Stateless nation

A stateless nation is an ethnic group or nation that does not possess its own state[1] and is not the majority population in any nation state.[2] The term "stateless" implies that the group "should have" such a state.[3][4] Members of stateless nations may be citizens of the country in which they live, or they may be denied citizenship by that country. Stateless nations are usually not represented in international sports or in international organisations such as the United Nations. Nations without state are classified as fourth-world nations.[5][6][7] Some of the stateless nations have a history of statehood, some were always a stateless nation, dominated by another nation.

The term was coined in 1983 by political scientist Jacques Leruez in his book L'Écosse, une nation sans État about the peculiar position of Scotland within the British state. It was later adopted and popularized by Scottish scholars such as David McCrone, Michael Keating and T. M. Devine.[8]

Stateless nations either are dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Yoruba people are found in the African states of Nigeria, Benin and Togo) 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 an unlawful occupation.[9][10] Some ethnic groups were once a stateless nation that later became a nation state (for example, the nations of the Balkans such as the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks, Slovenes, Montenegrins and Macedonians were once part of a multinational state of Yugoslavia; since the breakup of Yugoslavia many nation states were formed).

Stateless nations can have large populations; for example the Kurds have an estimated population of over 30 million people, which make them one of the largest stateless nations.[11] Multiple stateless nations can reside in the same geographical region or country; for example, Cantabrians, Bercians, Catalans, Canarians, Castillians, Basques, Aragonese, Galicians, Asturians, Valencians and Andalusians within Spanish State, or the Brahui, Rohingya, Assamese, Santhals, Maithils and Balochs in South Asia.[12] However, not all peoples within multi-cultural states have the same awareness of being a stateless nation. In Spain, only Basques and Catalans have claimed their right of self-determination, which in the Basque country gave rise to the militant movement ETA, and in the case of Catalonia, has led to multiple attempts to secede from Spain during the past four centuries, as an independent Catalan Republic.

As not all states are nation states, there are ethnic groups who live in multinational states without being considered "stateless nations".

Nation-states and nations without states

The symbiotic relationship between nations and states arose in early modern Western Europe (18th century) and it was exported to the rest of the world through colonial rule. Whereas the Western European nation-states are at present relinquishing some of their powers to the European Union, many of the former colonies are now the zealous defenders of the concept of national-statehood.[4]

Only a small fraction of the world's national groups have associated nation-states. The proportion was estimated to be 3 percent by Minahan. The rest are distributed in one or more states. Of the 192 member states of the United Nations in 2006, fewer than 20 are nation-states. Thus nation-states are not as common as often assumed, and stateless nations are the overwhelming majority of nations in the world.[4]

Consequences of colonialism and imperialism

During the imperial and colonial era, powerful nations extended their influence outside their homeland and this resulted in many colonized nations ceasing to be self-governing and have since been described as stateless nations.[13] Some nations have been victims of "carve out" and their homeland was divided among several countries. Even today the colonial boundaries form modern national boundaries. These often differ from cultural boundaries. This results in situations where people of the same language or culture are divided by national borders, for example New Guinea splits as West Papua (former Dutch colony) and Papua New Guinea (former British colony).[14] During decolonization, the colonial powers imposed a unified state structure irrespective of the ethnic differences and granted independence to their colonies as a multinational state. This led to successor states with many minority ethnic groups in them, which increased the potential for ethnic conflicts.[15][16][17][18] Some of these minority groups campaigned for self-determination. Stateless nations were not protected in all countries and become victims of atrocities such as discrimination, ethnic cleansing, genocide, forced assimilation, Exploitation of labour and natural resources.[19][20]

Nationalism and stateless nations

People with a common origin, history, language, culture, customs or religion can turn into a nation by awakening of national consciousness.[21] A nation can exist without a state, as is exemplified by the stateless nations. Citizenship is not always the nationality of a person.[22] In a multinational state different national identities can coexist or compete: for example, in Britain both English nationalism and Scottish nationalism exist and are held together by British nationalism.[23] Nationalism is often connected to separatism, because a nation achieves completeness through its independence.[24]

Throughout history, numerous nations declared their independence, but not all succeeded in establishing a state. Even today, there are active autonomy and independence movements around the world. The claim of the stateless nations to self-determination is often denied due to geopolitical interests and increasing globalization of the world.[25][26][27][28] Stateless nations sometimes show solidarity with other stateless nations and maintain diplomatic relations.[29][30]

Not all peoples claim that they are nations or aspire to be states. Some see themselves as part of the multinational state and they believe that their interests are well represented in it. This is also associated with Pan-nationalism (Indian nationalism or Chinese nationalism).[31]

Claims of stateless nations

The following is a list of stateless nations that meet these criteria:

People Flag Language Predominant religion Population (approx.) Continent States Homeland Irredentist movement Notes
Flag of Kurdistan.svg
Kurdish Islam with minorities of Christianity, Zoroastrianism, Yazdânism Deism and Agnosticism 40,000,000–46,000,000[34] Asia Iraq, Turkey, Iran and Syria Kurdistan Kurdish nationalism, Kurdish–Turkish conflict, Kurdish-Iranian conflict, Iraqi–Kurdish conflict, and Kurdish–Syrian conflict Regional autonomy in Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava.
Yoruba people
Flag of the Yoruba people.svg
Yoruba language Christianity, Islam 35,000,000[35][36] Africa Nigeria, Benin and Togo Yorubaland Oodua Peoples Congress
Igbo people
Flag of Biafra.svg
Igbo language Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism with significant Protestant minorities 30,000,000[37] Africa Nigeria Biafra Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, Indigenous People of Biafra Attempted secession from Nigeria in 1967 sparked the Nigerian Civil war
Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg
West Central German, German, French Christianity (Catholicism) 20,000,000 (est.) Europe Germany Rhineland Rhenish nationalism, Rhenish Republic In the past favoured separatism, currently calling for greater autonomy.
Occitan people
Flag of Occitania (with star).svg
Occitan, French Roman Catholicism 16,000,000 Europe France, Italy and Spain (Val d'Aran) Occitania Occitan nationalism (Occitan Party, Partit de la Nacion Occitana, Libertat) seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from France.
Assamese people
Flag of United Liberation Front of Asom.svg
Assamese language Hinduism 15,000,000[39] Asia India Assam Assam separatist movements, ULFA Insurgency in Northeast India Regional autonomy in Assam.
Uyghur people
Kokbayraq flag.svg
Uyghur language Islam 15,000,000[40] Asia China East Turkestan (Uyghuristan) Irredentism is politically fragmented (East Turkestan Liberation Organization, East Turkestan independence movement) Limited autonomy in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.
Palestinian people[41]
Flag of Palestine - long triangle.svg
Arabic Islam (majority), Christianity 13,000,000 Asia West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon Palestine Palestinian nationalism (PLO) seek self-determination from occupying powers.
Zulu people
Conjectural flag of Zululand (1884-1897) by Roberto Breschi taken from The South African Flag Book by A.P.Burgers.png
Zulu language Christianity, Zulu religion 12,159,000 Africa South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Swaziland KwaZulu-Natal Inkatha Freedom Party Limited autonomy in the KwaZulu-Natal region, which maintains a traditional Zulu king.
Flag of Bavaria (lozengy).svg
German, Bavarian Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 12,500,000 Europe Germany Bavaria Bavarian nationalism, Bavaria Party National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Germany.
Kongo people
Royal banner of Kongo (Afonso I).svg
Kongo language, Lingala, Portuguese, French Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism), African Traditional Religion 10,000,000 Africa Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Angola Kongo Kongo nationalism, Bundu dia Kongo Historically occupied the independent Kingdom of Kongo.
Baloch people
Flag of Balochistan.png
Balochi Islam 10,000,000[42] Asia Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan Balochistan Balochistan conflict, Baloch nationalism
Kabyle people
Kabyle language, Algerian Arabic Islam 10,000,000[43] Africa Algeria Kabylie Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie, Provisional Government of Kabylia
Ahwazi Arabs
Flag of Arabistan.svg
Arabic Islam 1,320,000[44] Asia Iran Al Ahwaz Arab separatism in Khuzestan Democratic Solidarity Party of Ahwaz Ahwazi includes 30 tribes which see themselves as a distinct Arab nation.[45] Seek self-determination, greater autonomy or total secession from Iran.
Andalusian people
Flag of Andalucía.svg
Andalusian Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 9,500,000 Europe Spain Andalucia Andalusian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Puerto Rican people
Flag of Puerto Rico.svg
Spanish, English Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism) 9,000,000 America United States Puerto Rico Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional Puertorriqueña, Boricua Popular Army, Puerto Rican Independence Party Unincorporated territory of the United States.
Flag of Catalonia.svg

Estelada blava.svg
Catalan, Spanish, Occitan, French Roman Catholicism 8,500,000[46] Europe Spain and France Catalan Countries Catalan independence movement, Catalan nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Flag of Quebec.svg
French language Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 8,215,000 America Canada Quebec Quebec sovereignty movement The total population of the Province of Quebec is 8.2 million, of which over 80% are French speakers.
Mon people
Mon National Party.svg
Mon language Buddhism 8,145,500 Asia Myanmar, Thailand Mon State Mon Nationalism, Mon National Party, All Mon Region Democracy Party Historically occupied the Mon kingdoms
Flag of Adygea.svg
Circassian language Islam 8,000,000 Europe Russia Circassia Russo-Circassian War, Circassian nationalism Regional autonomy in Circassia.
Flag of Baden-Württemberg (state, lesser arms).svg
Swabian German Christianity (Catholicism, Evangelical Church in Germany (Lutheranism, Calvinism)) 7,500,000 (est.) Europe Germany Swabia (includes Bavarian Swabia) Swabian nationalism, Swabian League See also Schwabenhass
Karen people
Flag of the Karen National Union.svg
Karen language Christianity, Theravada Buddhism 7,000,000 Asia Myanmar, Thailand Kawthoolei Karen nationalism, Karen National Union, Karen National Liberation Army
Maya peoples
Maya flag.svg
Mayan languages Christianity (Catholicism), Maya religion 7,000,000 America Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, Honduras, El Salvador Mesoamerica Pan-Maya movement, Rigoberta Menchú, Zapatista Army of National Liberation Historically occupied the Maya civilization
Volga Tatars
Flag of Tatarstan.svg
Tatar language Islam 7,000,000 Europe Russia Tatarstan All-Tatar Public Center Regional autonomy in Tatarstan.
Tibetan people
Flag of Tibet.svg
Tibetan language Buddhism 7,000,000[48] Asia China Tibet Tibetan independence movement Limited autonomy in the Tibet Autonomous Region.
Indian Gorkhas
Flag of Gurkhaland.svg
Nepali language Hinduism 6,360,000[49] Asia India Gorkhastan Gorkha National Liberation Front, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha Gorkhaland is a proposed state in India demanded by the people of the Darjeeling Hills and the people of Gorkha ethnic origin on the Northern part of West Bengal.
Riffian people
Flag of the Republic of the Rif.svg
Riffian language Islam 6,000,000[50] Africa Morocco and Spain Rif Rif War, Rif Republic 95% of the land is controlled by Morocco with the rest being controlled by the Spanish territories of Ceuta and Melilla as autonomous cities.
Shan people
Flag of the Shan State.svg
Shan language Buddhism 6,000,000 Asia Myanmar Shan State Shan State Army, Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Hso Khan Pha
Kashmiri people
Kashmir independent.svg
Kashmiri language Islam 5,600,000 Asia India, Pakistan and China Kashmir Insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir Administered by India (Kashmir Valley, Jammu, Ladakh), Pakistan (Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan) and China (Aksai Chin).
Flag of Wallonia.svg
Walloon, French, Picard Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 3,500,000 Europe Belgium Wallonia Partition of Belgium, Walloon Movement Regional autonomy in Wallonia; seeks independence from Belgium or union with France.
Lozi people
Flag of Barotseland.svg
Lozi Christianity 5,153,000 Africa Zambia Barotseland Barotse Patriotic Front[51]
Senyera del nacionalisme valencià.svg
Valencian Roman Catholicism[52] 5,111,706 Europe Spain Valencian Community Valencian nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Moro people
MNLF flag.svg
Filipino language, other Philippine languages Islam 5,100,000 Asia Philippines Bangsamoro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front
Dutch Roman Catholicism 7,000,000 Europe France, Belgium Hauts-de-France, Flanders Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie, Vlaams Belang Independence and unity of Flanders or union with the Netherlands.
Kuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin people
Flag of Chin State.svg
Kuki-Chin languages Christianity 5,000,000 Asia Myanmar, Bangladesh, India Mizoram, Zogam and Chin State Mizo National Front, Chin National Front, Kuki National Army, Zomi Revolutionary Army, Zomi nationalism Kuki-Mizo-Zo-Chin are a ethnic group known by different names and speak different dialects.
Scottish people
Flag of Scotland.svg
Scottish Gaelic, Scots, English Christianity 5,000,000 (only Scotland)[53] Europe United Kingdom Scotland Scottish independence Regional autonomy in Scotland.
Sicilian Flag.svg
Sicilian, Italian, Gallo-Italic of Sicily, Arbëresh Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 5,000,000 (only Sicily) Europe Italy Sicily Sicilian nationalism Regional autonomy in Sicily.
Acehnese people
Flag of Free Aceh Movement.svg
Acehnese language Islam 4,200,000[55] Asia Indonesia Aceh Insurgency in Aceh Regional autonomy in Aceh.
Hmong people
Hmong flag.svg
Hmong language Buddhism with native 4,000,000 Asia Laos, China, Vietnam and Thailand Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Insurgency in Laos
Rohingya people
Rohingya flag.png
Rohingya language Islam 3,600,000 Asia Myanmar Rohang State Rohingya conflict The Rohingyas are not recognized as a native ethnic group by Burmese government.[56]
Afrikaner Vryheidsvlag.svg
Afrikaans Christianity 3,500,000 Africa South Africa and Namibia Volkstaat Afrikaner Nationalism, Freedom Front Afrikaners are an Ethno-racial group. Demand autonomy or total secession from South Africa.
Assyrian people
Flag of the Assyrians.svg
Assyrian Neo-Aramaic, Turoyo, Chaldean Neo-Aramaic Christianity (Chaldean Catholicism Syriac Christianity) 3,300,000[57] Asia Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey Assyria Assyrian nationalism, Assyrian independence movement Historically occupied the Assyrian empire.
Breton people
Flag of Brittany (Gwenn ha du).svg
Breton, French, Gallo Christianity (principally Roman Catholicism) 3,120,288 Europe France Brittany Breton nationalism Historically occupied the Kingdom of Brittany
Basque people
Flag of the Basque Country.svg
Basque, French, Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 3,000,000[58] Europe France and Spain Basque Country Basque nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
Iraqi Turkmen people
Flag of Iraq Turkmen FrontVEC.svg
Turkish language, Azerbaijani language Islam 3,000,000 Asia Iraq Turkmeneli Iraqi Turkmen Front Not to be confused with Syrian Turkmen of Latakia or Central Asian Turkmens of Turkmenistan who share only their ethnonym.[59]
Sri Lankan Tamils
Bicolor flag of Tamil Eelam.svg

Tamil language Hinduism (mostly Shaivism) 3,000,000 Asia Sri Lanka Tamil Eelam Sri Lankan Tamil nationalism, Tamil nationalism, LTTE, Sri Lankan Civil War, TGTE, Vaddukoddai Resolution Demand autonomy in North Eastern Province or total secession from Sri Lanka.
Welsh people
Flag of Wales (1959–present).svg
Welsh, English Christianity 3,000,000 Europe United Kingdom Wales Welsh independence, Welsh nationalism, Meibion Glyndŵr, Plaid Cymru Regional autonomy in Wales.
Galician people
Bandeira galega civil.svg
Galician language Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 2,800,000 Europe Spain Galiza Galician nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Galicia.
Kachin people
Kachin Independence Army flag.svg
Jingpo, Zaiwa, Maru, Lashi, Azi Buddhism, Christianity, Animism 2,750,000 (2002)[60] Asia Myanmar Kachin State Kachin Independence Army, Kachin Independence Organisation, Kachin conflict The tribes of Kachin Hills form the Kachin Nation.
Aragonese people
Flag of Aragon.svg
Aragonese language Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 2,278,000 (Spain only)[61] Europe Spain Aragon Aragonese nationalism See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain. Historically occupied the Kingdom of Aragon.
Meitei people
In manipur1.gif
Meitei language Hinduism 2,500,000 Asia India Manipur UNLF, PLA, Insurgency in Manipur, Anglo-Manipur War Historically occupied the Kingdom of Manipur.
Chechen people
Flag of Chechen Republic of Ichkeria.svg
Chechen language Islam 2,000,000 Europe Russia Chechnya Chechen insurgency, Chechen Republic of Ichkeria Regional autonomy in Chechnya.
Naga people
Unofficial flag of Nagaland.svg
Tibeto-Burman dialects / Nagamese creole Christianity 2,000,000 Asia India Nagaland Naga National Council, Insurgency in Northeast India Regional autonomy in Nagaland.
Northern Irish people[62]
English, Ulster Scots, Irish Christianity (Catholicism and Presbyterianism) 1,810,863 Europe United Kingdom Northern Ireland Ulster nationalism, Ulster Third Way, some factions of the Ulster Defence Association Seeks the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom without joining the Republic of Ireland.
Flag of Alsace (historical).svg
Alsatian, French Christianity (primarily Roman Catholicism) ~1,800,000 Europe France Alsace Alsace independence movement, Alsace First, Unser Land National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from France.
Sardinian people[63][64][65][66]
Bandera nacionalista sarda.svg
Sardinian, Corso-Sardinian, Italian, Catalan, Ligurian Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,661,521 Europe Italy Sardinia Sardinian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Italy.
Canarian people
Guanche language (extinct), Spanish Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,600,000 Africa Spain Canary Islands Canarian nationalism National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mainland Spain.
Ryukyuan people
Flag of Republic Ryukyu Independists.png
Ryukyuan, Japanese Buddhism 1,600,000[67] Asia Japan Ryukyu Islands Ryukyu independence movement Historically occupied the Ryukyu Kingdom.
Flag of Frisia.svg
Frisian, Dutch, German, Danish Christianity (Protestantism and Roman Catholicism 1,500,000 Europe Netherlands and Germany Frisia Frisian National Party, Groep fan Auwerk The creation of a new Frisian state.
Tripuri people
Unofficial flag of Tripura.png
Kokborok Hinduism 1,520,000 (2002)[68] Asia India Tripura Tripuri nationalism, All Tripura Tiger Force, National Liberation Front of Tripura Historically occupied the Twipra Kingdom. 1949, Tripuris had a population of 85% in Tripura, 2002 they make up 29% and became a minority in their own homeland.[68]
Bodo people
Bandera Bodoland.svg
Bodo language Bathouism 1,300,000 Asia India Bodoland Bodo nationalism, National Democratic Front of Bodoland National devolution or further autonomy from the India.
Tuareg people
MNLA flag.svg
Tuareg language Islam 1,200,000 Africa Mali and Niger Azawad National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, Tuareg rebellion (2012), Northern Mali conflict National devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mali.
Flag of the Mapuches.svg
Mapudungun Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 1,000,000[69] America Argentina and Chile Araucanía Mapuche conflict
Asturian people
Flag of Asturias.svg
Asturian language Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 925,000 (2002)[70] Europe Spain Asturias Asturian nationalism, See also Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain.
POL województwo śląskie flag.svg
Silesian, Polish, German, Czech Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 900,000 Europe Poland, Czech Republic and Germany Silesia Silesian Autonomy Movement Divided into Upper Silesia and Lower Silesia.
Lezgian flag.svg
Lezgian Islam 800,000+ Europe Russia, Azerbaijan Lezgistan Lezgin Nationalism Unification of the Lezgin people in Azerbaijan and Dagestan (Russia).
Fur people
Flag of Darfur.svg
Fur, Arabic Islam 800,000[71] Africa Sudan Dafur War in Darfur, SLM/A Historically occupied the Sultanate of Darfur.
Māori people
Tino Rangatiratanga Maori sovereignty movement flag.svg
Māori, English Christianity with native 750,000 Oceania New Zealand New Zealand Māori protest movement
Aboriginal Australians
Australian Aboriginal Flag.svg
Aboriginal languages Christianity (principally Anglicanism and Roman Catholicism) with native 680,000 Oceania Australia Australia Movement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Flag of Karakalpakstan.svg
Karakalpak language Islam 620,000 Asia Uzbekistan Karakalpakstan Karakalpak Nationalism Regional autonomy in Karakalpakstan
Bandiere dal Friûl.svg
Friulian language Christianity (Catholicism) 530,000[72] Europe Italy Friuli Friulian Front Regional autonomy with special statute in Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Cornish people
Flag of Cornwall.svg
Cornish, Cornish English Christianity 534,300 (only Cornwall) Europe United Kingdom Cornwall Cornish nationalism, Mebyon Kernow, Cornish Nationalist Party National devolution or further autonomy from the United Kingdom.
Hawaiian people
Kanaka Maoli flag.svg
Hawaiian language Christianity (Catholicism and Protestantism) with native 527,000 Oceania United States Hawaii Hawaiian sovereignty movement Historically occupied the Kingdom of Hawaii.
Banner of arms of Moravia.svg
Czech (Moravian) Traditionally Roman Catholicism presently Irreligion 525,000[73][74] Europe Czech Republic and Slovakia Moravia Moravians Historically occupied the Moravian Empire
Kashubian flag.svg
Kashubian Christianity (Roman Catholicism) ~0.5 million (2002–07)[75][76] of which 233,000 as ethnic-national identity (2011) Europe Poland Pomerania Kaszëbskô Jednota Kashubians with Slovincians (extinct) formed the West Slavic tribes of Pomeranians.
Ogoni people
Flag of the Ogoni people.svg
Ogoni language Christianity with native 500,000 Africa Nigeria Ogoniland Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
Crimean Tatars
Flag of the Crimean Tatar people.svg
Crimean Tatar Islam 500,000 Europe Ukraine Crimea Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People
Tatars in Republic of Crimea
Deportation of the Crimean Tatars
Previously an autonomous republic within Ukraine, after being invaded and annexed by Russia in 2014 the Crimean Tatars are currently seeking autonomy[77]
Sahrawi people[78]
Flag of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic.svg
Hassaniya Arabic (native), Berber languages (native), Modern Standard Arabic (written only), and Spanish (lingua franca) Islam (Sunni Islam (Maliki), Sufism) 500,000[79] Africa Morocco, Algeria, Mauretania Western Sahara Western Sahara conflict, Polisario Front, Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic partially controlled by the self-proclaimed Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and partially Moroccan-occupied
Flag of Sakha.svg
Yakut language, Russian language Christianity, Shamanism, Tengrism 480,000–510,000 Asia Russia Yakutia Yakut revolt (1918) Regional autonomy in Sakha Republic, Yakut leaders declared Yakutia's sovereignty in 1991 in an attempt to take advantage of the fall of the Soviet Union, though this was unsuccessful[80]
Bandera Front Alliberament Cham.svg
Cham language Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism 400,000 Asia Vietnam South Central Coast United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, Cham rights movement[81] Historically occupied the Champa state. The Cham in Vietnam are only recognized as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region. Vietnamese continue to destroy evidence of Cham culture and artifacts left behind.
Corsican people
Flag of Corsica.svg
Corsican, French, Ligurian Christianity (Roman Catholicism 322,120 Europe France Corsica Corsica Libera Territorial collectivity in France.
Navajo flag.svg
Navajo language, Navajo language, Navajo Sign Language Navajo Traditional, Christianity (principally Roman Catholicism) 300,460 America United States Navajo Nation Navajo Wars Regional autonomy in the Navajo Nation.
Tuva flag.png
Tuvan language, Russian language, Mongolian language, Chinese language Tibetan Buddhism, Tengrism 300,000 Asia Russia, Mongolia, China Tuva People's Front "Free Tuva", People's Party of Sovereign Tuva[82] Regional autonomy in Tuva.
Sikkimese people
Flag of Sikkim (1967-1975).svg
Sikkimese language Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity 290,000 Asia India Sikkim Sikkim Bhutia Lepcha Apex Committee[83] Formerly the Kingdom of Sikkim. The Sikkimese people are split among the Lepcha, Limbu and Bhutias In 1990 Sikkimese Nationalist leaders declared the annexation of Sikkim by India to be illegal[84]
Lakota people
Pine Ridge Flag.svg
Lakota, English Christianity with native 170,000[85] America United States Lakotah Sioux Wars, Lakota Freedom Movement Native American reservation politics.
Sami people
Sami flag.svg
Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian Christianity 163,400 Europe Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia Sapmi Sámi politics Have their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland but Sami groups seek more territorial autonomy.
Flag of Greenland.svg
Inuit languages Christianity with native 135,991 America Canada, United States and Denmark Siberia, Alaska, Northern Canada and Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland with autonomy in Denmark.
Pamir flag.jpg
Pamir languages Islam 135,000[86] Asia Tajikistan Badakhshan Pamiri nationalism, Lali Badakhshan party, Tajikistani Civil War Regional autonomy in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region
Flag of Acadia.svg
Acadian French, American English, French, English Catholicism, minority irreligious 102,250 (Maine and Atlantic Canada only) North America United States and Canada Acadia There have been several attempts at splitting Aroostook County off of Maine,[87] and the short lived Republic of Madawaska in the 1800s[88]
Manx people
Flag of the Isle of Man.svg
Manx language, Manx English Christianity 89,000 (2002)[89] Europe United Kingdom Isle of Man Mec Vannin Isle of Man is a self-governing British Crown dependency.
Karelian, Russian, Finnish Christianity 77,000 Europe Finland, Russia Karelia East Karelian uprising Divided into East Karelia and West Karelia.
Flag of Carpathian Ruthenia.svg
Rusyn, Ukrainian, Slovak, Serbian Christianity 68,000 (official; the actual population may be 1.2 million) Europe Ukraine, Slovakia, Serbia, Poland, Hungary and Romania Carpathian Ruthenia World Congress of Rusyns, Rusyn separatist movement The Rusyn ethnicity is not recognised by Ukraine and does not appear in the Ukrainian census. Many speakers of the Lemko and Hutsul dialects identify primarily as Lemkos and Hutsuls, rather than Rusyns or Ukrainians. A separate population, the Pannonian Rusyns, are a minority in Serbia and Croatia.
Faroese people
Flag of the Faroe Islands.svg
Faroese language Christianity 66,000 Europe Denmark Faroe Islands Faroese independence movement Regional autonomy in Faroe Islands.
Flag of Sorbs.svg
Sorbian language Christianity (Roman Catholicism) 60,000–70,000 (est.) Europe Germany and Czech Republic Lusatia Domowina Divided into Upper Sorbs and Lower Sorbs.
Ainu people Ainu languages, Japanese people, Russian language Animism, Shintoism, Buddhism, Christianity 25,000 – 200,000 (est.) Asia Japan, Russia Hokkaido Ainu Movement Seek greater independence in Japan[90][91][92]
2007 Flag of Orkney.svg
Norn language (extinct), Scottish English, Insular Scots Christianity 21,349 Europe United Kingdom Orkney Orkney and Shetland Movement Formerly a part of the Earldom of Orkney (along with Shetland)

Many residents have hoped for greater autonomy from the British Government in the past, and were promised more powers in the event of Scottish independence and now hope for further autonomy from the Scottish Government[93]

Rapa Nui people
Easter Island flag 1876 to 1888.png
Rapa Nui language, Spanish language Christianity (Catholicism) 5,682 Oceania Chile Easter Island Rapa Nui independence movement[94][95] The Rapa Nui Parliament is a pro-independence organisation[96]

See also


  1. ^ a b Dictionary Of Public Administration, U.C. Mandal, Sarup & Sons 2007, 505 p.
  2. ^ Frank L. Kidner; Maria Bucur; Ralph Mathisen; Sally McKee; Theodore R. Weeks (2013), Making Europe: The Story of the West, Volume II: Since 1550, Cengage Learning, p. 668, ISBN 978-1-285-50027-0
  3. ^ Osborne, Louise; Russell, Ruby (27 December 2015). "Stateless in Europe: 'We are no people with no nation'". Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Chouinard, Stéphanie (2016), "Stateless nations", in Karl Cordell; Stefan Wolff (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Ethnic Conflict, Routledge, pp. 54–66, ISBN 9781317518921
  5. ^ David Newman, Boundaries, Territory and Postmodernity
  6. ^ Ethnic Minority Media: An International Perspective, Stephen Harold Riggins, 217p.
  7. ^ Language in Geographic Context, Colin H. Williams, 39p.
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