Linked pages: Enclaves ||Note to Gurr ||Who's Indigenous ||Wilmer documents ||Tilley discourse ||Discourse Links 
Here is the note from Ted Gurr on my suggested use of enclave and exclave (I refer to them both as e-claves) together with some responses, including a comment by Franke Wilmer and my reactions. Further comments are invited. I hope we will be able to focus on substantive issues at our panel in Minneapolis without getting side-tracked into discussion of the meanings of words. However, before we meet, I hope we can agree on the most important terms. For earlier postings on this topic see links above.
TG=Ted Gurr; FW=Franke Wilmer; FR=Fred Riggs
1. TG: I am not in the least convinced by the reply in which you justify again the use of the
enclave/exclave terminology for what I prefer to call national peoples.
1. FR: What did I say that made you think I meant to use enclave/exclave as a synonym for national peoples? I must have written carelessly because my intent was to add to the vocabulary you have established so carefully a couple of concepts that would help us explain the historical context and prospects of ethnic nationalism. Sometimes national peoples mobilize outside the domain of a state (in exclaves) and sometimes within the boundaries of a state (enclaves). I see this distinction as pointing to one of the important contextual factors that also explains the success or failure or these movements: historically, the successful movements for national liberation during the past half century have arisen in exclaves -- virtually all current ethnonational movements exist within enclaves, as your MAR data shows. Precisely because enclave nations are surrounded by the territory of their "mother country" (I prefer metro-pol for this concept) they will experience much greater resistance to independence and may well settle for some kind of autonomy. One can always substitute other terms or phrases for these words -- e.g.,
I find such defining phrases not only cumbersome but also imprecise because they only tell part of the story involving issues of sovereignty and ethnicity that enclave and exclave connote. A fuller definition would explain some qualifications omitted here for brevity.
2. TG: Point of clarification: I am not sure you recognized the
taxonomic nature of my distinctions: At the highest level of abstraction I
distinguish between national and minority peoples. National peoples is
the covering term that incorporates your notions of enclave and exclave.
My subtypes are indigenous peoples, ethnonationalists, and national
minorities (the last coinciding approximately with your "exclave"). I
repeat the point that all three terms are in general useage, which is more
than can be said for yours.
2. FR: Actually, I'm' pleased by your taxonomy, although a bit confused about it. Are you classing all minority peoples as not national peoples? Your subtypes include indigenous peoples, ethnonationalists, and national minorities -- are you saying that "national minorities" are "minority peoples" or "national peoples"? Are you also saying that indigenous peoples are not "ethnonationalists"? I would have thought that some indigenous peoples are mobilized (or mobilizing) to demand autonomy or independence -- that's certainly true of our Hawaiian activists -- and could, therefore, be classed as "ethnonationalists." I would also think of them as a "national minority" -- at least those living outside Hawaii in California and elsewhere. Perhaps if I studied your MAR data more carefully I would understand your logic better, but I am puzzled. Let me add that I hope the papers at our panel will focus on ethnic nationalism as it has evolved among indigenous peoples (however defined) and among communities like the Scots and Kurds whether or not they see themselves (or are viewed by others) as "indigenous."
Obviously, many interesting points can be made about any of these communities that do not categorize themselves as nationalists or ethnic nationalists. Their art, ceremonies, legends, history, language, religion, etc. are all worthy of attention. Where I think we agree is in our concern about ethnopolitics -- although I guess that could also be subdivided into two overlapping categories: there is the ethnopolitics of those seeking autonomy or independence, by contrast with those seeking more recognition and rights as citizens of the state where they live. Both are important and interesting but my own hope for our panel is that we will focus on the aspirations and activities of ethnic communities who don't want to be citizens of the country where they live, and would rather have their own state or at least a self-governing status within that state.
3. TG: Other points: First,
your terms are implicitly state-centric, i.e. they categorize groups
according to whether they are located within or outside an existing state.
This may be useful for focusing attention on the politics of ethnic
identity and action, in the sense that groups' geopolitical location helps
determine their strategies. But it has the same limitation as the term
"minorities," i.e. it defines groups in terms of their relation to others
rather than in their own or generic terms. The"Minorities at Risk
Project" has been rightly criticized on this ground.
3.FR: Sorry, I really don't understand the
significance of your point. In many contexts, undoubtedly, every
community can be understood as an intrinsic group with its own history,
culture, interests, activities, etc. Cultural Anthropologists have,
traditionally, given us a wealth of data at this level -- e.g., how the
Kwakiutl behave when they gave no thought to folks who were not Kwakiutl.
Skinner's wonderful book on the Chinese in Thailand virtually ignores the
Thai setting -- he reports a lot about the Chinese but misses a great deal
that we can learn only by studying how the Thai and Chinese relate to each
other in Thailand. A political scientist might similarly describe the
internal politics of "Kurdistan," but I think we would miss most of the
interest which involves the relations of Kurds to Turkey, Iraq, Iran and
Syria -- and, indeed, to the great powers and the world-system. As Franke
Wilmer notes in the annex reproduced below, we need to a attend to the
subjective self-perceptions of any community as well as the external
"objectifications" often used to categorize people, specify their rights and duties, etc. I
completely agree and hope that our panel will include both perspectives. We need to think about
how people outside any community view and treat them because that greatly influences their fate
and self-images in addition to whatever subjective perceptions they may have started with.
Indeed, I see the outside and the inside as interactive and neither can be understood without the
countervailing point of view.
In the world today, and in the context of
ethnic politics, I have been assuming that we were in agreement that it is
also important to understand both how communities see themselves in their
relations with others and also how they are affected by actions or forces
originating in the states and the world-system where they find themselves.
I would have thought you might want to stress that in addition to the
state-relations of any ethnic nation since, every ethno-political group is
also responding to many forces generated outside these states -- my work
on the <riggs.htm> "modernity" of ethnic identity focuses attention
on the world historical context that has generated both the motives and
the means for ethnic nationalism to express itself.
Nevertheless, for the purposes of our panel, I have assumed that ethnic nationalism as expressed by indigenous peoples (and other non-state nations) focuses on problems generated by the state in which they happen to live or which possesses them. "Minorities" typically want to be better treated by states in which they are marginalized, and sometimes, as ethnic nations, they want to be emancipated so as to become self-governing outside that state's control. In either case, the state sets the immediate parameters for ethnopolitics. In such cases, I believe, it does make a difference whether an ethnic nation is based inside or outside the state (as an enclave an exclave).
4. TG: Second, the state system periodically goes through periods of state-making and
state-breaking. As boundaries are redrawn, the status of groups as exclaves/enclaves often
changes. In my view it is simpler to refer to all as "national peoples," distinguishing where
necessary for clarity between those that are "national peoples with states" and "national peoples
without states" rather than to use your terminology.
4. FR: Here, I think, we are in substantive agreement -- although when you write, "national peoples with state," I think you really mean peoples within a state. If they had a state, would they not be a nation state? In my usage, an ethnic nation by definition is an ethnic community that would like to have its own state but does not yet have one. My historical argument is that such "national peoples" were, for the most part, able to achieve independence during the past half century if they were based outside their metro-pol. Some that have not gained or sought independence can be explained by the dominance of settlers in the exclave -- consider the Falklands (Maldives) for example, or Tahiti -- or overriding strategic considerations, as in Gibraltar, or Guantanamo.
By contrast, when such peoples are located inside the boundaries of a state, they face much greater obstacles. That's why virtually all the "minorities at risk" reported in your MAR project are located within states. I find it simpler to refer to them as enclave nations than to write "national peoples located within a state." But that's a personal preference I would not want to impose on anyone. So long as we agree that we mean the same thing by different expressions, we can easily translate our thoughts.
However, I'm still confused by your usage as discussed in #2 above -- are minorities and indigenous peoples never nations, in your usage, and are ethnonations not sometimes indigenous and minorities? In any case, regardless of what you call them, it is possible for them to be based within a state (as enclaves), or to be located outside the boundaries of the state that possesses them, or of which they are a part. Neither "enclave" nor "exclave" should ever be used as a synonym for "national people" or any of its sub-categories -- they place them geographically but do not characterize them ethnically. To designate the characteristics of the inhabitants of an enclave we need to add another word, e.g. enclave nation to refer to an ethnic nation located in an enclave. An "enclave peoples" would include all the people living in an enclave -- e.g. Serbs and Albanians in Kosova, or the Unionists and Republicans in Ulster.
5. TG: Third, many and perhaps most of the groups about which you
(and I) want to generalize are not neatly categorized as enclaves or
exclaves. The Kurds are a national people who are distributed in
significant numbers across four states. Are they four enclaves, four
exclaves, or one national people? . Are they two enclaves, one enclave
and one exclave, or one indigenous people? The Hungarians control a
national state and also live in significant, politically-organized numbers
in Romania and Slovakia, where they control some local governments, and in
Ukraine and Serbia, which make no provisions at all for local autonomy for
national minorities. How does your terminology fit them?
5. FR: To describe the cases you mention I supplement my "e-clave"
terms with others which you will find in my writings, all linked to the discourse links on my Web Page. Let me go
through your examples to indicate how I would talk about them.
You write, "The Kurds are a national people. Are they four enclaves, four exclaves, or one national people?" Why do you see that as an either/or question? I would say the Kurds are a national people, but a divided nation (as are the Koreans, Pathans, Azeri, Armenians, Basques, Chinese, and formerly the Germans). Members of a divided nation may or may not seek unification.
As for the status of the parts of a divided nation: in the case of Kurds, all their parts are enclaves (of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria) and none are exclaves since no part is territorially separated from its metro-pol. Kurdistan as a whole is a divided nation, not an enclave; but its parts are enclaves, not exclaves. This can easily be explained by long phrases, but the use of the e-clave terms simplifies the task -- as least, that's what I think.
When part of a divided nation is a state -- as in Korea, China, former
Germany -- the problems they face are significantly different from those
faced by a divided nation all of whose parts are enclaves. In the
Armenian case, Nagorno Karabakh is an enclave of Azerbaijan but seeks to
be united with Armenia, now a state. In the Chinese case, part of this
nation (i.e., Hong Kong), was a British exclave, but it has now become a
Chinese enclave in the sense that Hong Kongers see themselves as
significantly different from mainland Chinese. I see no difficulty with
The status of a nation changes with changes
in state boundaries -- that's the point of the e-clave distinctions. No
nation is inherently an enclave, or an exclave -- and, of course, nations
may be dispersed and have neither an enclave nor an exclave --e.g., the
Romany and Jews (before Israel was established). Enclave nationals may
also have conflicting ideas about whether they want to create their own
state, or become unified with an existing state -- I believe Muslims
living in southern Thailand are divided between nationalists who demand a
state of their own, and sub-nationalists who prefer integration with
I guess I should talk more about the status
of ethnic nations that don't have an e-clave -- actually, my third
category of modern ethnicity consists of such peoples, products of
imperialism, like Chinese in Thailand or Indians in Uganda. They have no
desire to "return" to their original homelands which mean they are neither
in an enclave nor an exclave. I think I have been clear that national
peoples may live in enclaves, in exclaves, or in neither. Some enclaves
are empty, like Birobidzhan, known in the Soviet Union as the "Jewish
Autonomous Region," although my understanding is that almost no Jews lived
You then write: "The Maya-speaking peoples
live in both Guatemala (where they are a numerical majority) and Mexico
(where they are a regional minority). My guess is that Mayans do not have
any enclaves, though they have "nodes" of concentration -- otherwise, they
are dispersed in the two countries you mention, and they are politically
marginalized. My understanding of both enclaves and exclaves is that they
have boundaries, but not necessarily a national majority. Although they
are conspicuous in Chiapas, the Commandante Marcos says he fights for
them, my guess is that his revolutionary movements uses them as a front.
But no doubt you know much more about this than I do -- can you explain
the situation there?
Next, you mention: "The Hungarians control a national state and also live in significant, politically-organized numbers in Romania and Slovakia, where they control some local governments, and in Ukraine and Serbia, which make no provisions at all for local autonomy for national minorities" In my terminology, I distinguish between the Hungarian state whose citizens include various ethnic minorities, and the Hungarian ethnic nation, which includes ethnic Hungarians anywhere in the world who maintain this ethnic identity.
If Hungarians in Transylvania are seen as locally prominent, even if not dominant or a majority, I think we could classify that province as an "enclave." No doubt some of them would like to rejoin Hungary from which they were severed after World War I, but I doubt if any seek political independence. Those who fear Romanian persecution are likely to try to flee to Hungary. I've not heard much about Hungarians in Slovakia but my guess is that they are a minority without political aspirations -- but I should look to see what you have about them in the MAR materials. Some national minorities, like the Hungarians in Transylvania, have an identifiable homeland in which they are numerically numerous, though not necessarily a numerical majority and certainly they almost never constitute 100% of the population -- most enclaves have mixed populations. Moreover, insofar as members of an ethnic nation live in diaspora, their homeland may actually contain only a fraction of them. How ethnic nations relate to e-claves in which some members live is an empirical question, not one determined by the definition of the concept which should, I think, be based on geography: where a place is located in relation to the state that controls it-- i.e., inside for enclaves and outside for exclaves.
My understanding of most Hungarians in diaspora is that they are content to assimilate in their hostlands -- they love to visit Hungary and see their relatives but they are not mobilized ethno-politically. In short, I see the "e-clave" terms as a useful addition to our vocabulary, but in no way a substitute for any existing terms. They may replace cumbersome explanatory phrases, however, and this is why I like to use them -- but by all means use the phrases instead.
6. TG: You are not the
only scholar proposing new terminology in our field of study. Gabriel
Schaeffer and associates wrote an influential article several years ago
about "diaspora peoples," a fuzzy but stretchable concept that seems to
encompass groups as diverse as Muslims in Europe and Hungarians (above).
Some are so taken by the term that they have initiated a new journal with
a title something like Diasporas (I cannot locate the announcement).
Perhaps there are some special properties or dynamics that distinguish
"diaspora peoples" from other national peoples and minorities. But I
think this needs to be demonstrated before we accept terminological
proliferation. The same applies to enclave/exclave.
6. FR: Since I use diaspora a lot
myself, I am glad to learn about Gabriel Schaeffer and I have heard of the
journal, DIASPORA. However, it strikes me it need not be a
"fuzzy but stretchable concept." I understand it to mean members of an
ethnic nation who have dispersed to places outside their
homeland. Muslims, I view, as a religious category applicable to anyone
who accepts the Koran and Mohammed but may live anywhere in the world and
belong to any of many different nations. I would rather think about the
globally dispersed adherents of any world religion as a kind of ecumene
rather than a diaspora. However, one of the senses of "diaspora,"
according to my dictionary (it's scarcely a new term) is that of a
religious minority, -- it could include Christians or Jews in Iran, for
example, but not all Muslims in the world. I consider this a silly use of
the word which has much more important meanings, starting with the Jewish
Diaspora, and by extension, including such dispersed communities as
Armenians, Tibetans, Iranians, Hungarians, and Chinese. The relevant
sense of this word, as defined in my dictionary, is "any group that has
been dispersed outside its traditional homeland." Did Schaeffer claim
that his use of the term was novel? He could have found good authority
for his usage in Webster. Incidentally, my use of "enclave" and "exclave"
is also not novel -- you will find the words are well established and
reported in dictionaries.
In my usage, every ethnic nation has two main components, its diaspora and its homeland residents --I do use a neologism to talk about them (an antonym for "diaspora") but I won't mention the word here! To restrict this discourse to its basic theme, let me say that I doubt if any ethnonation (including indigenous peoples who seek autonomy or statehood) has an exclusive enclave -- i.e., where only its own people live and where every resident belongs to the nation. Far more commonly, enclave nations view their homeland as a base but recognize co-nationals in diaspora. Clearly to assume that all members of an ethnic nation live in their enclave (or an exclave) is absurd. However, it strikes me as equally unrealistic not to include a nation's home base (its enclave or exclave) when trying to understand its ethno-political conduct. The Romany are exceptional among "national minorities" in lacking such a base and it clearly affects their identity and aspirations. Actually, I was once told by a Rom sociologist that his people objected strenuously to being categorized as a "national minority" because they lacked any national identity. They see themselves as an "international people" but not a nation.
To supplement the foregoing remarks, here are some comments just received from Franke Wilmer which I will also respond to:
Although I think a lot of postmodern theorizing is more indulgent than
useful, I do think that in theorizing now the idea of categorization has
been problematized; that is, we need to take into account both the
objectification problem and the subjective nature of identity and
self-categorization. Part of the objectification problem is also that as
soon as the issues of legal protection or rights and political
entitlements and obligations is introduced, categorization takes on an
objectified role; but it's subjectivity (i.e. identity) is not lost in the
7. FR: If you find postmodern theorizing indulgent, I find it mystifying and wonder if we need to
invoke its stipulations. As to the substance of your remark, I completely agree that there is
always an objective and subjective aspect, or I would rather speak of the external and internal --
how outsiders view any community by contrast with how members think of themselves. Legal
rights and duties are imposed on individuals and communities by the state but communities also
have their own norms which often conflict with those of the state -- there's a huge literature on
this in the discussions of adat law in Indonesia as understood by the Dutch, Indian traditions as
viewed by the British, and no doubt the laws and customs of our first nations as viewed by
Americans, Canadians, and other settler communities. What is the problem? Is there not always
some degree of reciprocity -- each side affects the other. As members of the dominant
community, we tend to accept its categories and I think we agree that we should also try to
penetrate the minds of ethnic communities to learn how they understand themselves and us.
Ideally, I would hope, they should join us in this exercise -- that why I was so excited to discuss
these questions with a Rom sociologist -- we almost never can learn how our "Gypsies" see the
world. I would guess there are both subjective and objective aspects of the external and internal
perspective on any ethnic community -- it must be manifold in all cross-cultural interactions..
8. TG: Secondly, postmodern critique also
requires that we attend to context. Applied to the probem of defining
indigenous peoples it means that (1) indigenous is not only an
analytical/legal/political category but a self-defined identity; (2) it
has become a politically significant category that attaches to legal
status and thus whether one is recognized as indigenous now has both costs
and benefits attached to it; and (3) attending to context means
explicating the political situation in which the term has come to have
8. FR: Why must we introduce "postmodern"
again? I have stressed context for years without ever thinking of it as
postmodern. On (1), you will find in my glossary a distinction between
exonym and endonym as two forms of ethnonym,
the names used to identify any ethnic community -- the first as invented
by outsiders and the second as used by members. Of course, they change
over time: "Indian" was originally a blatant exonym, but members of the
American Indian Movement have accepted it as an endonym. No doubt
"indigenous" is used both by outsiders and insiders when discussing their
duties and rights -- but this is a category rather than an ethnonym. No
doubt the word has different connotations depending on who is using it,
but I don't see that it belongs to outsiders or insiders since both use
As for (2), I completely agree but must point out that this applies to all labels that have become
encoded in constitutions and laws. Whether an act is "murder" or "manslaughter" has grave
implications for victims and perpetrators, and serious differences of opinion occur among those
involved depending on their situation. If laws spell out rewards or penalties for being
"indigenous," it obviously follows that everyone affected will have strong opinions which are
likely to differ according to one's situation.
Concerning (3) I agree, again, that understanding context is needed, but not only politically -- does it not also affect economic opportunities and status, geographic residence and history (that's where enclaves and exclaves come in). Both of the e-clave terms are highly contextual. You will find Romany and Tibetans scattered around the world and they are proud peoples but the context for Roms is lost in history, whereas the context for Tibetans is almost current events.
9. TW: From (1) and (3) it also follows that the
people to whom the term is applied must be participants in any process in
which its attachment to them has political significance...
9. FR: You go on to discuss the Kurds and Mohawks and I'm not sure I understand the differences between Ted Gurr and myself that you refer to. From what you say, I think we would probably be in agreement substantively though, as I mentioned above in #5, we need to clear up some confusion about what's an enclave or an exclave. Obviously there are many very important differences between the Kurds and Mohawks, but both can be discussed in our panel. What links them and what distinguishes them. All comparative studies start with some similarities to support the inclusion of two objects in a comparison and then seek to explain the differences. These differences involve both the experiences of Kurds and Mohawks, and the conditions they experience. Both are divided nations insofar as interstate boundaries partition their members, and but we may suppose there are significant contextual differences between the countries which enclose the Kurds and those enclosing the Mohawks. Of course, there are many other differences as well -- the point is can we learn anything interesting by comparing them? One point you make that I found interesting: in the Mohawk context, there are advantages to claiming the status of an "indigenous" person, whereas no such advantage accrues to Kurds -- that's a contextual difference between the policies of the countries in which they live. I don't see any difference between how Ted Gurr and I would describe these situations, however.
10. FW: On the term indigenous in general, as it is used
politically today, I think that it should be
reserved for peoples (1) whose cultural existence is aboriginal AND (2) who have been subjected
to forced assimilation as a result of colonization.
10. VT: Your point illustrates the problem that led me to raise questions about the unifying theme of our two sessions in Minneapolis. The first session will deal only with indigenous peoples in the sense you have just explained. When we were asked to include papers on the Scots and Kurds, I had to ask myself and you whether they could be categorized as "indigenous." My sense is that you would not apply this term to them, yet you recognize a basis for comparison. What term links them so that we could say they all share some characteristics that make them instructive examples for comparative study? I suggested that all of them are examples of enclave nations: they populate domains under the control of an enclosing state and yearn for autonomy or independence. They are not exclave nations. That's important because the history of exclave nations -- including few if any "indigenous peoples," has been radically different.
11. VT: On the second criteria, the idea of "result of
colonization" is broadly conceived to mean
both colonization by Europeans which produced settlers states (states created by settlers) and
states created as a result of decolonization which then reproduced the state-building practices of
settler states through modernization schemes... , they reproduce the same kind of relationship
between, for instance, Kenya and the Maasai and that between the US and the Mohawks and so
on. In India it is with the "scheduled tribes" and so on.
11. FR. Again, we are in full agreement --
your extensions of the original notion of "indigenous" -- I call them
settlerized peoples -- includes all the tribalized
peoples of the new states. They did not invent the notion of a "tribe,"
however -- that was imposed on them by imperial conquest or by
anthropologists, but the post-independence regimes have largely maintained
their marginalized stratus. Since they cannot meaningfully be described
as "tribal" in any cultural sense, I call them "tribalized" because that's
a status imposed on them by the states where they usually inhabit enclaves
-- though some may be widely dispersed. The Gurkha's for example, in
India, were widely used throughout the British empire, as were the Sikhs.
I expect most of them resent being called "tribal," but that's a category
imposed on them from outside.
Even if we can include both settlerized and tribalized communities as "indigenous," we are still left with ancient minorities in Europe that are not viewed as "indigenous" by either of these criteria. My aim in suggesting the "enclave nation" idea was that it provides a useful label to pin on a wide range of ethno-national communities which do have a homeland enclosed with a state which dominates them, and from which they seek liberation. It includes everyone in the UN (Cobo) definition of "indigenous" plus others whom they do not so recognize, but I think members of ENMISA ought to see as having comparable problems.
See linked pages:
Linked pages: Enclaves ||Note to Gurr ||Who's Indigenous ||Wilmer documents ||Tilley discourse ||Discourse Links