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, separatist groups may seek nothing more than greater autonomy. While some critics may equate separatism with religious segregation, racist segregation, or sexist segregation, most separatists 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.
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. However, economic and political factors usually are critical in creating strong separatist movements as opposed to less ambitious identity movements.
Groups may have one or more motivations for separation, including:
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 and the government's response. Governments may respond in a number of ways, some of which are mutually exclusive. Some include:
Some governments suppress any separatist movement in their own country, but support separatism in other countries.
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.
Religious separatist groups and sects want to withdraw from some larger religious groups and/or believe they should interact primarily with coreligionists.
The relationship between gender and separatism is complex and warrants more research. Separatist feminism is women's choosing to separate from ostensibly male-defined, male-dominated institutions, relationships, roles and activities. 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. Queer nationalism (or "Gay separatism") seeks a community distinct and separate from other social groups.
Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ISA's 49th Annual Convention, Bridging Multiple Divides, Hilton San Francisco, San Francisco, California.
The Afrikaner Party (AP) was a South African political party from 1941 to 1951.Alberta separatism
Alberta separatism is a movement that advocates the secession of the province of Alberta from Canada either by forming an independent nation, by creating a new union with one or more of Canada's western provinces, or by joining the United States.Arab separatism in Khuzestan
Arab separatism in Khuzestan refers to a decades-long separatist movement in the western part of Iranian Khuzestan, which seeks to establish a separate independent state for its Arab residents. The struggle is often defined as an ethno-religious dispute between predominantly Arabs from the western part of Khuzestan and the Iranian Revolutionary Shi'a government. The Iranian government denies that ethnic discrimination or conflict exist in the country.Basque nationalism
Basque nationalism (Basque: eusko abertzaletasuna) is a form of nationalism that asserts that Basques, an ethnic group indigenous to the western Pyrenees, are a nation, and promotes the political unity of the Basques. Since its inception in the late 19th century, Basque nationalism has included separatist movements.
Basque nationalism, spanning three different regions in two states (the Basque Autonomous Community and Navarre in Spain, and the French Basque Country in France) is "irredentist in nature" as it favors political unification of all the Basque-speaking provinces.Belgian Revolution
The Belgian Revolution (French: Révolution belge, Dutch: Belgische Revolutie/opstand/omwenteling, German: Belgische Revolution) was the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces (mainly the former Southern Netherlands) from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium.
The people of the south were mainly Dutch-speaking Flemings and French-speaking Walloons. Both peoples were traditionally Roman Catholic as contrasted with the largely Protestant (Dutch Reformed) people of the north. Many outspoken liberals regarded King William I's rule as despotic. There were high levels of unemployment and industrial unrest among the working classes.On 25 August 1830, riots erupted in Brussels and shops were looted. Theatregoers who had just watched the nationalistic opera La muette de Portici joined the mob. Uprisings followed elsewhere in the country. Factories were occupied and machinery destroyed. Order was restored briefly after William committed troops to the Southern Provinces but rioting continued and leadership was taken up by radicals, who started talking of secession.Dutch units saw the mass desertion of recruits from the southern provinces and pulled out. The States-General in Brussels voted in favour of secession and declared independence. In the aftermath, a National Congress was assembled. King William refrained from future military action and appealed to the Great Powers. The resulting 1830 London Conference of major European powers recognized Belgian independence. Following the installation of Leopold I as "King of the Belgians" in 1831, King William made a belated attempt to reconquer Belgium and restore his position through a military campaign. This "Ten Days' Campaign" failed because of French military intervention. Not until 1839 did the Dutch accept the decision of the London conference and Belgian independence by signing the Treaty of London.Black separatism
Black separatism is a separatist political movement that seeks separate economic and cultural development for those of African descent in societies, particularly in the United States. Black separatism is a subcategory of black nationalism, stemming from the idea of racial solidarity, and implies that blacks should organize themselves on the basis of their common experience of oppression as a result of their blackness, culture, and African heritage. Black separatism in its purest form, as a subcategory of black nationalism, asserts that blacks and whites ideally should form two independent nations. Black separatists also often seek their original cultural homeland. Black separatists generally think that black people are hindered in their advancement in a society dominated by a white majority.Cascadia (independence movement)
Cascadia is a bioregion and proposed country or autonomous region located within the western region of North America. Potential boundaries differ, with some drawn along existing political state and provincial lines, and others drawn along larger ecological, cultural, political, and economic boundaries. The boundaries generally used by Cascadian organizations such as CascadiaNow! are those defined by the Cascadia Bioregion.
The proposed country or region largely would consist of the Canadian province of British Columbia and the US States of Washington and Oregon. Including all parts of the bioregion, Cascadia would stretch from coastal Alaska in the north into Northern California in the south, and inland to include parts of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, as far Southeast as Colorado, and Yukon. More conservative advocates propose borders that include the land west of the crest of Cascade Range, and the western side of British Columbia.
As measured only by the combination of present Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia statistics, Cascadia would be home to slightly more than 16 million people (16,029,520), and would have an economy generating more than US$675 billion worth of goods and services annually. This number would increase if portions of Northern California, Idaho, and Southern Alaska were also included.
By land area Cascadia would be the 20th largest country in the world, with a land area of 534,572 sq mi (1,384,588 km2), placing it behind Mongolia. Its population would be similar in size to that of Ecuador, Guatemala, or Zambia.Catalan independence movement
The Catalan independence movement (Catalan: independentisme català; Spanish: independentismo catalán) is a social and political movement with roots in Catalan nationalism, which seeks the independence of Catalonia from Spain.
The Catalan independence movement began in 1922, when Francesc Macià founded the political party Estat Català (Catalan State). In 1931, Estat Català and other parties formed Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia; ERC). Macià proclaimed a Catalan Republic in 1931, subsequently accepting autonomy within the Spanish state after negotiations with the leaders of the Second Spanish Republic. During the Spanish Civil War, General Francisco Franco abolished Catalan autonomy in 1938. Following Franco's death in 1975, Catalan political parties concentrated on autonomy rather than independence.
The modern independence movement began in 2010 when the Constitutional Court of Spain ruled that some of the articles of the 2006 Statute of Autonomy—which had been agreed with the Spanish government and passed by a referendum in Catalonia—were unconstitutional, and others were to be interpreted restrictively. Popular protest against the decision quickly turned into demands for independence. Starting with the town of Arenys de Munt, over 550 municipalities in Catalonia held symbolic referendums on independence between 2009 and 2011. All of the towns returned a high "yes" vote, with a turnout of around 30% of those eligible to vote. A 2010 protest demonstration against the court's decision, organised by the cultural organisation Òmnium Cultural, was attended by over a million people. The popular movement fed upwards to the politicians; a second mass protest on 11 September 2012 (the National Day of Catalonia) explicitly called on the Catalan government to begin the process towards independence. Catalan president Artur Mas called a snap general election, which resulted in a pro-independence majority for the first time in the region's history. The new parliament adopted the Catalan Sovereignty Declaration in early 2013, asserting that the Catalan people had the right to decide their own political future.
The Government of Catalonia announced a referendum on the question of statehood, to be held in November 2014. The referendum asked two questions: "Do you want Catalonia to become a state?" and if so, "Do you want this state to be independent?" The Government of Spain referred the proposed referendum to the Constitutional Court, which ruled it unconstitutional. The Government of Catalonia then changed it from a binding referendum to a non-binding "consultation". Despite the Spanish court also banning the non-binding vote, the Catalan self-determination referendum went ahead on 9 November 2014. The result was an 81% vote for "yes-yes", with a turnout of 42%. Mas called another election for September 2015, which he said would be a plebiscite on independence. Although winning the majority of the seats, Pro-independence parties fell just short of a majority of votes (they got 47%) in the September election.The new parliament passed a resolution declaring the start of the independence process in November 2015. The following year, new president Carles Puigdemont, announced a binding referendum on independence. Although deemed illegal by the Spanish government and Constitutional Court, the referendum was held on 1 October 2017. In a vote where the anti-independence parties called for non-participation, results showed a 90% vote in favour of independence, with a turnout of 43%. Based on this result, on 27 October 2017 the Parliament of Catalonia approved a resolution creating an independent Republic unilaterally, by a vote considered illegal by the lawyers of the Parliament of Catalonia for violating the decisions of the Constitutional Court of Spain.In the Parliament of Catalonia, parties explicitly supporting independence are Partit Demòcrata Europeu Català (PDeCAT), formerly named Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC); Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (ERC), and Candidatura d'Unitat Popular (CUP). Parties opposed to the regional independence are Ciutadans (Citizens), the PP Català (People's Party), the Partit dels Socialistes de Catalunya (PSC), and Podemos, the third largest party in the Spanish parliament. The latter supports a legal and agreed referendum.
Its main symbol is the Estelada flag, which has blue and red versions. The Senyera Estelada is a combination of the traditional Catalan Senyera with the Cuban and Puerto Rican revolutionary flags of the early 20th century. Since then, the Estelada has taken many forms, with the Estelada Vermella associated with left-wing Republicanism, the Estelada Blava representing a more conservative mainstream movement, and even the Estelada Blaugrana a flag for Pro-Independence supporters of FC Barcelona.Cybersectarianism
Cybersectarianism is the phenomenon of new religious movements and other groups using the Internet for text distribution, recruitment, and information sharing.Feminist separatism
Feminist separatism is the theory that feminist opposition to patriarchy can be achieved through women's separation from men. Because much of the theorizing is based in lesbian feminism, feminist separatism is often thought of as simply lesbian separatism, but many aspects of the feminist movement utilize and have been influenced by feminist separatism.Author Marilyn Frye describes feminist separatism as "separation of various sorts or modes from men and from institutions, relationships, roles and activities that are male-defined, male-dominated, and operating for the benefit of males and the maintenance of male privilege – this separation being initiated or maintained, at will, by women."Kurdish separatism in Iran
Kurdish separatism in Iran or the Kurdish–Iranian conflict is an ongoing, long running, separatist dispute between the Kurdish opposition in Western Iran and the governments of Iran, lasting since the emergence of Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1918.The earliest Kurdish separatist activities in modern times refer to tribal revolts in today's West Azerbaijan Province of Imperial State of Iran, prompted in between of the two World Wars – the major of those were led by Simko Shikak, Jafar Sultan and Hama Rashid. Many however, put the starting point of the organized Kurdish political-nationalist separatism to 1943, when Komala shortly afterwards KDPI began their political activities in Iran, aiming to gain partial or complete self-rule in Kurdish regions. Transformation from tribal to Kurdish political struggle in Iran took place in the aftermath of World War II, with the bold separatist attempt of the Kurdish Democratic Party of Iran (KDPI) to establish the Republic of Mahabad during the 1946 Iran crisis. The Soviet supported attempt to establish a Kurdish state in Western Iran failed. More than a decade later, peripheral tribal uprisings, launched with KDPI support through 1966–7, Kurdish regions suffered a major blow. In the most violent episode of the conflict, more than 30,000 Kurds died starting with the 1979 rebellion and the consequent KDPI insurgency. Though KDPI's armed struggle ended in late 1996, another Kurdish armed organization emerged in Iran by the early 2000s. Insurrection led by PJAK in Western Iran started in 2004 and is ongoing to this day.The government of Iran has never employed the same level of brutality against its Kurds as did Turkey or Iraq, but it has always been implacably opposed to any suggestion of Kurdish separatism. Unlike in other Middle Eastern countries with Kurdish populations, there are strong ethnolinguistical and cultural ties between Kurds and Persians as Iranian peoples. Kreyenbroek claims many Kurds in Iran have shown no interest in Kurdish nationalism, especially Shia Kurds, who even vigorously reject the idea of autonomy, preferring direct rule from Tehran. Iranian national identity is questioned mainly in the peripheral Kurdish Sunni regions.National Action (South Africa)
The National Action (more commonly known by its Afrikaans name, Nasionale Aksie) was a short-lived South African political party formed by Cassie Aucamp when he left the Afrikaner Eenheidsbeweging (AEB) in the 2003 floor-crossing window. The AEB, along with other Afrikaner parties, was merging into the Freedom Front Plus to contest the 2004 elections but the National Action, claiming to support Afrikaner interests, remained separate, and competed in the 2004 elections. It won no seats in the National Assembly of South Africa or any of the provincial legislatures. It did not contest the 2009 elections.Proclamation of Indonesian Independence
The Proclamation of Indonesian Independence (Indonesian: Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia, or simply Proklamasi) was read at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, 17 August 1945. The declaration marked the start of the diplomatic and armed resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution, fighting against the forces of the Netherlands and pro-Dutch civilians, until the latter officially acknowledged Indonesia's independence in 1949. In 2005, the Netherlands declared that they had decided to accept de facto 17 August 1945 as Indonesia's independence date. On September 14, 2011 a Dutch court ruled in the Rawagede massacre case that the Dutch state was responsible because it has the duty to defend its inhabitants, which also indicated that the area was part of the Dutch East Indies in contradiction of the Indonesian claim of 17 August 1945 as its date of independence. In a 2013 interview the Indonesian historian Sukotjo, amongst others, asked the Dutch government to formally acknowledge the date of independence as 17 August 1945. The United Nations recognizes the date of December 27, 1949.The document was signed by Sukarno (who signed his name "Soekarno" using the older Dutch orthography) and Mohammad Hatta, who were appointed president and vice-president respectively the following day.Sita Ram Goel
Sita Ram Goel (16 October 1921 – 3 December 2003) was an Indian religious and political activist, writer, and publisher in the late twentieth century. He had Marxist leanings during the 1940s, but later became an outspoken anti-communist and also wrote extensively on the damage to Indian culture and heritage wrought by expansionist Islam and missionary activities of Christianity. In his later career he emerged as a commentator on Indian politics, and adhered to Hindu nationalism.Southern Movement
The Southern Movement (Arabic: الحراك الجنوبي al-Ḥirāk al-Janūbiyy), sometimes known as the Southern Separatist Movement, or South Yemen Movement, and colloquially known as al-Hirak, is a political movement and paramilitary organization active in the south of Yemen since 2007, demanding secession from the Republic of Yemen and a return to the former independent state of South Yemen. At present, its political branch, the Southern Transitional Council led by Aidarus al-Zoubaidi, is the de facto leadership in all provinces of the south.Tamil nationalism
Tamil nationalism is the ideology which asserts that the Tamil people constitute a nation and promotes the cultural unity of Tamil people. Tamil nationalism is primarily a secular nationalism, that focus on language and homeland. It expresses itself in the form of linguistic purism ("Pure Tamil"), nationalism and irredentism ("Tamil Eelam"), Social equality ("Self-Respect Movement") and Tamil Renaissance.
Tamils are one of the oldest civilisations in the world with a rich culture and language. Originally, Tamil people ruled in Tamilakam and parts of Sri Lanka. During the colonial period, the Tamil areas came under the rule of British India and Ceylon. This saw the end of the sovereignty of Tamils and reduced them to minority status under a political model implemented during the British Raj. Since the independence of India and Sri Lanka, Tamil separatist movements have been actively suppressed in both countries.A famous quote by Tamil poet Kannadasan about the Tamils as a stateless nation.UNITA
The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) (Portuguese: União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola) is the second-largest political party in Angola. Founded in 1966, UNITA fought alongside the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) in the Angolan War for Independence (1961–1975) and then against the MPLA in the ensuing civil war (1975–2002). The war was one of the most prominent Cold War proxy wars, with UNITA receiving military aid from the United States and South Africa while the MPLA received support from the Soviet Union and its allies.UNITA was led by Jonas Savimbi from its foundation until his death in 2002. His successor as president of UNITA is Isaías Samakuva. Following Savimbi's death, UNITA abandoned armed struggle and participated in electoral politics. The party won 51 out of 220 seats in the 2017 parliamentary election.Ulster nationalism
Ulster nationalism is a school of thought in Northern Ireland politics that seeks the independence of Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom without joining the Republic of Ireland, thereby becoming an independent sovereign state separate from both.
Independence has been supported by groups such as Ulster Third Way and some factions of the Ulster Defence Association. However, it is a fringe view in Northern Ireland. It is neither supported by any of the political parties represented in the Northern Ireland Assembly nor by the government of the United Kingdom or the government of the Republic of Ireland.
Although the term Ulster traditionally refers to one of the four traditional provinces of Ireland which contains Northern Ireland as well as parts of the Republic of Ireland, the term is often used within unionism and Ulster loyalism (from which Ulster nationalism originated) to refer to Northern Ireland.
There has been a number of proposals in terms of the government including the Republic of Northern Ireland which will be led by a President, Vice-President, Chief Secretary and Solicitor-General as the leaders of State and Government. Some also claim that in the Republic proposal there will be devolved state governments.White separatism
White separatism is a separatist political and social movement that seeks the separation of white people from people of other races and ethnicities, the establishment of a white ethnostate by removing non-whites from existing communities or by forming new communities elsewhere.A study of the white separatist movement in the United States reported that adherents usually reject marriage "outside the white race". The authors also noted "a distinction between the supremacist desire to dominate (as in apartheid, slavery, or segregation) and complete separation by race".Contemporary scholars disagree over whether white separatism is distinct from white supremacist beliefs: the Anti-Defamation League argues that white supremacists use the phrase because they believe it has fewer negative connotations than the term white supremacist. Other scholars have argued that, while many white supremacists are also white separatists, contemporary white separatists reject the view that returning to a system of segregation is possible or desirable in the United States.