Fred W. Riggs:
National movements among indigenous peoples and ethnic nations can only be understood in terms of a long-term world-systems context. Although ethnic communities have overlapped each other ever since cities and civilizations came into existence, the modern world has given ethnic nations a central role as the source of legitimacy for governance in sovereign states. Contemporary globalization reinforces the process whereby ethnic communities become self-conscious about themselves in relation to other communities, aware of threats to their own cultural practices and interested in mobilizing to protect and enhance them in the modern world system, relying on self-determination and sovereignty as key concepts.
During the past half-century such movements led to the formation of new states in most of the dependencies of the industrial empires that were located outside the boundaries of their metropoles. Increasingly, during the coming decades, we may expect them to occur inside the boundaries of existing states -- both old and new -- as ethnic nationalism arises among both indigenous peoples and within the framework of tribalized and conquered nations surviving in the heartlands of many of the well established states of our post-Westphalian world. An important factor, both in the emergence of ethnic nations and the likelihood that they will achieve autonomy or independence, involves the presence of politically recognized boundaries that separate their homelands from external lands and peoples. Although the collapse of industrial imperialism means the world no longer needs to fear major wars between super-powers, it does need to recognize a rising danger caused by the efforts of existing states to preserve their internal and external borders as they have increasingly come under attack by ethnic nations who seek sovereignty and want to create their own autonomies or states within newly created boundaries.
This paper examines differences in the practices and policies of indigenous
communities and non-state nations as well as those of the enclosing states
found today in our post-Westphalian inter-state system. The paper is divided
into these parts:
ANCIENT AND MODERN ETHNICITY
The distinction between class and caste highlights differences
that can help us understand the main contrasts between ancient and modern
ethnicity. Use of this metaphor may also help us understand some important
properties of modern nationalism as it has emerged with growing force in
the world today. Three important properties of the class/caste distinction
are relevant here: mobility, occupation and niche.
Models for both caste and class can be visualized by reference to these three properties, as suggested in the following table:
TABLE I: CASTE AND CLASS: BASIC PROPERTIES
The table may help us visualize the fundamental distinctions:
These are ideal types and, in the real world, mixtures of class and caste features are quite normal. The use of race and ethnicity as a kind of fixed phrase represents this kind of mixture, like kith and kin which we link unthinkingly when we describe a traditional rural community because, in them, we cannot distinguish clearly between "kith" (neighbors) and "kin" (relatives). Similarly, in modern societies, the contrast between the caste-like features of racial groups and the class-like properties of ethnic communities overlap so much that we cannot clearly distinguish between them. However, the phrase, "race and ethnicity," has become anachronistic insofar as modern (class-like) ethnicity has replaced traditional (caste-like) race relations. In contemporary America, however, the two concepts have become so intermingled that one often hears religious or linguistic communities referred to as "races" and racially different groups are, in fact, treated like ethnic communities. Reference to Table I will help us visualize these important points.
By substituting status categories for racial stereotypes, the class-like
situation of modern ethnicity is well symbolized. When modernity prevails
in America, racial stereotypes will vanish: although we continue to use
the "black/white" racial contrast to perpetuate many residential
and occupational niches, they have almost vanished for Asians whose ethnicization
is marked by the abandonment of "yellow" as a racial category.
Similarly, we no longer characterize native Americans as "red,"
but their ethnicization is linked to nationalism, a theme to which I will
The Historical Transformation. A similar kind of transformation
has occurred with respect to ethnicity. So long as cities and civilizations
have existed, there has been ethnicity in the sense of cross-cultural
contact and relationships. Multi-culturalism is an ancient phenomenon and
it has normally been associated with hierarchic notions of superiority
and inferiority. Members of dominant communities often used terms like
heathen, pagan, gentile, primitive, infidel, and uncivilized
to refer to peoples different from themselves. They were sometimes feared
as threatening barbarians, or conquered, slain and enslaved as prisoners
or conquered peoples. The victims were denied civil rights based on citizenship,
by contrast with the hierarchy of privileges accorded to members of the
conquering societies. Sometimes, of course, inter-ethnic relations were
tolerated or even cherished, as when foreigners came bearing tributes or
valued objects which dominant elites wished to acquire for their own use,
leading to the proliferation of marginalized trader communities, typically
with their own distinctive languages, religious practices, and customs.
These relationships were caste-like in structure possessing the three
properties identified in Table I. They were immobile insofar as
members of one community could not readily move to another. Their occupations
were normally inherited and rigid -- this supported familiar occupational
categories such as a barber, warrior, priest, farmer, carpenter, chief,
or trader, each of which came to be associated with a cultural community
whose members reproduced the specializations of their ancestors and perpetuated
their own distinctive group practices. Each community occupied a niche
which had a dual function: in the short run, it protected and perpetuated
its members while also permitting their exploitation and domination. On
a longer time horizon, however, historic changes enabled these niches to
move. Broad generalizations like this need to be made more concrete to
provide illustrations and to explain exceptions.
In India, for example, these linkages became institutionalized in an
overarching social structure which permits us to think of a single
cultural matrix in which sub-cultural caste distinctions prevailed, each
with its own characteristic occupations -- actually, they were
prerogatives in the sense that only members of a particular caste
inherited the right to do certain things and they would resist
encroachment by outsiders on their caste monopolies. They provide the
classic prototype of a caste system that persists in the modern world,
despite all the external influences that have also deeply affected
contemporary Indian society and life. As a result, although niche mobility
is an important aspect of the Indian social system, it was less
conspicuous that it was in the rest of the ancient world
More commonly, elsewhere, major cultural distinctions rather than their
occupational specializations gave ethnic communities their distinctive
names (ethnonyms), and the relationships between them were not so
stable. The famous and long-term clash between the desert and the sown
that Ibn Khaldun described (cf. Tehranian)
epitomizes these transformations as nomadic hordes invaded and occupied
settled agricultural peoples, only to be absorbed in turn. When hitherto
despised outsiders conquered and replaced indigenous elites, niche transformations
became dramatically obvious, but such changes also occurred in other ways.
The Christianization of the Roman Empire and, later, the Islamization of
the Mediterranean world, involved monumental niche changes in which hitherto
marginalized communities became dominant. Refugees and migrants, colonists
and conquerors, have deeply influenced the ancient world, producing radical
niche changes as one people or community replaced or modified the niches
previously occupied by others.
No doubt such sweeping generalizations involve a huge historical simplification
of the ancient world, but they pave the way for helping us understand the
modern world in which ethnic relationships have become more class-like
than caste-like. As a result of modernity -- a composite set of inter-active
forces based on industrialization, democratization and nationalism [cf.
Riggs] -- inter-ethnic
relations in the contemporary world have been radically transformed. This
change becomes evident when we consider the three properties of class systems:
In caste systems, many niches co-exist within a single society,
each providing a place for some community whose members may, however, shift
the status of their niche within the existing social system -- this applies
to classical forms of hierarchic ethnicity. In class systems, by
contrast, we presuppose fixed social positions within a society, but expect
individuals to move from one class to another. This is even true of the
Marxian vision of class struggle in which lower class people (the proletariat)
may seize power and leap into the upper class, while former aristocrats
and capitalists would be downgraded. This perspective does not contemplate
any movement of classes, however -- the movement involves individuals changing
their class positions. Despite the rhetoric of a "classless"
society, it is now clear that class differences remain under Communist
domination. No doubt the class model offers different scenarios: revolutionaries
contemplate a rapid replacement of ruling elites, whereas conservatives
endorse enhanced mobility by individuals whose class position can change
without sweeping socio-political transformations.
STATES AND NATIONS
The two options of normal and accelerated change in class relations postulated in the Marxian model have their counterparts in modern ethnicity. These options are both modern, however, and contrast with the caste-like characteristics of traditional ethnicity. They both require occupational flexibility and mobility -- individuals are able to move in time and space between ethnic and occupational statuses. However, an important difference can be seen between patient and impatient ethnics. This difference involves niches. Their significance become apparent when we recall that in pre-modern societies, a conquering invader -- such as a nomadic tribe or an urban empire -- would gain control over a neighboring society and impose its domination on the conquered peoples.
This involved a niche transformation by different cultural communities. The position of individuals within each of these community reflected the niche change -- they could not easily move from one community to another. By contrast, in modern societies, where class roles are inflexible, the best hope for low status individuals is to change their class position. This applies not only in ethnically homogenous societies, but also in multi-cultural contexts. Marginalized ethnics face two possibilities -- no doubt their choices are limited by constraints imposed from the outside, but within limits they contemplate two possibilities.
It they are patient and willing to work within the status quo, they
can usually become integrated by cultural assimilation, expecting that
their diligence and intelligence will enable them to enhance their personal
positions. By contrast, if they are impatient, they may, instead, reject
the status quo and seek to leapfrog into a better situation for themselves
and their friends or followers by establishing a new context in the form
of their own state or autonomous regime. Of course, the decision about
which option to adopt is not just a personal choice -- it also hinges on
state policies and the behavior of people who are not co-ethnics.
The importance of public policy and social attitudes in modern societies
as shapers of ethnic attitudes reflects a fundamental world transformation
that can most easily be explained if we recognize the dynamics of modernity.
I use this word here not to refer to the present day, although the word
originally did refer to contemporary things. However, we now link the present
age with certain socio-economic and political transformations that have
occurred in the world during the last two or three centuries. I have discussed
these changes elsewhere ["Malody
of Modernity"] and will not digress to review the argument here.
However, a salient feature relevant to this discourse involves the transformation
of sovereignty from an attribute of rulers whose right to rule was
viewed as divinely sanctioned to a notion which attributed sovereignty
to nations, each of which had the right to govern itself. This transformation
gained widespread acceptance during the 19th century as representative
government in republics replaced monarchic rule in country after country
-- including those that became constitutional monarchies. Since national
identity and state boundaries rarely coincided, this belief created new
problems that had not been felt under monarchic rule. The emergence of
ethnic nationalism as a wide-spread phenomenon is a direct consequence
of this transformation. We need to see that although ethnicity is ancient
and persists as a socio-cultural fact of life, it has acquired a new significance
in the form of ethnonationalism.
Closely linked with the rise of modern nationalism is democracy,
grounded in notions of equality and representative governance. Clearly,
democracy never operated at a world-system level, but only at the level
of states as political entities that, taken together, would constitute
a world-system. Moreover, the theorists of democracy never assumed that
any multi-cultural assortment of peoples could govern themselves -- rather
they argued that only members of a nation, a people sharing common cultural
norms and practices, could and should govern themselves in states where
equalitarianism among nationals would be able to establish and maintain
responsible government based on majoritarian principles. Although non-members
of a nation might live within a state, they would be treated as outsiders
without the rights of citizenship. As a result of this premise, a distinction
arose between citizens and subjects, persons eligible to participate as
members of a sovereign state, and others who were ineligible and would
only be tolerated as non-citizens or aliens. This situation is reproduced
in minature on the Cherokee Reservation in North Carolina where non-Cherokee
may live but not vote for members of the governing Tribal Council -- of
course, as citizens of the U.S., they vote in state and national elections.
This idea led, historically, to the emergence of two contrasting processes. At one extreme, totalitarian states have sought to consolidate their national identity by eliminating non-nationals, whether by expulsion or genocide. In some contemporary states, this ugly process is called "ethnic cleansing." This is nation-building by the deletion of ineligibles.
By contrast, most states are willing to integrate aliens into their
nations by a process of naturalization. This word is normally used
narrowly to refer only to the legal process by which immigrant aliens become
citizens of a state, but a similar transformation applies to any non-nationals
who accept citizenship and the principle of jus soli enables some
states to grant citizenship to anyone born within their boundaries. A natural
term for this process would be nationalization which does carry
a dictionary definition that reads: "to accept as a citizen or national."
However, the word is normally used to refer to property, not people --
it describes the different process whereby states acquire title to property.
This meaning is so powerful that we court ambiguity if we use this word
to talk about outsiders joining a nation. Consequently, we do need another
word. If we were willing to accept neologisms, I would suggest a form like
nation-ize to apply to the process of extending national identity
to someone by any means. Thus, indigenous peoples have normally been treated
as non-members of the nation established by colonizers who conquered them
and viewed them as ineligibles. Yet at some point, historically, most of
them have been nation-ized en bloc and granted citizenship rights. We should
distinguish nation-izing from nation building, which refers to the
complementary process by which states create nations. In liberal democracies,
states have usually been eager to nation-ize people living within their
boundaries -- "ethic cleansing" is the contrasting process whereby
totalitarian regimes try to build their nations.
I mention these facts because they help us understand the emergence of ethnic nationalism which may be defined as the process whereby any nation seeks to establish its independence or autonomy. Incidentally, we may use autonomy, by itself, to refer to any autonomous jurisdiction. This practice enables us to use sovereignty generically to characterize both autonomies and independent states. This means that both sub-states like Alberta and California as well as states like the United States and Canada can be characterized as "sovereign."
Moreover, because nationalism is often used ambiguously to mean
patriotism, I will use state nationalism whenever speaking about
the sense of solidarity citizens have with their state. The rise of
modernity in the West involved nation building by state nations
that augmented their power and legitimacy by nation-izing ethnic
minorities living within their boundaries. They sought to achieve the
status of a national state, i.e., an ethnically homogeneous state.
Although this goal was rarely if ever achieved in reality, it became a
powerful motivator. Conventional use of the term, nation state, to
mean nothing more than an independent state that may, in fact, be quite
heterogeneous ethnically, masks the hidden premise that it should become
ethnically homogeneous -- but wishes do not easily turn into realities. As
we shall see, globalization has increasingly undermined the
importance of nations as a basis for the legitimacy of states.
Whenever I speak of a "nation" or "nationalism,"
I refer to an ethnic nation or ethnic nationalism -- i.e.,
ethnic communities that demand sovereignty but lack it. Since the middle
of the 20th century, many such nations have struggled to achieve
sovereignty (i.e., autonomy or independence). Those that have arisen in
exclaves have, for the most part, succeeded and can be found today in the
new states generated by the collapse of industrial empires. Their success
resulted not only from the pressures generated by national liberation movements,
but also from the weakening of the imperial powers as a result of their
inter-imperial wars. They were also immensely facilitated by the pre-existence
of imperial boundaries which they simply adopted as their own.
Unfortunately, many of these new states are even more ethnically
heterogeneous than the state nations that controlled the empires, and
their own nation-building projects have been notably unsuccessful.
Instead, they have often provoked ethnic communities within their domains
to organize new ethnonational movements, as the Serbs are now notoriously
doing in Kosovo with gravely threatening
consequences. Moreover, the success of national liberation movements in
the imperial possessions have stimulated ethnic minorities in the imperial
homelands and in other older states to spark ethnic nationalism, notably
among indigenous peoples and among various ethnic communities that
were never assimilated by earlier state nationalist movements.
Significantly, the rise of ethnic nationalism is not only due to nationalist
sentiments, but it is also driven by democratic ideals. This sounds paradoxical
but only because we tend to focus on the relation of democracies to their
citizens who enjoy many opportunities to influence public policies
designed to meet their needs. By contrast, subjects -- residents
of a state who are denied the rights of citizenship -- feel not only deprived
thereby but actually stripped of the supernatural benefits that monarchic
rule promised its subjects. Moreover, to the degree that anarchy and political
oppression prevail in any country, disaffected and marginalized communities
may well feel that their best hope lies in projects to create their own
polities by secession from the state where they find themselves confined.
In short, ethnic nationalism is a specifically modern reaction to the
rise of democracy and state nationalism in the Western countries that subsequently
created industrial empires. It has already contributed to the collapse
of those empires and the emergence of a host of new states. The process
has not ended, however. Rather, it is entering a new stage marked by the
rise of ethnic nationalism within the boundaries of many existing states,
including not only those generated by the collapsed empires but also many
found in the older industrialized states.
NATIONALISM IN ENCLAVES AND EXCLAVES.
As explained above, ethnic nationalism has replaced state nationalism
and it has already won power in many new states where exclave nations had
prevailed. However, the history of ethnic nationalism has not ended. Enclave
nationalism is now replacing exclave nationalism and it promises
to lead to many horrors. To explain this dire forecast, we need to be more
specific about the differences between these two forms of nationalism.
The basic distinction between enclaves and exclaves is rudimentary and
merely involves the geographic location of a domain that is culturally
different from that of the dominant state: when its boundaries are located
within that state, the domain is an enclave and when they are external,
it is an exclave. These terms sound heartlessly neutral but the
reality is often brutally tragic -- conquered peoples living in enclaves
or exclaves have suffered great injustices. However, past oppression and
brutality scarcely justify renewed violence, especially when the
victims themselves are likely to suffer the most. .
Discourse about enclaves/exclaves requires a complementary term to refer
to the state that controls them. It would be convenient to borrow the French
word, metropole, but it is imprecise for two reasons. First, this
term implies imperial domination but it would be wrong, for example, to
characterize the relation of Finland to the Aaland Islands, or of Norway
to Spitzbergen as "imperial." Yet both of these territories are
exclaves because of the ethnic differences found in their populations.
Indigenous?"] I have proposed the use of metro-pol to designate
any state in relation to all its exclaves and enclaves, whether or not
they involve imperial domination: the metro-pols of Greenland, Spitzbergen
and the Aaalands are Denmark, Norway, and Finland, none of which can be
thought of as "empires." Similarly, "Metropolitan France"
is the metro-pol for Corsica, and the U.S. is a metro-pol for Guam and
The use of metro-pol helps us distinguish between enclaves and
sub-state jurisdictions which also have boundaries. What distinguishes
them is the ethnic homogeneity assumed to prevail in sub-states by contrast
with the heterogeneity that distinguishes the people of an enclave from
those who inhabit their metro-pol. Whenever the population in a bounded
sub-state is homogeneous with its metro-pol, we class the domain as a province
(district, jurisdiction, precinct) but not as an enclave.
A similar distinction can be made between exclaves and colonies
which are identified by the prevalence in them of colonists, i.e., settlers
coming from the metro-pol. Often colonists want to preserve their relation
with the metro-pol. The movements that led to independence in countries
like the United States, Canada, Argentina, and Australia were not based
on ethnic nationalism and need to be distinguished historically from the
nationalist movements of this century which led to the liberation of exclaves
like India, Vietnam, Nigeria, or the Philippines. Incidentally, it is misleading
to use "colony" as a synonym for "possession." Colonies
were settled by colonists who share the ethnicity of their metro-pols,
whereas exclaves are conquered possessions whose populations are ethnically
different from the people of their metro-pols. We may, therefore, expect
ethnic nationalism to arise in exclaves but not in colonies. Unfortunately,
the word colonies is used so carelessly that it often refers to
possessions where liberation movements are said to lead to de-colonization.
If this usage causes ambiguity, we will need to find other terms but
let me retain the original distinction between colonies and exclaves. No
doubt there are fuzzy situations in which the concepts overlap -- for example,
Spitzbergen may have a minority of Norwegian settlers, and although the
Aaland Islanders speak Swedish, they are contented with their Finnish citizenship.
. The cultural differences between a domain's population and the population
of its metro-pol mark it as an e'clave, the generic term I use to
include both enclaves and exclaves. For an extended discussion of these
terms and concepts jump to "Enclave
Nations". E'claves, of course, do not automatically contain ethnic
nations. The occupants of an e'clave, for various reasons, may be content
with their status or accept it as unavoidable, in which case ethnic nationalism
will not arise in such enclaves or exclaves. Our focus here, however, is
not on these cases but, rather, on those where an e'clave's population
becomes an ethnic nation.
The Need for Boundaries. Since the definition of an e'clave hinges
on the existence of borders (as well as cultural differences) we need to
clarify this concept and discuss its importance.. Borders are politically
established lines based on treaties between states, or on legislative and
administrative fiats between jurisdictions within a state. They are invisible
and without geographic meaning, though sometimes rivers, mountains, deserts
or other physical features provide a basis for boundaries. The rise of
modern states has greatly increased the importance of boundaries which
often have a powerful influence on the life of people -- in pre-modern
times boundaries were usually fuzzy and often did consist of geo-physical
barriers. All e'claves are, by definition, bounded domains: exclaves if
the area they occupy exists outside the borders of their metro-pol and
enclaves if their boundaries are enclosed within a state.
For ethnic nations, prospects for success in their struggle for sovereignty
are profoundly affected by the pre-existence of boundaries. Many ethnic
nations, like the Hawaiians, lack a bounded territorial homeland and this
imperils their efforts to achieve sovereignty. We cannot, therefore, think
of them as an enclave nation. How shall we refer to them? Consider that
a region or area without a defined border can be called a zone.
Of course, there are many kinds of zones: in the nineteenth century when
the major powers established "spheres of influence" in China,
they were creating zones without boundaries, dominated from outside. Politically,
guerrillas establish zones of operations controlled from within. People
living in cities often establish socially important zones: when I lived
on East 122nd St. in New York, I found myself in a mainly Italian and Puerto
Rican zone, close to an African-American zone across 2nd Avenue.
Such ethnic residential zones have no borders visible on maps, even when
a tangible line, like 2nd Ave., separates their residents. To
refer to zones dominated by an ethnic community, we might speak of an ethnic
zone. When members of such a community seek autonomy or independence,
they constitute an ethnonational zone, but not an enclave, simply
because they lack politically recognized borders. Such zones need to be
distinguished from enclaves whose borders can be drawn on a map.
Frequently, ethnic zones are a product of discrimination rather than choice and no doubt there may be walls or fences to keep the residents inside. When and if such barriers are mapped and politically operative,, a zone becomes an enclave. Historically, urban zones in which Jews were required to live were called ghettos. In the world today there are many such zones whose residents belong mainly to particular ethnic minorities. Sometimes, we find residential communities whose privileged occupants use walls and gates to insulate themselves from the outside world -- they are sometimes called golden ghettos but not enclaves because their boundaries are privately established, not based on public policy.
Most "ghettos," of course, are still zones for social outcastes, but because the word now has multiple connotations, we need a more precise term for the original sense of a ghetto. In my own mind, I use a phrase like ghostly ghetto -- reminding us of the idea that outsiders would rather not see their "invisible" residents.
Having these two polar concepts enables us to introduce a third, intermediate,
category to represent ethnic zones occupied by residents who are free to
live where they please, but they prefer life with co-ethnics who share
their culture and life styles. In a dramatic scene in "Titanic"
one experiences the joy of spontaneous dancing among steerage passengers
who clearly see life in the First Class as horribly boring. Such zones
are self imposed and spontaneous -- they enable co-ethnics to share their
joys and sorrows and also, no doubt, to cultivate rage against outsiders
whom they may come to view as enemies. Although "homely" often
means ugly, the word can also means "plain" or "very friendly."
With the latter senses in mind, I propose homely ghetto to refer
to a self-selected residential zone for members of an ethnic community.
A homely ghetto may, of course, evolve into a kind of "homeland"
that is a zone where residents have a sense of security and can enjoy life.
They can protect and reproduce their distinctive cultural practices and
beliefs while also accepting membership in the state where they live. A
conspicuous example of such a homely ghetto is an Amish settlement -- only
their self-imposed rules prevent members from leaving.
Sometimes residents in a homely ghetto become so alienated from the
state where they live that they develop nationalist ideas and strive for
autonomy. As an ethnic zone, they lack precise borders and, therefore,
the margins of a homely ghetto are fluid. To protect themselves and to
pave the way for achieving more autonomy, a homely ghetto may seek recognition
by the state as an enclave -- this occurred in North Carolina when a self-governing
Cherokee Reservation was recently established in a county that had hitherto
been only an administrative jurisdiction. The transformation involved granting
permission to all "Cherokee" people to vote for members of their
tribal council, while withdrawing suffrage rights from non-Cherokee residents
who chose to live on the reservation.
In such situations, autonomy is a realistic option whereas independence is not -- any small bounded territory located inside the borders of a state will certainly encounter fierce resistance to any demands for full independence and, if granted, it will not be able to secure its borders -- only the assurance of continued toleration or, preferably, active support by the metro-pol can be counted on to safeguard the interests of an enclave nation. There is, indeed, a striking contrast between the situation confronting enclaves and that faced by exclave nations. For an in-depth analysis of administrative autonomy see Self-Determination and Self-Administration: A Sourcebook edited by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber and Arthur Watts (Lynn: 1977). "A Draft Convention on Self-Determination through Self-Administration" submitted to the UN by the Principality of Liechtenstein can be found, with an extended commentary, on pages 21-45.
States that stoutly resist autonomy, however, and use violence to suppress demonstrations and the organization of nationalist movements are likely to generate domestic violence and civil war. The stumbling block to be faced incolves the transformation of an ethnic zone into an enclave. Autonomy seems to require a bounded territory for self-determination to work -- it provides criteria for establishing the functions of self-administration.
Ethnic communities without an enclave are, therefore, severely
handicapped. Homely ghettos seeking self-rule in a bounded territory
(enclave) who demand full sovereignty and independence assuredly
frighten their metropols and provoke them to resort to violence -- a
process visible before our eyes today in Kosovo. The mere fact that a
people is indigenous and can demonstrate that, historically, their
ancestors were citizens of an independent regime may convince members of
an ethnic community that their claims are just but it is unlikely to
persuade a state to grant sovereignty to such a would-be nation. In the
case of Kosovo, actually, the Serbs protest that their ancestors lived in
Kosovo before the Albanians. Disputes over ancestry seem irrelevant in
such cases -- perhaps this is a significant difference that separates the
situation of "indigenous peoples" from other stateless nations. However,
if a community can gain state recognition based on its national identity
and limits its goals to those of autonomy (self-administration as a
"nation within a state") it may be able to reach agreements that will
safeguard its basic interests which, assuredly, cannot be protected if
ethnic cleansing and civil war develops.
MINORITIES AND MIGRATIONS..
Members of an enclave nation may be a local majority although they are a minority within the state. However, the word "minority," is so slippery that we need to use it with care. No doubt most enclave nations do constitute a minority in some sense -- but we need to know whether they are truly a local majority. Thus the Cherokees on reservation are a local "majority" although a "minority" in their state. The terminological problems with minority are both intrinsic and extrinsic in character. Since the "Minorities at Risk" that Ted Gurr has created provides a wealth of data that we can use in our comparisons, it is important to make sure that we understand each other when using this fundamental term.
The intrinsic ambiguity in "minority" is not difficult to
clarify: it can be resolved by distinguishing between the numerical and
political meanings of the word. Originally, and in its most commonly used
sense, a "minority" is simply any number of items in a set that
is less than 50%. We use this concept when discussing the outcome of elections
and decision-making in any assembly. By contrast, politically, a "minority"
is a marginalized community which, of course, can well constitute a majority
of the population. Thus, until its democratic constitution was adopted,
South Africa had a marginalized majority and a dominant minority. This
situation is not rare and we need to be able to make the distinction. The
use of adjectives can easily solve this problem: I shall use numerical
minority in the statistical sense, and marginalized minority
in the political sense. Because both ideas are important, I will use "minority"
without qualifiers only when the immediate context clearly indicates which
sense of the word is relevant or the distinction does not matter.
There is also an extrinsic source of ambiguity about "minorities" that is more elusive. It arises from fuzziness in our identification of the boundaries of states that have marginalized minorities. Perhaps normally, anyone speaking of an ethnic minority has in mind an independent state, not a sub-state nor a supra-state. Any administrative jurisdiction within a state (Quebec or Texas, for example) may be viewed as a "sub-state". All states with exclaves (Denmark, Norway, France and the United States) are "supra-states" -- many are "empires" but some are not -- and they are not, by definition, "super powers." A community may be a minority in one of these contexts but a majority in another. For example, the Quebecois are a minority in Canada but a majority in the sub-state of Quebec; and Guamanians are a minority in the American supra-state but a majority in Guam. In order to get a more balanced understanding of the relation between marginalized minorities and ethnic nationalism, we need to be clear about the political context. Normally, we are thinking only about the state level when we use "minority," excluding both their sub-states, and the exclaves belonging to a supra-state. Whether or not a community is a "minority", therefore, depends on context -- any community can be both a majority and a minority at the same time.
Migration: Diasporas and Anasporas. Moreover, the status of any
community can change -- minorities can become majorities and visa versa.
An important reason involves migration. In order to discuss this variable,
we need terms for several important variables, among which I will speak
of only one: namely, whether or not members of an e'clave nation live outside
or inside its borders. The term, diaspora, is used to refer to citizens
of a state living outside its borders. However, the word can also refer
to all members of an enclave nation living outside their enclave -- thus
Hawaiians living in California or Quebecois living in Ontario belong to
diasporas as much as do Americans in France, or Chinese in Canada.
Normally, diasporas are identified by reference to a mother-country
rather than the place to which they have migrated. If we identify the home
place (whether it be a state or an e'clave) we can be clear about all its
members living outside its borders. Persons in diaspora need a mother-country
to establish their identity, but if it has disappeared, they need to perpetuate
its existence as a myth and they may even seek to restore it. Since our
use of this word is a metaphor taken from the long-term use of "Diaspora"
to refer to the Jewish diaspora, we might even view this situation as prototypical.
However, there are few similar cases. The Armenians in exile, especially
those who reject the existing Armenian state, continue to struggle to re-establish
a new Armenia in Turkey. The Romany people, scattered in many states, constitute
a diaspora without any vivid memories or dreams of a mother country, a
fact that hampers their ability to act or think of themselves as a nation.
Confusingly, "diaspora" is often used to mean an "ethnic
minority." Here I will use "diaspora" to refer only to members
of a nation living outside the borders of their mother country, either
imagined or real, and whether or not it is a state.
One's mother-country can be defned as the zone which members
of a diaspora think of as their original homeland -- though often a state,
it is sometimes an e'clave. When Zionist Jews decided to create their new
state in Palestine, then a British mandate, their historical memories not
only determined where they wanted to locate, but also what boundaries they
would attempt to re-establish. In a normal case, the nationals living in
an e'clave who promote statehood for their people also dream of restoring
their mother-country with its original boundaries even when they differ
significantly from those of their existing e'eclave. E'clave nations, however,
are always fortunate insofar as they do have a territorial base with a
resident population, whereas many national communities have a home base
but no bounded e-clave.
Strangely, we lack any term to refer to the members of a nation who
reside within the borders of their e'clave, the counterpart to their diaspora.
Instead, we tend to identify ethnic nations with their e'claves even though
a substantial portion of their members are living in diaspora. Anyone thinking
of Tibetans today, however, may well have in mind the members of this community
living outside of Tibet. Elsewhere, I have proposed a complementary term,
anaspora, that could be used to
refer to Tibetans still in Tibet, or Hawaiians in Hawaii. Admittedly, it
is a raw neologism, yet logically formed and easy to remember. The common
stem of both words is -spora, referring to dispersal: dia-
identifies those who are indeed dispersed and ana- (meaning "not")
can be used to characterize all those who are not dispersed, those resident
in their e'clave or state. We can easily say that every ethnic nation consists
(normally) of an anaspora and a diaspora. The migration of nationals between
their anaspora and diaspora is an important factor explaining the development
and prospects of any ethnic nation, and needs to be included in our analyses.
In general, we may assume that nationals in diaspora are more easily
influenced by modern ideas and technologies than those living in anaspora
and they often play a decisive role in the history of their e'claves. No
doubt many diasporans (persons living in diaspora) choose to integrate
with the local populations wherever they go. However, some diasporans retain
their national identities and attachments, especially if they find themselves
unwelcome or disadvantaged in their hostlands. They may then dream of returning
home and even becoming leaders in the national movements of their homelands.
Even though many fail to realize this dream, there are enough cases where
diasporans become leaders of their nations to make this a pattern worthy
of our attention. Even diasporans who do not aspire to leadership roles
may well contribute money, information, and political influence with the
governments of their hostlands to bolster the prospects for success of
their home nationals.
FIRST EXCLAVES, NOW ENCLAVES.
During the past half-century, virtually all the exclave nations of the
imperial powers acquired their independence and become new states, whereas
very few enclave nations have succeeded. The main exceptions are the frontier
enclaves of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and their success came only
recently. Why was this true? First, remember that exclaves are always difficult
to retain -- this was as true of pre-modern as of modern states. The pre-industrial
colonists who supported the American revolution were not ethnic nationalists
-- their leaders were colonial elites, culturally linked with their motherland,
but ambitious and eager to control their own life in the colonies and escape
domination by a distant king and his royal bureaucracy. Economic interests
and fiscal or legal problems were more salient than any sense of ethnic
nationalism. The "American nation" evolved after the revolution
succeeded -- it was not one of its causes. The point is that distance and
time seriously hampered the survival of all pre-industrial empires, facilitating
independence movements by the elites of their exclaves.
After the Industrial Revolution, the underlying basis for the rise of
modernity, the potential power of modern empires greatly increased during
the 19th and early 20th centuries, enabling the vast
empires of England, France, Germany, Italy, the United States, Russia and
Japan to come into existence. For reasons mentioned above, the rise of
industrial imperialism was associated with the spread of democracy and
nationalism. These modern ideas and practices soon penetrated all the possessions
of these imperial powers and produced ethonational movements in all their
e'claves. In historical retrospect, the century from the mid-19th to the
mid-20th century was the rise of ethnic nationalism. During the second
half of this century, these movements generated new states in all the imperial
exclaves, and now we are witnessing the rise of ethnonational movements
in most of the world's enclaves, scattered within both the old and the
No doubt national movements are also arising in ethnonational zones
(notably in homely ghettos) that lack boundaries. Their prospects for success
are quite limited, however, unless they are able, along the way, to gain
recognition for an enclave in which their anasporas can organize more effectively.
It it is now clear in retrospect that exclave nations were able to succeed
in part because they already had boundaries -- even though these borders
rarely coincided with ethnic nations and produced a heterogeneous hodge
podge of states, their pre-existence facilitated the hiving off of new
states each bounded by the borders of an imperial possession. The rulers
of these states, moreover, are united in their determination to preserve
existing boundaries, no matter how irrational they may be. Consequently,
ethnonational leaders in borderless zones would do well to consider the
strategic value of creating enclaves first, waiting to cultivate their
national movements until after they have an anaspora large enough to support
their claims for sovereignty. Metro-pols may well support the creation
of autonomous enclaves in the expectation that their new self-governing
leaders will cooperate in suppressing terrorists who, otherwise, become
a threat to everyone. Israeli policy in Gaza provides a good current example.
The Resistance to Enclave Nationalism. Ethnonationalist struggles
to achieve sovereignty may create long-lasting conflicts, but they are
by no means assured of success. An important reason arises from the fact
that the rulers of all the new states share a common interest with the
older states in the maintenance of existing inter-state borders. By contrast,
in the early post-Westphalian world, existing states fought each other
to change their boundaries and protect or enlarge their borders. When these
wars ended and the basic motives for global inter-imperial wars vanished,
a new era has dawned. To think of it as the "post-Cold War" era
puts too narrow an ideological spin on this major transformation. The era
that has ended is one in which states fought each other to protect or enlarge
their domains and state nationalism prevailed as a dominant motivator.
By contrast, in the "new world [dis]order", virtually all the
world's states consider boundary changes a major threat to their survival
and unite to resist the many such changes that are now demanded by ethnic
nations -- especially by enclave nations that have borders but not sovereignty.
Increasingly, they will rely on the United Nations, NATO, ASEAN, the
CIS, the OAU, the OAS, and other available instruments of collective security
to safeguard the status quo by blocking border changes. They will, however,
soon discover that most of the indigenous peoples and ethnic nations described
in the Minorities at Risk project already live in enclaves and are
rapidly mobilizing, using all the modern means of power (organization,
communications, ideology, weapons, and wealth), in close linkage with their
diasporas and with each other, to advance their nationalist claims.
Violent opposition to these claims is unlikely to succeed -- it may
actualy provoke back lashes that grow in strength. Far more promising strategies
are available to states that can see the value of accommodation. Democratic
states need to discover new ways to organize themselves that do not rest
on the premise of majoritarian rule in a mono-national state. The idea
of consociationalism has come to refer to a form of democratic design
in which the interests of ethnic minorities, no matter how small they may
be, are institutionally safeguarded.
Moreover, the myth that viable states must be founded on a national identity must, I think, be overcome by a new world view that sees states as nothing more than administrative districts in a world based on global sovereignty. In such a world, all peoples living with the borders of any state, whatever their cultural diffrences, need security and respect for their cultural heritage. A model of governance that looks more like the UN with its General Assembly representing highly disparate states can, I think, be adapted to intra-state governance as well.
State elites will, I suspect, embrace consociationalism when they
recognize that not all ethnic minorities seek to establish their own
states. Some, indeed, will be happy to live in autonomies where their own
traditions are protected and can be reproduced. Many more will accept
citizenship in the states where they live, provided their basic cultural
values and practices are respected. They have only to be persuaded that
they have more to gain by integration within the established political
system than by resisting and seeking to establish their own state.
Consider, first, that an increasingly large number of ethnic minorities
are composed of voluntary immigrants, refugees, and diasporans -- if they
are committed to ethnonational causes, they will be found outside the hostland
where they are living, in their home countries. Their prospects for a better
life usually hinge on their willingness to integrate into the cultural
mainstream of their adopted countries. Second, without an enclave and ancestral
myths to support their claims, any aspirations they might have to establish
a state in an enclave seem outrageously unrealistic. Those who truly aspire
to independent statehood for their own people will direct their attention
to movements in their homeland rather than in the hostland where they reside.
Meanwhile, of course, they can group themselves informally in homely ghettos
to protect their traditional cultures without making heavy political demands.
To conclude this discussion, let us consider several options open to states confronting demands for sovereignty by enclave nations.
1. Response to enclave nations. Where enclave nations exist and are making demands for sovereignty, non-violent negotiations and compromise will work better than violence and efforts to suppress the movements. The Serbs today seem to be creating the Albanian violence in Kosovo by their own militancy, thereby provoking a vicious circle of militancy. Although ethnic nationalism is very modern, and its rise in enclaves is a sequel to the success of exclave nationalism during the past half century, it usually has deep historical roots -- Kosovo offers a classic example -- but the current impasse reveals the fundamental forces of modernity: industrialization, democracy and nationalism. Efforts to resist enclave nationalism can succeed -- temporarily, I believe -- in totalitarian states where single-party rule is strongly entrenched. Relatively weak autocracies relying on violent repression will only strengthen the commitment of ethnonationalists, leading to genocide, civil war and the horrors of "ethnic cleansing." By contrast, democratic regimes have an opportunity to enable enclave nations to establish autonomies in which self-government will help them achieve their main goals. Real support for autonomies will, I think, dampen movements for full independence which can scarcely succeed in enclaves where relatively small populations cannot count on their own security systems to sustain their independence as sovereign states.
2. Ethnonational Zones. Alienated ethnic minorities lacking bounded territories of their own may, nevertheless, organize movements demanding sovereignty and self-determination. Such movements will not, I believe, succeed unless they can establish enclaves, bounded territorial "homelands". Although there may be ethnic zones in which these communities constitute local majorities, states seeking to avoid the creation of enclave nations would do well to rely on a variety of inclusive strategies designed to attract support from members of these communities. The use of intrusive force to compel compliance with the goals of the state will assuredly provoke resistance and the formation of guerilla zones marked by long-term violence.
3. The National State as an Illusion. The notion of a nation
as the source of sovereignty may have served a useful purpose during the
struggle to replace monarchy with representative governance. Moreover,
when state nations were willing to integrate minorities and accept them
as full-fledged nationals, movements for the nation-ization of aliens and
racial minorities probably served a useful purpose. Today, however, the
dynamics of democratization have been reversed. Existing ethnic nations
seek to create their own states, leading to hideous crimes of genocide
and "ethnic cleansing," and bloody civil wars in which civilians
have become the main victims.
4. Cosmopolitanism and Globalization. The world-system has, today,
become fully global in a way that is best symbolized by the INTERNET.
It no longer focuses on states as the primary actors -- instead, sub-states,
inter-state organizations, and a host of non-state entities have become
equally important, and individuals, as cosmopolitans, are now free to interact
and cooperate with their counterparts anywhere in the world. They have
already establish innumerable networks capable of taking action without
formal support or recognition from outside their virtual cyber space havens.
Many of the functions of states are being transferred to organizations
that exist within and across state borders. Sovereignty has, therefore,
lost its meaning as a unique basis for legitimizing the authority of a
state. Instead, we need to recognize the multiplicity of cross-cutting
sovereignties or, even better, think of the only valid sovereignty as that
of all humanity, expressed in a complex (syntropic) world-system. Within
that context, all boundaries have become mere administrative conveniences
and no longer serve to divide and identify nations. New, cross-cutting
boundaries will increasingly identify regions and functional jurisdictions,
both within and across state borders.
In such a world, cultural diversity becomes an asset that can help us maintain creativity and excitement in an increasingly homogenous world. The goal of glocalization will, increasingly, celebrate the importance of the local in a global context. Democratic government will, I think, no longer focus on geographic and demographic districts as an exclusive basis for legitimization. Instead, it will recognize cultural diversity as a value to be enhanced. Instead of "nation-building" as a norm, we will think about how to preserve and cultivate humane living in multi-cultural environments that are, indeed, part of a global system. States will survive, but only as members of a hierarchy of political structures overlapping and criss-crossing each other in a glocalized world. Both nationalism and sovereignty will decline as popular values, to be replaced by cosmopolitanism and respect for cultural diversity. Although this may sound utopian, I believe it is a necessity if we are to avoid the descent into universal chaos and violence that now threatens the world.
[to be added]
See related documents  The IPSR Symposium || ISA8 Minn. Plan || Discourse Links 
See linked pages  Enclaves || Who's Indigenous || Gurr comments || Gurr2 comments || Tilley comments || The PER Report || Hall's comments || Response to Hall's Comments || Hall's paper ||Wilmer's paper