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Stateless nation

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Imagine there's no countries / It isn't hard to do / Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people / Living life in peace... -John Lennon (WP), Imagine (WP)
Maybe it bugs you, too, when lefties or righties extol the virtue of independence movements. Or maybe you just never thought of it in terms of Lennon's utopian vision before. Of course, it is not as simple as that, because utopia is not within reach, yet. So autonomy may confer a degree of egalitarianism not available through representative democracy alone. Or conversely, it may retard or reverse egalitarianism, allowing, for example, oil-rich South Sudan (WP) to make off with all the money, and giving the US yet another oil-spigot-government in the process. Or the Igbo or Yoruba people to attempt this with Biafra (WP) / Yorubaland, and kill a good portion of their people in the attempt, to boot.
File:TW Wilson Poznan.jpg
U.S. President and Nobel Prize winner Wikipedia:Woodrow Wilson published the self determination law in 1918. That says every nation has the right to be free, that is, independent of foreign influences, to determine their political status, their heads of state and government and their economic, social and cultural development.[1] By that time, according to General Darlington Smedley Butler, the US had committed illegal military actions in Nicaragua (WP), Honduras, (WP) Mexico (WP), and the Dominican Republic (WP), to the detriment of the self-determination and egalitarianism of those countries and their people, simply to aid US business interests.

A stateless nation is an Wikipedia:ethnic group which is not the majority population in any Wikipedia:nation state. The term implies that the group "should have" such a state, and thus expresses Wikipedia:irredentism. This is orthogonal to Wikipedia: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 either are dispersed across a number of states (for example, the Wikipedia:Kurdish people are found in Wikipedia:Iraq, Wikipedia:Turkey, Wikipedia:Iran, Wikipedia:Armenia and Wikipedia:Syria) or form the native population of a province within a larger state (such as the Wikipedia:Uyghur people in the Wikipedia:Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region within the Wikipedia:People's Republic of China). Some stateless nations historically had a state, which was absorbed by another; for example, Wikipedia:Tibet's declaration of independence in 1913 was not recognized, and it was invaded in 1951 by the Wikipedia:People's Republic of China which claims that Tibet is an integral part of China, while the Wikipedia:Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under unlawful occupation.[2][3]

The Wikipedia: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 Wikipedia: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.

List of stateless nationsEdit

This is a List of the largest ethnic groups without a nation of their own for which an Wikipedia:autonomist and Wikipedia:secessionist movements is known to exist:.[4] These stateless nations want a state but their Wikipedia:sovereignty and legitimacy was not recognized by the Wikipedia:world community. Therefore these nations are fighting for their rights to Wikipedia:self-determination with peaceful and violent movements.


People Flag Language Population (ca.) States Homeland Irredentist movement Notes
Wikipedia:Tamils 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Tamil language 77,000,000 Republic of India, Wikipedia:Sri Lanka Wikipedia:Tamilakam, Wikipedia:Tamil Eelam Wikipedia:Tamil nationalism, Wikipedia:Sri Lankan Civil War regional autonomy in Wikipedia:Tamil Nadu
Sindhi 50px|border|center Sindhi 60,000,000 Wikipedia:Pakistan, Wikipedia:India Wikipedia:Sindhudesh Wikipedia:JSQM, Wikipedia:JSMM, Wikipedia:Sindhudesh Liberation Army
Wikipedia:Kurds 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Kurdish language 35,000,000 Wikipedia:Iraq, Wikipedia:Turkey, Wikipedia:Iran, Wikipedia:Armenia, Wikipedia:Syria Wikipedia:Kurdistan Wikipedia:Kurdish–Turkish conflict and Wikipedia:Kurdish-Iranian conflict regional autonomy in Wikipedia:Iraqi Kurdistan
Wikipedia:Yoruba people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Yoruba language 35,000,000 Wikipedia:Nigeria, Wikipedia:Benin, Wikipedia:Togo Wikipedia:Yorubaland Wikipedia:Oodua Peoples Congress
Wikipedia:Igbo people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Igbo language 30,000,000 Wikipedia:Nigeria Wikipedia:Biafra Wikipedia:Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra
Wikipedia:Sikhs 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Punjabi language 27,000,000 Republic of India, Wikipedia:Pakistan Wikipedia:Khalistan Wikipedia:Khalistan movement
Wikipedia:Palestinian people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Arabic language 11,000,000 Wikipedia:West Bank, Wikipedia:Gaza Strip, Wikipedia:Jordan, Wikipedia:Syria, Wikipedia:Lebanon, Wikipedia:Israel Wikipedia:Palestine Wikipedia:Arab–Israeli conflict limited autonomy in the Wikipedia:Palestinian territories, majority in Jordan
Wikipedia:Bakongo 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Kikongo 10,000,000 Wikipedia:Angola Wikipedia:Cabinda Province Wikipedia:Cabinda Conflict
Wikipedia:Baloch people 50px|border|center Balochi 10,000,000 Wikipedia:Pakistan, Wikipedia:Iran Wikipedia:Balochistan Wikipedia:Balochistan conflict
Wikipedia:Uyghur people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Uyghur language 9,000,000 People's Republic of China Chinese Turkestan irredentism is politically fragmented (Wikipedia:East Turkestan Liberation Organization, Wikipedia:East Turkestan independence movement) limited autonomy in the Wikipedia:Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Wikipedia:Ahwazi people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Arabic language
Wikipedia:Persian language
8,000,000 Wikipedia:Iran Wikipedia:Al-Ahwaz Wikipedia:Arab separatism in Khuzestan
Wikipedia:Catalan people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Catalan language 8,000,000 Wikipedia:Spain, Wikipedia:France, Wikipedia:Italy Wikipedia:Catalonia Wikipedia:Catalan separatism See also Wikipedia:Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Québécois 50px|border|center Wikipedia:French language 8,000,000 Wikipedia:Canada Wikipedia:Quebec Wikipedia:Quebec sovereignty movement
Wikipedia:Tatars 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Tatar language 7,000,000 Russian Federation Wikipedia:Tatarstan Wikipedia:All-Tatar Public Center regional autonomy in Tatarstan
Wikipedia:Baganda 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Luganda 6,000,000 Wikipedia:Uganda Wikipedia:Buganda
Wikipedia:Shan people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Shan language 6,000,000 Wikipedia:Burma Wikipedia:Shan State Declaration of independence in 2005; see also Wikipedia:Hso Khan Pha
Wikipedia:Tibetan people 50px|border|center Tibetan language 6,000,000 People's Republic of China Wikipedia:Tibet Wikipedia:Tibetan independence movement limited autonomy in the Wikipedia:Tibet Autonomous Region
Wikipedia:Scottish people 50px|border|center English, Scots, Wikipedia:Scottish Gaelic 5,200,000 Wikipedia:United Kingdom Wikipedia:Scotland Wikipedia:Scottish independence regional autonomy in Scotland
Wikipedia:Kabyle people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Kabyle language, Wikipedia:Algerian Arabic 5,000,000 Wikipedia:Algeria Wikipedia:Kabylie Wikipedia:Movement for the Autonomy of Kabylie
Wikipedia:Acehnese people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Acehnese language 4,000,000 Wikipedia:Indonesia Wikipedia:Aceh Wikipedia:Insurgency in Aceh regional autonomy in Aceh
Wikipedia:Hmong people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Hmong language 4,000,000 Wikipedia:Laos, People's Republic of China, Wikipedia:Vietnam, Wikipedia:Thailand Wikipedia:Hmong ChaoFa Federated State Wikipedia:Insurgency in Laos
Wikipedia:Rohingya people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Rohingya language 3,600,000 Wikipedia:Burma, Wikipedia:Bangladesh, Wikipedia:Pakistan, Wikipedia:Thailand, Wikipedia:Malaysia Wikipedia:Burma, Rakhine state Wikipedia:Rohingya conflict in Western Burma
Wikipedia:Assyrian people (aka Syriac/Aramaean people) 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Neo-Aramaic language 3,500,000 Wikipedia:Syria, Wikipedia:Iraq, Wikipedia:Iran, Wikipedia:Turkey Wikipedia:Assyrian homeland Wikipedia:Assyrian nationalism, Wikipedia:Assyrian independence
Wikipedia:Breton people 50px|border|center French, Breton, Gallo 3,120,288 Wikipedia:France Wikipedia:Brittany Wikipedia:Breton nationalism
Wikipedia:Welsh people 50px|border|center English, Wikipedia:Welsh language 3,000,000 Wikipedia:United Kingdom Wikipedia:Wales Wikipedia:Welsh independence regional autonomy in Wales
Wikipedia:Galician people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Galician language 2,800,000 Wikipedia:Spain Wikipedia:Galiza Wikipedia:Galician nationalism See also Wikipedia:Nationalisms and regionalisms of Spain
Wikipedia:Basque people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Basque language 2,600,000 Wikipedia:France, Wikipedia:Spain Basque Country Wikipedia:Basque nationalism
Wikipedia:Naga people 50px|border|center Tibeto-Burman dialects / Wikipedia:Nagamese creole 2,000,000 Republic of India Wikipedia:Nagaland Wikipedia:Naga National Council, Wikipedia:Insurgency in Northeast India regional autonomy in Nagaland
Wikipedia:Canarian people 50px|border|center Spanish, Wikipedia:Guanche language (extinct) 1,600,000 Wikipedia:Spain, Wikipedia:Venezuela, Wikipedia:Cuba Wikipedia:Canary Islands Wikipedia:Canarian nationalism National Wikipedia:devolution, further autonomy or total secession from Mainland Spain.
Wikipedia:Bodo people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Bodo language 1,300,000 Republic of India Wikipedia:Bodoland Wikipedia:National Democratic Front of Bodoland
Wikipedia:Chechens 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Chechen language 1,300,000 Russian Federation Wikipedia:Chechnya and Wikipedia:Dagestan Chechen insurgency, Wikipedia:Chechen Republic of Ichkeria regional autonomy in Chechnya
Wikipedia:Tuareg people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Tuareg language 1,200,000 Wikipedia:Mali, Wikipedia:Niger Wikipedia:Azawad Wikipedia:Tuareg rebellion (2012)
Hawaiian people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Hawaiian language 1,000,000 Wikipedia:United States Wikipedia:Hawaii Wikipedia:Hawaiian sovereignty movement
Wikipedia:Inuit 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Inuit languages 1,000,000 Wikipedia:Canada, Wikipedia:United States, Wikipedia:Denmark Wikipedia:Siberia, Wikipedia:Alaska, Wikipedia:Northern Canada, Wikipedia:Greenland Greenland Referendum, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami Semi-autonomous rule in Greenland, Autonomy in Canada
Wikipedia:Mapuche 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Mapudungun 1,000,000 Wikipedia:Argentina, Wikipedia:Chile Araucanía Wikipedia:Mapuche conflict
Wikipedia:Ryukyuan people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Ryukyuan language 1,000,000 Wikipedia:Japan Wikipedia:Ryukyu Kingdom Wikipedia:Ryukyu independence movement
Wikipedia:Occitan people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Occitan language 100,000 to 800,000 Wikipedia:France, Wikipedia:Italy, Wikipedia:Spain Wikipedia:Occitania Wikipedia:Occitan Party
Wikipedia:Australian Aborigines 50px|border|center Aboriginal languages 680,000 Wikipedia:Australia Wikipedia:Australia Movement is fragmented or focused on specific aboriginal groups
Wikipedia:Sami people 50px|border|center Wikipedia:Sami languages, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish, Russian 163,400 Wikipedia:Norway, Wikipedia:Sweden, Wikipedia:Finland, Wikipedia:Russia Sapmi Has their own Parliaments in Norway, Sweden & Finland

no known irredentism?Edit

See alsoEdit

External links Edit

Wikipedia:Commons:Flags of stateless nations


  1. Matthew C. Price,The Advancement of Liberty:How American Democratic Principles Transformed the Twentieth Century, pp 92
  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. not listed are independence movement of groups which already are the ethnic majority in an independent state (Wikipedia:English independence, Wikipedia:Flemish independence).

State Wikipedia:Category:Political science terms Wikipedia:Category:Secession Wikipedia:Category:Independence movements Wikipedia:Category:Autonomy Wikipedia:Category:Human rights by issue Wikipedia:Category:Sovereignty Wikipedia:Category:Cultural geography

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