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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Separatism is the advocacy of cultural, ethnic, tribal, religious, racial, governmental or gender separation from the larger group. As with secession, separatism conventionally refers to full political separation. Groups simply seeking greater autonomy are not separatist as such.[1] Some critics[who?] equate separatism with religious segregation, racial segregation, or sex segregation, but 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.[2]

Separatist groups practice a form of identity politics, or political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of the group's members. Such groups believe attempts at integration with dominant groups compromise their identity and ability to pursue greater self-determination.[3] However, economic and political factors usually are critical in creating strong separatist movements as opposed to less ambitious identity movements.[4]


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

Groups may have one or more motivations for separation, including:[5]

  • Emotional resentment and hatred of rival communities.
  • Protection from genocide and ethnic cleansing.
  • 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.


Ethnic separatism

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


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




Mural for Catalan independence in Belfast.
Mural for Catalan independence in Belfast.
Silesians demonstrating in Katowice (in Silesia).
Silesians demonstrating in Katowice (in Silesia).
Welsh demonstrating in Cardiff.
Welsh demonstrating in Cardiff.
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.
Pro-Russian separatists in Donetsk, eastern Ukraine.

Gender separatism

The relationship between gender and separatism is complex.[24] Separatist feminism is women's choosing to separate from ostensibly male-defined, male-dominated institutions, relationships, roles and activities.[25] 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.[26] Queer nationalism (or "Gay separatism") seeks a community distinct and separate from other social groups.[27][28]

Geographic and socioeconomic separatism

Kabyle protesters in Paris holding the Berber flag.
Kabyle protesters in Paris holding the Berber flag.
Proponents of the Cape Independence movement attending a march
Proponents of the Cape Independence movement attending a march

Racial separatism

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"
Territories considered for "Aztlán"

Religious separatism

Sikhs in London protesting against the Indian government
Sikhs in London protesting against the Indian government

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

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

Governmental responses

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

How far separatist demands will go toward full independence, and whether groups pursue constitutional and nonviolent action or armed violence, depend on a variety of economic, political, social and cultural factors, including movement leadership[41] and the government's response.[4] Governments may respond in a number of ways, some of which are mutually exclusive. Some include:[42]

  • 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.

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

See also




  1. ^ Doyle, Don (2010). Secession as an International Phenomenon. University of Georgia Press. ISBN 9-780-8203-3008-2. Archived from the original on 2020-10-19. Retrieved 2020-10-16.
  2. ^ "Secessionism and Separatism Monthly Series: "Secession and Secessionism" by Alexandar Pavković - H-Nationalism - H-Net". Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  3. ^ Identity Politics. Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. November 2, 2007. Archived from the original on August 30, 2006. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
  4. ^ 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 Archived 2017-03-27 at the Wayback Machine, Routledge, 1994.
  5. ^ Spencer, Metta (1998). Separatism: Democracy and Disintegration. Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 2–4. ISBN 9780847685851. Archived from the original on 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-08-15.
  6. ^ African Ethnicities Archived 2017-12-29 at the Wayback Machine University of Florida online library.
  7. ^ 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 online library.
  8. ^ "Niger, hit by Tuareg revolt, adopts anti-terror law". Reuters. April 20, 2008. Archived from the original on June 1, 2009. Retrieved April 17, 2009.
  9. ^ a b Professor Predicts 'Hispanic Homeland' Archived 2012-11-07 at the Wayback Machine, Associated Press, 2000
  10. ^ Leo, John (June 13, 2007). "Let the Segregation Commence, Separatist graduations proliferate at UCLA". City Journal. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  11. ^ Levit, Nancy (August 29, 2005). Embracing Segregation: The Jurisprudence of Choice and Diversity in Race and Sex Separatism in Schools (PDF). University of Illinois Law Review. University of Illinois. p. 455. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2009.
  12. ^ Arenson, Karen W. (April 19, 2006). "CUNY Program to Help Black Men Is Called Discriminatory". New York Times. Archived from the original on November 16, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  13. ^ Dobratz, Betty A.; Shanks-Meile, Stephanie L. (Summer 2006). "Strategy of White Separatism". Journal of Political and Military Sociology. Archived from the original on 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  14. ^ Howell, Nancy B. "Radical Relatedness and Feminist Separatism". Archived from the original on 2008-06-24.
  15. ^ Brooke, James (12 May 1993). "Santa Cruz Journal; White Flight in Brazil? Secessionist Caldron Boils". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 20 July 2018. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  16. ^ "Who were the Celts? ... Rhagor". Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales website. Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales. May 4, 2007. Archived from the original on September 17, 2009. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
  17. ^ Bavaria's right to separate itself from the Federal Republic of Germany: "Das Recht auf Eigenstaatlichkeit" [The Right to Statehood] (in German). October 28, 2006. Archived from the original on July 21, 2013. Retrieved August 3, 2013.
  18. ^ Harold E. Glass, Ethnic Diversity, Elite Accommodation and Federalism in Switzerland, Publius, Vol. 7, No. 4, Federalism and Ethnicity (autumn, 1977), 31-48. Oxford University Press.
  19. ^ "Εκδήλωση και ψήφισμα στο Δελβινάκι για την Επέτειο Αυτονομίας της Βορείου Ηπείρου". Archived from the original on 2019-01-11. Retrieved 2017-12-27.
  20. ^ a b Reviews of Katharine Adeney Federalism and Ethnic Conflict Regulation in India and Pakistan Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine, Palgrave MacMillan, 2007.
  21. ^ Muini, S.D.; Rupesinghe, Kumar; Tishkov, Valery A. (1996). "Ethnic conflict, federalism, and democracy in India". Ethnicity and Power in the Contemporary World. United Nations University Press. ISBN 978-92-808-0908-4. Archived from the original on 2008-05-24. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  22. ^ "China issues call to crush Tibetan 'separatists'". Agence France-Presse. 2009-02-19. Archived from the original on 2013-07-22. Retrieved 2010-07-29.
  23. ^ Fink, Kathryn (23 December 2019). "'For Their Own Good': The Detention Of Muslim Ethnic Groups In China". National Public Radio. Archived from the original on 14 June 2020. Retrieved 14 June 2020.
  24. ^ "Secessionism and Separatism Monthly Series: "Gendering Secession" by Jill Vickers - H-Nationalism - H-Net". Archived from the original on 2018-09-13. Retrieved 2016-03-21.
  25. ^ Frye, Marilyn; Meyers, Diana Tietjens (1997). Some Reflections on Separatism and Power. Feminist Social Thought: A Reader. Routledge. pp. 406–414.
  26. ^ Joyce Cheney, Lesbian Land, Word Weavers Press, 1976.
  27. ^ Mark K. Bloodsworth-Lugo, In-Between Bodies: Sexual Difference, Race, and Sexuality Archived 2017-03-27 at the Wayback Machine, SUNY Press, 2007, ISBN 0-7914-7221-3
  28. ^ Richard D. Mohr, Gays/Justice: A Study of Ethics, Society, and Law Archived 2019-06-19 at the Wayback Machine, Columbia University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-231-06735-6
  29. ^ Foer, Franklin (November 23, 1997). "Racial Integration". Slate. Archived from the original on January 31, 2011. Retrieved May 7, 2008.
  30. ^ Barlow, Rich (April 26, 2008). "Topic turns to Wright case". Boston Globe.
  31. ^ "Encyclopædia Britannica on religious separatists". Archived from the original on 2008-10-12. Retrieved 2008-05-07.
  32. ^ Goodwin, John Abbot (1888). The Pilgrim republic: an historical review of the colony of New Plymouth. Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 1. pilgrims.
  33. ^ "Christian separatist on trial in Indonesia". BBC. British Broadcasting Corporation. August 19, 2002. Archived from the original on November 4, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  34. ^ Brummitt, Chris (April 5, 2002). "Christian separatist leader threatens to raise independence flags in Maluku". Associated Press. Archived from the original on February 15, 2011.
  35. ^ Hussain, Syed Zarir (December 31, 2002). "Christian separatist group in Tripura target tribal Hindus". Indo-Asian News Service. Archived from the original on November 4, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  36. ^ "Christian separatist ready for new home". Ventura County Star. June 9, 2007. Archived from the original on August 6, 2012. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  37. ^ "Colorado Rep. disavows ties to SC Christian separatist group". Associated Press. October 9, 2005. Archived from the original on September 13, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2009.
  38. ^ Pinson, Koppel S. (1958). Simon Dubnow. pp. 13–69.
  39. ^ Lucotte G, Smets P; Smets (December 1999). "Origins of Falasha Jews studied by haplotypes of the Y chromosome". Human Biology. 71 (6): 989–993. PMID 10592688.
  40. ^ Punj, Blbir (June 16, 2006). "The Ghost of Khalistan". Sikh Times. Archived from the original on December 4, 2018. Retrieved July 5, 2008.
  41. ^ Link to: Archived 2008-06-11 at the Wayback Machine 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, DC, September 01, 2005 (PDF).
  42. ^ Metta Spencer, 5-6.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 20 October 2021, at 19:15
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