may not share ethnic history with the Jews, however, are considered to be so but not without debate.[39]

Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Moro Islamic Liberation Front
fighter in the Philippines

The Partition of India
Partition of India
and (later Pakistan and Bangladesh) arose as a result of separatism on the part of Muslims. Sikhs in India
sought an independent nation of Khalistan
after an agitation in the 1970s and 1980s for implementation of the Anandpur Sahib Resolution (demanding things such as a greater share of river water and autonomy for Punjab) resulted in the storming of the Harimandir Sahib (Golden Temple) by the Government
of India
troops in 1984. The storming of the temple to flush out Sikh
Militants who were gaining momentum in their agitation for greater autonomy for Punjab resulted in Sikhs demanding an independent state for the Sikhs situated in Punjab Khalistan
movement. The conflict escalated and led to an assassination of the Prime Minister of India
Prime Minister of India
Indira Gandhi
Indira Gandhi
as a retaliation of an Indian military operation called 'Operation Blue Star' directed against the Sikhs' holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, in which many innocent Sikh
civilians too lost their lives. The revenge murder of Gandhi evoked a Congress Party led backlash in the form of the Sikh
genocide, which started in New Delhi and swept India in November 1984. That only further strengthened the Khalistan Movement, but it was largely subdued owing to the efforts of the police in Punjab. The controversial response by the Punjab state reportedly involved the use of human rights violations in the form of unexplained disappearances, faked encounters killings, rape and torture. However, many in the Sikh
diaspora in the West and even Sikhs in India, still support the idea of Khalistan, but support is dying and generally the Indian Sikh
population is patriotic towards India
or at least not supportive of the idea of Khalistan.[40] Muslim separatist groups in the Philippines
( Mindanao
and other regions: Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf), in Thailand
(see also South Thailand
insurgency), in India
(see also Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir), in the Peoples Republic
of China
(Xinjang: East Turkestan Islamic Movement), Tanzania
(Zanzibarian separatist movements), in the Central African Republic
(Regions who inhabited by Muslims: Séléka), in Russia
(in the Northern Caucasus, especially in Chechnya: Caucasus
Emirate), in Yugoslavia
(Bosnia and Herzegovina: Alija Izetbegovic
Alija Izetbegovic
espoused an Islamic inspired separatism)

Geographic and socioeconomic separatism[edit]

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Malaysia's Sabah
and Sarawak
Separatists Brazil's South Region Separatists Cascadia Separatists Hong Kong independence movement Taiwanese independence Okinawan separation from Japan Scottish independence Catalan independence
Catalan independence

Gender and sexist separatism[edit] The relationship between gender and separatism is complex and warrants more research.[41] Separatist feminism is women's choosing to separate from ostensibly male-defined, male-dominated institutions, relationships, roles and activities.[42] Lesbian separatism advocates lesbianism as the logical result of feminism. Some separatist feminists and lesbian separatists have chosen to live apart in intentional community, cooperatives, and on land trusts.[43] Queer nationalism (or "Gay separatism") seeks a community distinct and separate from other social groups.[44][45] See also[edit]

Political science portal


Lists of active separatist movements

List of active separatist movements recognized by intergovernmental organizations

List of historical separatist movements List of states with limited recognition Lists of ethnic groups

List of indigenous peoples


Annexation Ethnic
nationalism Ethnic
minority Ethnocentrism Homeland Identity politics Intersectionality Kinship Language secessionism Micronation Military occupation Multiculturalism Minority group Nation Pillarisation Partition Refugee Secession Stateless nation Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization


^ Free Dictionary; Merriam Webster dictionary; The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current= English 2008. ^ Harris, R.; Harris, Jerry (2009). The Nation in the Global Era: Conflict and Transformation. Brill. p. 320. ISBN 90-04-17690-X. 9789004176904  ^ " Secessionism
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Monthly Series: " Secession
and Secessionism" by Alexandar Pavković - H-Nationalism - H-Net". networks.h-net.org.  ^ Identity Politics. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. November 2, 2007.  ^ a b See D.L. Horowitz's "Patterns of Ethnic
Separatism", originally published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1981, vol 23, 165-95. Republished in John A. Hall, The State: Critical Concepts, Routledge, 1994. ^ Spencer, Metta (1998). Separatism: Democracy
and Disintegration. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9780847685851.  ^ Link to: Chima, Jugdep. "Effects of Political Leadership on Ethnic Separatist Movements in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, April 12, 2007 (PDF); Chima, Jugdep. "How Does Political Leadership Affect the Trajectories of Ethnic
Separatist Insurgencies?: Comparative Evidence from Movements in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C., September 01, 2005 (PDF). ^ Metta Spencer, 5-6. ^ https://himara.gr/politismos/ekdiloseis/6398-ekdilosi-psifisma-delvinaki-gia-aftonomia ^ "Who were the Celts? ... Rhagor". Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales website. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. 2007-05-04. Archived from the original on 2009-09-17. Retrieved 2009-12-10.  ^ The Bavaria's right to separate itself from the Federal Republic
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University of Florida
online library. ^ Excerpt from book Ethnic
Conflicts in Africa, Okwudiba Nnoli, Distributed by African Books Collective, 1998, 417 Archived 2008-05-17 at the Wayback Machine., University of Florida
University of Florida
online library. ^ Emmy Godwin Irobi, Ethnic
Conflict Management in Africa: A Comparative Case Study of Nigeria and South Africa, May, 2005, Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, Boulder. ^ "Niger, hit by Tuareg revolt, adopts anti-terror law". Reuters. April 20, 2008.  ^ a b Professor Predicts 'Hispanic Homeland' Archived 2012-11-07 at the Wayback Machine., Associated Press, 2000 ^ Leo, John (June 13, 2007). "Let the Segregation Commence, Separatist graduations proliferate at UCLA". City Journal.  ^ Levit, Nancy (August 29, 2005). Embracing Segregation: The Jurisprudence of Choice and Diversity in Race and Sex Separatism
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Further reading[edit]

Boniface, Pascal (January 1999). "Ideals or Interest: 'Pandora's box'". Le Monde Diplomatique.  Brown, Graham K. "Horizontal Inequalities, Ethnic
and Violent Conflict: The Case of Aceh, Indonesia" (PDF). United Nations Human Development Report 2005.  Griffiths, Ryan (March 26, 2008). "Globalization, Development and Separatism: The Influence of External and Internal Economic Factors on the Strategy of Separatism". Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA's 49th Annual Convention, Bridging Multiple Divides, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, California.  Cabestan, Jean-Pierre; Pavković, Aleksandar, eds. (2013). Secessionism
and Separatism
in Europe and Asia: To have a state of one’s own. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-66774-6.  Cordesman, Anthony (October 9, 2007). "Pandora's Box: Iraqi Federalism, Separatism, "Hard" Partitioning, and US Policy" (PDF). Working Draft. Center for Strategic and International Studies.  Krivushin, Ivan (2016). "The Contemporary World between Integration and Secession: A Challenge for Russia". Strategic Analysis. pp. 524–535. 46(6)  Millard, James (2004). "Violent Separatism
in Xinjiang: A Critical Assessment" (PDF). East-West Center.  External link in work= (help) Miller, Michelle Ann (2004). The Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam law: a serious response to Acehnese separatism?. Asian Ethnicity. pp. 333–351. 5(3)  Miller, Michelle Ann (2012). Autonomy and Armed Separatism
in South and Southeast Asia. Singapore: ISEAS. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Separatism
at Wikimedia Commons From Spain to Iraq, states have to see that suppressing secession won’t work

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