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Note: This memo is an edited version of a message I sent to Ted Gurr, in response to his note, to explain why I thought it would be useful for theory development to add enclave and exclave to our vocabulary. It is offered on a restricted basis to members of the ISA8 Panel on Indigenous Peoples and Stateless nations.
To: ISA8 Panelists
From: Fred W. Riggs
Ted Gurr recently wrote: "I fail to see the need for [enclaves and exclaves]. There is perfectly good existing terminology. All these national groups are subsumed by the generic term national peoples as used in the literature on ethnopolitics. My definition, from MINORITIES AT RISK, p.15, is 'regionally concentrated groups that have lost their autonomy or states but still preserve some of their cultural and linguistic distinctiveness and want to protect or reestablish some degree of politically separate existence.'"
In response, I wrote that I accept national peoples," as a generic term, but they can be sub-categorized, geographically, by whether they exist outside the homeland of a state or inside. That is the distinction that I have in mind when I use "enclave" and "exclave." Both terms are geographical, as defined in my dictionary -- you can find a fuller discussion of their meanings in my memo on "Enclave Nations: some "national peoples" live in exclaves, and others in enclaves, i.e., some are geographically separated from the country they belong to, but others are enclosed by it. It does make a difference. These two words provide a shorthand to make a distinction that requires a clause to explain -- moreover, since there is no standard clause, such explanations often set up variable distinctions.
We need the distinction, I think, because it helps us explain the history and prospects of national peoples (actually, I usually write ethnic nations to represent an overlapping concept that excludes some national peoples but includes their diasporas in addition to those living in a homeland). Many ethnic communities who do not claim the right of self-determination and political autonomy or independence are excluded from my notion of an "ethnic nation". By contrast, you include many of them in your broad category of "minorities," both as "communal contenders" and as "indigenous communities.," if I understand your usage. The utility of the en/exclave distinction, I think, becomes apparent when you think about ethnic nationalism in historical perspective.
You will find more about this in my paper for last year's ISA conference on my Web Page at Modernity of Ethnic Identity Had you been doing your research a half-century ago, most of the ethnic nations then mobilizing to seek independent statehood would have been exclaves: Indians, Muslims in India, Filipinos, Ceylonese, Burmese, Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalis, Senegalese, Algerians, activists in Mozambique -- to mention a few of them. They have now succeeded and their status has shifted from that of a "marginalized minority" to that of citizens in their own state.
Unfortunately, many of these activists became dominant minorities, producing marginalized minorities (or majorities?) as potential future rebels in today's enclave nations. If we adopt an historical perspective (which our panels in Toronto and Minneapolis strive to do), we cannot limit our attention to present-day minorities. When we add history and geography to our framework, we can generalize, I think, that modernity produced ethnic nationalism for the reasons spelled out in my Toronto paper. These nationalist movements have already generated a host of new states, and they promise to produce more -- or, at least, zones of autonomy within existing states.
When one asks for an explanation of the sequence in which such movements have succeeded -- or are likely to succeed -- their geographic relation to existing states becomes an important factor. In general, all the first ethnic nations to become states were exclaves (geographically separated from a metropole by bodies of water or land not embraced within the boundaries of their "mother" countries).
Of course, the number of homeland settlers in an exclave is an important variable --it greatly impeded the struggle of Algerians and Irish to become independent states. By settling more Israelis in Palestinian lands, the West Bank might be transformed in its ethnic population, undermining Palestinian claims that it is an exclave. Israel might claim, instead, that it has become an enclave.
This point highlights the fact that an enclave is often not a single nation -- instead, it usually contains two or more peoples with different identities, and the same is true of exclaves. Moreover, population movements, by settlers and /or refugees, can transform the ethnic status of such regions. Changes in the status of an enclave can also affect its ethnic identity: for example, by leading members of a dominant minority to leave as refugees. Thus, although we may see an enclave as a "minority people", in fact it is often a place (region, zone) with a mixed population, with both dominant and marginalized minorities.
Historically, the new states created since World War II are former exclaves, and virtually all the exclaves of the modern empires have become states (the exclaves of traditional empires gained their independence earlier, especially after World War I). The shift to liberation movements among enclaves started less than a decade ago. Most of them were peripheral enclaves or "border peoples" if we can these terms to designate communities living on the frontiers of expanded states. They included the Baltic Republics, and the many non-Russian states of the USSR --as well as Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia which split from the Serbian heartland of Yugoslavia.
Looking at the list of peoples contained in your MAR project, I see they are virtually all enclaves -- there are almost no exclaves left as minorities. Hong Kong was a British exclave but its recent union with China has terminated its status as a Chinese enclave. By contrast, Macao remains a Portuguese exclave and a Chinese enclave. Northern Ireland is more complex: I see the Unionists as wanting to preserve their current status as a British exclave, while the "Catholics" view themselves as an Irish enclave.
Although the Falklands and Hawaii are exclaves, respectively, of the UK and the USA, they are not likely to change their status soon because most of their inhabitants cherish the status quo. Bangladesh was able to secure its independence as an exclave, but as an enclave, Kashmir is unlikely to go to Pakistan. Lower resistance to independence for exclaves has by now enabled most of them to gain their independence. By contrast, independence movements in the many remaining enclaves will face greater resistance. The resulting focus of contemporary ethnic nationalism is on enclaves --as revealed by virtually all the groups reported in your Minorities at Risk project.
Although a few of them are "peripheral", most are located in "core" or "internal" regions of a country and hence more difficult to "liberate." As their peoples become mobilized or activated, however, we may expect them to generate more conflicts. That is why I thought we should have a panel at the ISA that explicitly recognizes the status and problems of enclave nations, divided into two sessions that focus first on indigenous peoples, and then on all the others, those I have called stateless ethnic nations.
Let me return to your note in which you wrote: "I distinguish three sub-types, consistent with usage and distinctions in the scholarly and international legal literature: ETHNONATIONALISTS ("regionally concentrated peoples with a history of organized political autonomy with their own state, traditional ruler, or regional government, who have supported political movements for autonomy..."); INDIGENOUS PEOPLES ("conquered descendants of earlier inhabitants of a region who live mainly in conformity with traditional social, economic, and cultural customs that are sharply distinct from those of dominant groups"); and NATIONAL MINORITIES ("segments of a transnational people with a history of organized political autonomy whose kindred control an adjacent state, but who now constitute a minority in the state in which they reside)".
I accept your terms and definitions. They characterize the ethnopolitics of the current period, but they do not specify their geographic or historical (place/time) contexts. I think it is important to understand that, historically, most of the states in which these "minorities" are now enclaves were formerly exclaves of the imperial powers. Most of the ethnonations, indigenous peoples and national minorities that are now claiming statehood or autonomy are non-peripheral enclaves in both the new states and the former empires.
These geographic concepts enable us to suggest a few more hypotheses. For example, the dictionary definition of an "enclave" specifies that it is "a country or part of a country" located within the borders of another country. Whether members see themselves as a whole country or just part of a country is not always clear -- the Albanians in Kosova (that's how they spell the name), for example, apparently are not united in their views -- some want to join Albania and others want independence. The same ambivalence marks Muslim Thais living near Malaysia. This means, of course, that some "national minorities" could also be classed as "ethnic nations."
Moreover, the populations in an enclave often include "minorities" who want to preserve the status quo -- e.g., Unionists in No. Ireland, non-Hawaiians in Hawaii, Anglophones and indigenous peoples in Quebec, Serbs in Kosova, Israelis settled in Palestine, etc. I see them as "minorities at risk," but not as ethnonationalists. Perhaps we could think of them as citizens of an exclave who feel threatened by the ethnonationalists. Borrowing from the Irish situation, we could speak of them as unionists. Do you have a better term to suggest? I suspect that in many enclaves, ethnonationalists confront more unionists than they do in exclaves. Does this not help us explain their historically late emergence?
Finally, I have a problem with your definition of indigenous peoples insofar as it specifies living "in conformity" with pre-modern culture and life-style. Thinking of the Maori or Hawaiians and many "Indians," I see them as highly acculturated to modern norms and life-styles, though often nostalgic for lost languages and culture, and willing to use them as justification for their ethnic nationalism. Indigenous people become ethnic nations when they mobilize to seek independence or autonomy. This is why my focus is on "ethnic nationalism," which is growing among indigenous peoples. Their status, therefore, is not permanent but may be transitional. Increasingly, they will not retain the characteristics you impute, by definition, to "indigenous peoples."
Concerning "national minorities," you wrote that the "concept was widely used in League of Nations debates in the 1920s, and ... it corresponds very closely to Fred's concept of "exclave." Actually, I would not equate "exclaves" with "national minorities." As explained above, "exclave" is a geographical concept involving the location of a community -- national minorities, I think, may be exclaves or enclaves, and folks living in the same region may define themselves as either or both -- e.g, the Northern Ireland case mentioned above.
Moreover, the citizens of the new states who won their independence as struggling ethnic nationalists or national minorities may now have become state nationalists, a term I use for those who seek to transform their own ethnic minorities to fit a dominant pattern -- e.g. Croatia trying to change its Serbian minority into "Croatians" is only repeating what the French did a century or two ago. We also, I think, need to recognize the problems affecting dominant minorities threatened with marginalization -- cf. Rwanda and Burundi for leading examples.
In this context, the dynamics of change involving ethnicity and nationalism needs to be studied in a global (IR) context, but you are no doubt better qualified than I am to talk about this aspect. My focus has been on the historical and geographic dimensions that need, I think, the concepts of enclave and exclave. I never intended to offer them as synonyms for any of the terms you and others are using. Rather, they are additions which belong, in my opinion, to the enriched vocabulary we need to analyze these phenomena and develop good explanatory theories.
We suffer from a paucity of terms, not a surplus, I think, which is why we so often overload our vocabulary by using one word to represent, confusingly, different though overlapping concepts. By adding to our vocabulary, therefore, we can enhance our capacity to analyze clearly.
Well, enough for now. I think you opened up an important line of questioning and we need to achieve as much clarification and consensus as we can before we meet in Minneapolis. At least, the tools should be available for our use and we should not have to argue about them. If we can do that, I think we can avoid a lot of confusing disagreement that often hampers clear thought about the important theoretical questions.
Sincerely, with aloha, Fred
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