by Fred W. Riggs
Linked pages:  Discourse Links || Enclave Nationalism || Who's Indigenous || Gurr comments || Gurr2 comments || Tilley comments || The PER Report || Hall's comments ||Response to Hall's Comments || Hall's paper (draft) || Riggs' Paper
At the last ISA conference, in Toronto, Jonathan Friedman, Tom Hall,
Majid Tehranian and I discussed the development of ethnic nationalism in a
long-term world-systemic context. In that context, it seemed clear that
the collapse of industrial empires created a host of new states whose
boundaries had been shaped by the exigencies of colonial rule. For the
most part, this process both reflected and encouraged the rise of
nationalism in external dependencies whose leaders were driven by hopes
for industrial development and democratic government resembling those
achieved in their metropoles. In this form, ethnic nationalism evolved
primarily in exclaves, the external possessions of the
world's empires, and led to the creation of states like Algeria, India,
Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal, and the Philippines.
ENCLAVES. The success of
these movements has now generated a second great wave of ethnic
nationalism arising within the boundaries of many of the worlds state's,
their enclosed peoples living in enclaves. This
phenomenon involves both the old and the new states although we normally
fail to notice the similarity because our tendency to dichotomize the
developed and underdeveloped world, the North and the South, has led us to
assume that each has a completely different rationale and dynamics.
Putting both into a single world-system framework, however, may help us
understand that in both cases, similar dynamics are at work. If we stress
the political and historical rather than the cultural and geographical
dimensions of this process, we might understand that ethnic nationalism
has shifted its locus, at the end of the 20th century, from
exclaves to enclaves rather than from South to North. This is a
historical rather than a geographical process, a political rather than a
cultural phenomenon: it involves the enclosing of cultural pockets inside
a country by contrast with the conquest of external dependencies.
For historical reasons, this political
difference has been interpreted as a kind of cultural/geographic
distinction between the indigenous peoples found in
"Northern" countries, and ethnic nations, viewed
primarily as a "Southern" problem. This geographic
a cultural distinction between more and less developed societies, (the
North and the South) and between more primitive or "tribal" societies
classed as "indigenous peoples," and "ethnic nations" who as seen as
"developing," if not "developed." Although the starting point for our
Minneapolis panel admittedly involved a focus on "indigenous" nationalism,
we did not buy into the "tribalist" notion. Indeed, after looking at the
growing movements for sovereignty among "Native Americans," "Hawaiians,"
"Maoris," "Sami," and other such first nations -- communities often vested
with their own Web Pages, constitutional and legal traditions, we decided
to look more broadly at the current status of ethnic nationalism anywhere
in the world.
WHO'S INDIGENOUS? This thought was reinforced by proposals to include papers on
Scottish nationalism (from Josephine Squires) and on the Kurdish movement (from Alynna Lyon
and Emek Ucarer). Our effort to decide if they could be viewed as "indigenous" peoples
compelled us to look more carefully at the definition of indigenous. Since we already had enough
papers for a good panel on communities traditionally viewed as "indigenous," we decided to
propose a second session for groups that shared some aspects of indigenousness even though they
did not see themselves as "indigenous." With that in mind, we raised this question with members
of our panel and received some illuminating responses. We decided to use the term, non-state
nations for the second session, leaving open the question whether or not the Scots and Kurds
could be viewed as "indigenous." One of our first responses came from Harold Orbach who wrote
on July 4, 1997 (appropriately on Independence Day) this note:
As to the meaning of "indigenous," I believe this is a "political"
with no clear scientific meaning today. It appears to signify "original"
inhabitants when western colonial powers arrive to colonize/conquer/rule
some other area. It also appears to apply largely to technically
primitive peoples -- pre-literate, often pre-metal culture and of
small population size. A UN expert would be of help. I have rarely
seen the term applied to the "subject" peoples of non-western nations,
e.g., Tibetans, Mongolians, Druze, Kurds, the various "tribal" peoples
recognized for special treatment in India, Timorians, the Ainu, Taiwanese,
Okinawans, "pygmies," etc., etc.
"It seems to be employed in connection with UN decolonization and similar
processes. It also, of course, is a favored term of anthropologists who
are intent on "saving" remaining "indigenous" people's from the intrusion
of "civilization" and the "destruction" of "original cultures." But this
rarely extends to Sorbs in Germany, or Rom ("so-called Gypsies"), or
Lapps, although the EC has promulgated laws respecting the
languages of "ethnic" communities such as Bretons, etc. There is a
special concern with the various African, Asian and American native
peoples who were colonized by Europeans but little concern over the
peoples colonized by Arab/Islamic empires: Berbers, African tribal people
in Sudan, Mauretania, etc., or in Asia. Thus, in non-colonial arenas
"ethnic minority" serves the place of "indigenous" for peoples who have
moved into the modern world to some degree.
As Orbach's examples demonstrate, the term, indigenous, has been applied, for the most part, to
ancient ethnic minorities living within the industrialized states of the world, especially in the states
settled by colonists from Europe, but also increasingly in the new states created by the collapse of
the industrial empires. Confusion arises, I think, because a variety of criteria are superimposed on
each other and radical changes in the modern world have led to transformations that make these
combinations anachronistic. If we could disentangle the main variables, we might be able to
identify more easily what exists and what we want to look at.
Among these variables the most important appear to be:
Ted Gurr and his associates underline traditional cultural levels in
their definition of "indigenous peoples" for the purposes of the Minorities at Risk
project. This corresponds to the criterion of
"technically primitive peoples -- pre-literate..." mentioned above in the
quotation from Orbach. When we identify contemporary indigenous peoples,
however, we find that many of them are no longer "primitive" or
"pre-literate" -- and all of us have had primitive ancestors if we look
back far enough. Although at a given time, historically, cultural level
was seen as distinctive, my inclination is to view this criterion as
essentially irrelevant for the study of any group of peoples in the
present day. Moreover, the concept is inherently vulnerable to abuse by
racists who assume some kind of genetic difference blocks the development
of "primitive" -- or even "colored" (!) -- people. Since the notion
strikes me as both dangerous and inaccurate, I prefer not to use it.
That leaves us with three more relevant and important variables: age, power and place.
AGE AND POWER. Franke Wilmer offered
us a useful retrospective account, starting with some formal efforts to
define "indigenous peoples in terms of age and power. . She told us that
in 1974 the National Indian Brotherhood in Canada organized and sponsored
the first contemporary international meeting of indigenous
peoples. They decided to define themselves as people living in
countries which have a population composed of differing ethnic or racial
groups who are descendants of the earliest populations living in the area
and who do not as a group control the national government of the countries
within which they live (Sanders 1980). This concept links age and power
by its focus on the earliest inhabitants of a country when they are
To discuss these criteria we need more succinct terms to summarize each of them. The age of a
community may be characterized as autochthonous when we are thinking about the earliest
inhabitants of any country and assume that they have preserved their identity under successive
waves of conquest and immigration. A vaguer but more familiar term might be first peoples. We
can use both of these terms as synonyms to refer to contemporaries who claim descent from the
earliest occupants of a place.
As for power, it is indeed difficult to measure the amount of power exercised by any community,
but it is easier to see whether or not they have their own state. When a nation is seen as the
dominant community of a state, we may think of it as a nation-state. However, this familiar term
is ambiguous since it often means an "independent state," many of which are multi-ethnic and lack
a clear national identity or dominant nation. I use state by itself to represent this concept -- and
because of its ambiguity, I avoid using "nation-state." Instead, I use a neologism, ethno-state, to
refer to any state dominated by an ethnic community -- Denmark, Thailand, Iran and Greece
come to mind as states dominated by Danes, Thais, Iranians, and Greeks, respectively, even
though, of course, there are substantial minorities in each of these states. The notion of a state
composed exclusively of members of a single ethnic community is an ideal type which, I think, has
no real world examples -- perhaps Iceland comes closest to this ideal. Such a state may be called
an ethnically-homogeneous-state, or a national state. The concept is important as a powerful
symbol, but it lacks real world examples.
By contrast with the notion of an ethno-state, we may talk about stateless nations, defined as any
ethnic community whose members (at least some of whose members) think of themselves as a
"nation" but they lack power in any state. Since "nation" is often used to mean a "state" -- as in
the name, United Nations -- we could make this term less ambiguous by inserting "ethnic," and
writing stateless ethnic nation. Since this concept is fundamental for our present purposes, it is
convenient to have an acronym for it -- I shall, therefore, use SEN to mean a "stateless ethnic
Because the excesses of super-nationalistic extremists as manifest in genocide and the persecution
of outsiders (the non-members of a nation) have brought the idea of nationalism into disrepute
among liberals, we need to remember its more positive side and its basic rationale. When
arbitrary rule by hereditary monarchs came under attack, notably in post-Westphalian Europe, it
became necessary to find a new source of legitimacy for any government if arbitrary rule by
dictators (whether as military bosses or centralized political parties) was to be avoided.
Representative governance ("democracy") came to be idealized on the premise that nations would
provide a new source of legitimacy, replacing the divine right of kings. Although a fuzzy notion
at first, the idea that "nations" are ethnically homogeneous and capable of self-rule gradually came
into focus and gained widespread acceptance. By contrast, heterogeneous collections of peoples
(multi-cultural societies) were seen as incapable of exercising effective sovereignty and vulnerable
to internal conflicts that would lead to endemic violence and civil war.
Because, in the real world, most states have heterogeneous populations, nationalist dreams
motivated efforts, at the domestic level, to assimilate all residents through nation-forming
processes or to eliminate outsiders by more or less ruthless means, including genocide in some
notorious cases. At the inter-state level, nationalism prompted expansionist drives by some states
seeking to bring all members of their own "nation" within their borders and, simultaneously, it
motivated minorities who felt unwelcome or threatened by state policies to mobilize nationalist
movements dedicated to the struggle for independence or autonomy for their own members -- i.e.,
to create a SEN, an ethnic nation struggling to establish its own state.
We might re-phrase the criteria based on age and power that were used at the 1974 conference in
Canada to say that they defined "indigenous people" as "autochthonous SENs" -- i.e., first
nations that lack power. Franke Wilmer points out that there are between four and five thousand
distinct ethnic groups in the world today, living in fewer than two hundred states. Consequently,
this broad definition of "indigenous" peoples could be applied to thousands of groups in all parts
of the world (Nietschmann 1987) . Of course, many communities that see themselves as a "first
people" do not seek to establish their own state -- we may refer to them as autochthonous
groups. However, even if we subtract the ethnic groups that do not see themselves as "nations"
with a right to self-determination and statehood, there are clearly many more autochthonous
SENS than there are states -- if many of them were to achieve statehood, the number of states in
the world would be vastly increased, and many of them would be very small and poor. Even with
a lot of international assistance, would it be possible for them to carry out the functions normally
exercised by states?
PLACE. When the
implications of this concept were later discussed in the United Nations,
both state and indigenous representatives agreed that it would be
desirable to have a narrower definition that would limit the use of
"indigenous" geographically, using the term to refer only to "tribal,"
"native" or "aboriginal" peoples (i.e., autochthonous SENs) living in
states formed as a result of European colonization. In its narrowest
construction, this notion limits indigenous peoples to those mentioned by
Robert T. Coulter, an indigenous lawyer and advocate who refers, in common
sense terms, to "American-Indians and people like that." This, of course,
is the first sense of "indigenous" mentioned above by Orbach when he
refers to peoples whom Western colonists conquered and ruled.
Geographically, these countries cluster in the Americas and Australia/New
Zealand, with a few scattered places elsewhere. We could refer to them
collectively as settler states, using a kind of geo-historical
notion that identifies places where a particular kind of process occurred.
Unfortunately, I cannot find any term to identify specifically the peoples
who were there when the settlers arrived and conquered them. To
improvise, I shall refer to them as settlerized peoples.
Historically, European colonization preceded
and paved the way for the Industrial Revolution, occurring in sparsely
populated lands. Later, as the Industrial Revolution developed, European
states were able to conquer much more densely populated countries in Asia,
Africa and the "Middle East" which could be exploited economically by
colonial merchants, administrators and armies, but colonization was
scarcely possible, except in small patches. During this process, direct
rule was imposed wherever the imperial conquerors fancied that important
economic advantages could be secured, but here and there it seemed
apparent that the costs of conquest would exceed any possible economic
gains. In such areas the imperial powers used various forms of indirect
rule or ignored communities that could be expected to govern themselves
without troubling their neighbors. Although different names were used,
many of these areas were classed as tribal, a term still used in
many new states formed after their liberation from imperial rule. As
Wilmer reports, pressures were exercised at the UN to include them under
the rubric of "indigenous" peoples. She mentions, for example:
peoples like the Masai (a tribal
community living in the Kenyan-Tanzanian border area) since they
constitute a distinct tribal people who were self-governing prior to
colonization but, because of colonization, their political destiny is now
controlled from outside by the postcolonial governments of Kenya and
Tanzania. They also referred to the peoples joined through the Cordillera
Peoples Alliance in the Philippines because they were self-determining
prior to European colonization but now live subject to the authority of a
state created as a result of colonization.
Anthropologists have long struggled to give the word tribal an objective meaning but it has
acquired so many senses that it can scarcely ever be used precisely. Certainly, in the context of
the world's new states, it is not only fuzzy in meaning but often carries pejorative connotations,
leading me to avoid using the word here. However, in parallel with settlerized, we can use
tribalized to speak of peoples who, under imperial rule, were classified as tribal. In India the
peoples classed as "tribal" under British rule were clustered together in a list now known as the
"scheduled tribes." If we accept the UN's decision to
expand the geo-historical context of
indigenous peoples from the settlerized to the tribalized peoples of the world, we arrive at a
concept that has some face validity.
It greatly broadens the range of indigenous
peoples by including ethnic communities not only in the settler states but
also in many of the new states created by modern imperialism.
The original criterion that indigenous peoples were survivors in states
formed by European colonists was expanded to include "tribal" [really,
tribalized] peoples in states created on the ashes of collapsed
European empires. As a result, UN discussions on the status and rights of
indigenous peoples now typically include many tribalized groups in the
Third World, although the experience of settlerized
communities (in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the
Americas) remains the model for defining indigenous peoples.
When a Working Group of the UN
Sub-Commission, under Jose Martinez Cobo, took up this question, it
adopted the following definition, which has since been referred to as the
"Cobo definition." It includes all four of the criteria identified here
-- level, age, power, and place -- as we can see in the following UN
characterization of indigenous peoples. My terms are bracketed in italics
following this more complex and euphemistic language:
Populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who
inhabited the present territory of a country [autochthonous]
wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or
ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them
and, by conquest, settlement or other means [settlerized],
reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial situation [marginalized
and stateless]; who today live more in conformity with their
particular social, economic and cultural customs and traditions
[primitive] rather than the institutions of the country of which
they now form a part [enclave], under a state structure that
incorporates mainly the national, social and cultural characteristics
[modern] of other segments of the population that are
Although they have not suffered conquest or colonization, isolated or marginal groups existing in
the country should be regarded as covered by the notion of "Indigenous Populations" for the
a) they are descendants of groups which were in the territory of the country at the time when other groups of different cultures or ethnic origins arrived there;
b) precisely because of their isolation from other segments of the country's population they have preserved almost intact the customs and traditions of their ancestors which are similar to those characterized as Indigenous;
c) they are, even if only formally, placed under a State structure
which incorporates national, social and cultural characteristics alien to
theirs (U.N., UNESCO, ref: E/Cn.4./Sub.2/L.566, 1982).
Wilmer tells us that the "Cobo definition"
-- we might also call it the UN definition for the benefit of
readers not familiar with Cobo's name -- is now widely used as the working
definition in international efforts to delineate indigenous peoples'
rights. Although no criteria of place are mentioned here, in
context we see that it is global in scope with two exceptions. First,
although the UN group clearly felt there are "indigenous" peoples in
Africa, they were unable to establish criteria to sort them out.
Accordingly, Wilmer tell us, the Sub-Commission decided to "streamline"
its work by excluding the situation of indigenous peoples in Africa from
its 1971-1982 study and suggesting that a separate study with a "slightly
modified" definition "be undertaken to cover African countries"
(E/CN.4/Sub.2/1986/7/ Add.4, Volume V of the Study of the Problem of
Discrimination Against Indigenous Populations) -- for more details see
If and when the additional criteria needed to identify
indigenous Africans are adopted, the UN will find indigenous people
everywhere in the world except in the old states of Europe and,
perhaps, the former Soviet Union. Before discussing these states, however,
let me insert a point about whether or not it is possible to establish any
empirical or objective criteria for defining "indigenous"
definitional disputes which led to the Cobo Commission led some
participants to argue that all efforts to operationalize such terms as
"indigenous" reflect a kind of Western eccentricity -- instead, they said,
"indigenous peoples know who they are." Consequently, the term can be
intrinsically self-defined by those who are immediately concerned. This
view is said to reveal a schism between Western and "indigenous" ways of
constructing social knowledge and the norms that flow from them. A
western view holds that definition (categorization) is important because
it imputes legal rights and responsibilities to subjects and objects of
legal norms; an insufficiently precise definition opens the door to
frivolous and highly contestable claims about rights and responsibilities.
This legalistic Western view contrasts with an indigenous view that, we
are told, places more emphasis on subjective knowledge and contextualized
Indigenous representatives to the UN Working Group have argued, accordingly, that the
definitional issue should remain open and evolving, and should not preclude progress on the
development of international rights and standards. At its 1996 meeting, for example, the
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders Commission noted that
Any definition should address recognition
of: the right of indigenous peoples to self-identify themselves as
"indigenous" or "aboriginal peoples." This involves recognition of the
rights of primogeniture for "first peoples" together with claims relating
to land, self-determination and culture, the right to accept others who
also identify themselves as indigenous or aboriginal peoples -- and,
indeed, the right to establish their own definition of the concept
More detailed information about these
question can be found in several documents supplied by Wilmer . I
should add that the question of operationalizing fuzzy concepts is a
generic problem for speakers of all ordinary languages whenever they want
to set up precise measures or criteria for analyzing the referents of a
concept, counting instances or cases, etc. I have discussed this problem
in a separate paper that can be found on my Web Page in a note on Shelter Concepts
THE OLD STATES. The UN definition of "indigenous" implicitly excludes communities found
in the old states of the world, notably in Europe. Neither the narrower ("settlerized") definition,
nor the broader UN ("settlerized and tribalized") definitions of "indigenous" provide a basis for
including ethnonational communities emerging within the old states of the Western world.
Perhaps this is because the UN and other definitions all focus on cultural communities deemed to
be non-Western. They may survive in the Western world as settlerized communities, or they may
be found in non-Western countries as tribalized societies, but the UN majority at least assumes
that counterpart societies do not exist in the Western heartlands. Is this true?
When Josephine Squires proposed the addition
of a paper on Scottish nationalism, we had to think about the possibility
that counterparts to the "indigenous" nations existed in the Western
heartland -- notably in Europe. Clearly, I think, they are neither
settlerized nor tribalized, but perhaps they fall under the concept of an
autochthonous SEN, as discussed above. Clearly they do constitute a SEN
(stateless ethnic nation) but are they autochthonous? Waves of migration
to the British Isles are recorded: Picts preceded the Scots, but no trace
of them remains -- since they merged with the Scots, their descendants, if
any, have lost their cultural identity. Whether or not the Scots are a
"first people," therefore, might be questioned. However, is it really
important to find out? When we distinguish between the two properties of
an autochthonous SEN, it becomes apparent that the former is not important
but the latter is decisive. It strikes me that in the modern context,
whether or not a people is autochthonous, settlerized, or tribalized is
not important -- these have all become esoteric in the same way that being
"primitive" is no longer significant. Modernization has affected all the
peoples of the world, and those lacking power and status view themselves
as victims who have both the right and the opportunity to improve their
lot in life and to take advantage of the benefits of industrialization and
Myths about the nation as the locus of sovereignty and the source of legitimacy in democratic
governance are now globally ubiquitous, attracting support in all marginalized communities.
Under these conditions, any ethnic community that sees itself as a stateless nation and a victim of
oppression feels that it has the right to become a state -- or, at least, to achieve administrative
autonomy within an existing state. To be more precise, since members of any community are
likely to have different ideas about themselves and their problems, we risk reification to talk about
any "community" as though it could be an actor reflecting consensus among its members.
Instead, therefore, we should speak of activists in any community who make demands and
mobilize support for a cause -- in the case of ethnic nations, they strive to organize self-determination movements designed to establish their own leadership of a state.
Increasingly, leaders in many indigenous communities (including both settlerized and tribalized
peoples) are mobilizing to demand sovereignty and the right to self-determination. However, as
the Scottish case shows, such communities exist in the Western heartland of Europe as well as in
all other parts of the world -- the phenomenon, therefore, is global and we need concepts that are
applicable everywhere, not just in some geographically limited part of the world. The most useful
such concept, I think, is that of a stateless ethnic nations (SEN) as discussed above. Increasingly
many, though not all, "indigenous peoples" have or are becoming mobilized as SENs, as have a
growing number of ethnic communities in the Western heartlands and, of course, in the successor
states of the former Soviet Union, (or Eastern Bloc). To summarize, a SEN may be described as:
Any ethnic community whose members claim sovereignty based on self-determination
regardless of where they live.
Since many ethnic communities do not claim sovereignty, they are not included in this concept, but no doubt any mobilizing community may formulate such claims -- this means that an indigenous community that is not now an ethnic nation can become one. Moreover, many ethnic nations already have their own states so they are not SENs. Put differently, all ethnic nations have their own states or would like to have one. Only those who lack a state and aspire to become one are classed as stateless ethnic nations. Clearly the status of a SEN is not permanent -- ethnic communities that become a SEN acquire this status and SENs that become states are no longer "stateless." This claim immediately opens up some historical questions. We might ask what leads any ethnic community to become a SEN, and under what conditions do SENs become states?
I shall not try to answer both questions, but our panel, I think, should be able to shed some light on the second one.
EXCLAVE AND ENCLAVE NATIONS. When we compare the successful independence
movements that led to the collapse of industrial empires during the past half century with the still
largely unsuccessful movements of many contemporary SENs to become states an important
difference becomes apparent. Those that succeeded were located outside the boundaries of the
metropoles to which they were attached, whereas those that remain unsuccessful are located,
geographically, within the boundaries of a state. Two convenient terms are available to discuss
this difference: they are enclave and exclave . Their dictionary definitions specify that
"enclaves" are enclosed domains containing ethno-national communities that are surrounded by
the contiguous territory of an established state. By contrast, "exclaves" are domains located
outside the boundaries of the state to which they belong. This status is, of course, subject to
change: Hong Kong was an exclave of Great Britain until, overnight, it became an enclave of
All indigenous peoples, so far as I can tell, are enclosed within enclaves subject to two important
qualifications. First, many members of any indigenous community can and do live outside their
enclave, in their diaspora -- some are even "commuters" who migrate seasonally between their
home place and an external place where they can earn money, get an education, or just enjoy
themselves as tourists. Some indigenous communities actually lack a territorial base and live only
in diaspora. When and if nationalism arises among their members, its success may well depend on
the myth of a homeland. The belief that they can and will some day be able to create or return to
that place is fundamental for their survival as a nation. Nevertheless, we may well find many
indigenous nations that are "homeless" in the sense that they lack a territorial base -- although
Hawaiians live, mainly, in Hawaii, the state is a jurisdiction in the United States, not an ethnic
enclave. The goal of Hawaiian nationalists is to create an ethno-state dominated by Hawaiians,
whether that be the whole state or only some part of it.
Second, we should not confuse a people's enclave with their nation. Many enclaves are multi-cultural and may be inhabited by more than one nation -- Transylvania as an enclave in Romania
probably contains more Romanians than Hungarians. This is even more true of exclaves for
reasons I shall explain later. My point is that we cannot identify any enclave with an "indigenous
people." Indeed, many members of indigenous communities do not think of themselves as
belonging to an ethnic nation -- put the other way, although all ethnic nations belong to an ethnic
community, many such communities are not nations insofar as they do not claim sovereignty
based on the right of self-determination. Consequently, we may think of enclave nations as ethnic
nations enclosed within their home places -- Navahos living on a reservation, or Chechens in
Chechnya. Enclaves, therefore, are places, not nations -- but an enclave may contain a nation,
and that nation may also dominate its enclave.
The ideal type of an "enclave nation" is the model of an ethnic nation in control of its enclave
where most of its members live and constitute the majority population. Moreover, all enclaves, by
definition, have an ethnic character -- they are occupied by people who are culturally different
from those who enclose them -- counties and provinces are also bounded places in a state but
they are not enclaves when their residents cannot be distinguished culturally from the peoples who
No doubt transformations are also possible -- Cherokee as a county in North Carolina became an enclave when it was recognized as a "reservation" for Cherokee people. Such enclaves become enclave nations only when and if they develop significant movements to demand political independence or more autonomy. A useful distinction can be made between open and closed enclaves: they are open when anyone can enter or leave, but closed, as "ghettos', when members are compelled to live in them. Although I have spoken of enclaves as "enclosed" domains, this term suggests closure and residential restrictions -- a more positive term like wrapped might be better if it suggested not only enclosure but also protection as when we wrap gifts. The Cherokee reservation, for example, offered an opening for many in-migrants who chose to go there as soon as they could show some Cherokee ancestry. Sometimes, therefore, an enclave is not just a ghetto but rather a kind of "mecca" for ethnic nomads who discover their ethnicity.
This should explain both why some enclaves grow, and why ambitious or idealistic nationals in
diaspora can move to them and, indeed, play leadership roles in emerging SENs. .
SURVIVAL. The maintenance of an enclave depends, therefore, not only on the activities of its
residents and diasporans, but also on political recognition by the state in which it is enclosed.
Some settlerized peoples were not only conquered but destroyed -- whether by genocide or
ethnocide -- by slaughter or assimilation. When Cherokee leaders, after having obtained a
college degree, sought to institute a Cherokee constitution based on the U.S. model, they incurred
the wrath of settler communities and provoked political reactions that led to their expulsion from
traditional Cherokee lands and the "trail of tears" that eventually brought survivors to a new
location in what is now Oklahoma. In some cases, then, settlerized communities were recognized
as self-governing and permitted to occupy and control enclosed areas under terms specified in
formal "treaties." In the United States, these are known as Indian "reservations," and they
constitute enclaves in which, quite often, ethnic nationalism now flourishes. To some degree,
therefore, the rise of enclave nations is not only a result of internal developments but it also hinges
on the policies and pressures from outside which permit the enclave to exist.
In order to discuss these external
relationships we need a generic term for the states within which enclaves
are enclosed. In relation to exclaves, imperial possessions, there is a
French word, metropole, which literally means "mother country"
or, more harshly, imperial master. We could stipulate a broader meaning
for "metropole" by using the term to represent not only a country that
owns external possessions but also a state that encloses an enclave.
However, I suspect it would be difficult to overcome the notion that
metropoles have only exclaves (external colonies or possessions). We need
a similar yet distinctive term that explicitly includes enclaves (and
therefore most of the world's "indigenous" peoples).
One possibility might be metropolis --
although nowadays this word refers primarily to large
cities, it used to signify the mother city/state of a Greek colony. Since
such colonies were often enclaves, we could argue that this early usage
could be revived. However, I think this would also provoke controversy
and could easily be misunderstood. To avoid
confusion between the narrower meaning of the "metropole" and the urbanist
connotations of "'metropolis," I suggest we accept a neologism,
This word is easy enough to remember because it resembles 'metropole' and 'metropolis'.
Etymologically, consider that metro- is a Greek root meaning "mother" or "womb" -- it is found
today in 'maternal,' 'matrix,' 'matriculate,' and 'metritis,' suggesting the basic notion of a
"mother" land. As for pol, it can stand for "polity," "policy," or "politician," and derives from
the Greek word for city (polis). Both roots occur in 'metropole' and 'metropolis.' Metro-pol
can be used as a related term that means:
a "mothering" country, one that has an intra-uterine relation to enclosed communities
(enclaves) or a post-partum relation to external possessions (exclaves).
Because metro-pols dominate both enclaves and exclaves, we need another neologism to cover
both relationships. What shall we call the places controlled by a metro-pol? Since they must be
enclaves or exclaves, perhaps we could form a word by using the first letter of both ('e' for 'en'
and 'ex') to create e-clave, defined as any domain controlled by a metro-pol. Acceptance of this
term also helps us to handle situations where the differences between the two types of e-clave are
fuzzy. For example, although we may view Hawaii as an enclave and Guam as an exclave of the
United States, the U.S. is clearly a metro-pol for both, and both are e-claves. To decide whether
they are enclaves or exclaves may not, I think, be very important.
E-CLAVES AND METRO-POLS. Far more important is the relation between e-claves and
metro-pols which, I think, can help us understand recent history and anticipate the future. The
existence of e-claves is largely, as noted above, a result of policies enforced by metro-pols, and
their policies also affect the future, whether or not ethno-nationalism movement will develop and
whether they can succeed in creating their own states or zones of autonomy. We often focus on
the actors in a system without enough attention to how systems affect their parts, including all
individual actors. Movements developing in e-claves are reciprocally interactive with forces
stemming from their metro-pols which is why we need the concepts that represent each partner in
these relationships. I shall use these concepts in a parallel paper designed to explore the history of
ethnonational movements in e-claves and relate them to the policies and practices of their metro-pols. Here, however, I will only introduce the theme with a few summary comments.
When we consider the recent history of ethnonationalist movements in a world-historical
perspective, we find that their prospects for success vary greatly depending on their location in an
exclave or enclave: virtually all of the exclave-based ethnonational movements of the world have
achieved independence during the past half century whereas enclave-based movements are just
beginning to surface and they confront greater obstacles to success. In part this is inherent in
situations which clearly make sovereignty within an enclave more problematical than sovereignty
in an exclave. Predictably, metro-pols resist the liberation of enclaves far more stoutly than they
oppose the emancipation of exclaves. Moreover, the degree of consensus within e-claves varies
because more residents of an enclave are likely to resist basic changes whereas fewer members of
an exclave oppose liberation movements. Put differently, most residents of an exclave tend to
support independence, whereas members of an enclave are often divided in their goals and
Administrative considerations are also very important -- it is easier to manage enclaves than to
govern exclaves which means, no doubt, that it is easier for a metro-pol to resist independence
movements in the former, and more difficult in the latter. This explains why exclaves often
rebelled against their metro-pols long before ethnic nationalism arose as a motivator. Traditional
agrarian and mercantile empires were not vulnerable to ethnic nationalism. They rose during
periods of hegemonic centralization and collapsed under the weight of de-hegemonization for
various reasons including the essential difficulty of maintaining control over far-flung possessions,
the imperial exclaves.
As late as the nineteenth century, de-colonization movements against the Spanish and Portuguese
empires should be understood as rebellions led by the elites of remote exclaves rather than as a
sign of ethnic nationalism. Even the American Revolution, in the 18th century, was scarcely a
nationalistic movement -- indeed, any real sense of nationalism in America probably arose only a
century later, following the Civil War. Even colonial officials sometimes led resistance
movements that shattered traditional empires -- consider the example of Mohammed Ali (1769-1849) who, although nominally pasha for the Ottomans in Egypt, gradually created his separatist
realm, undermining the authority of the Turkish empire. There was nothing really "Egyptian"
about these events which demonstrated only the essential fragility of traditional empires, especially
after the rise of modernity in Europe. By contrast, the emergence of modern Egypt under Nasser
since 1954 reflected the rise of ethnic nationalism in revolt against British hegemony. My point is
that exclaves have always been fragile parts of any empire, but they became increasingly
vulnerable in modern industrial empires following the rise of ethnic nationalism.
By contrast, enclaves are embryonic implants that can scarcely ever be released from metro-pol
domination. We are now reaching a stage, however, where separatist ethnic movements arising in
enclaves are becoming ever more active and optimistic about their birth prospects -- even if full
independence is not possible, some form of administrative autonomy may be feasible. This is
historically unprecedented: secession by exclaves is an old phenomenon, but self-determination
movements in enclaves are a truly modern process reflecting the emergence of ethnic nationalism.
It is no accident, therefore, that since virtually all the exclaves of modern empires have become
independent states, the enclosed ethnic nations that remain dare to hope that at least some of their
aspirations can be secured from their metro-pols.
ENCLAVE NATIONALISM. There are, I think, three main forms of ethnic nationalism and
their prospects for success vary. The original form is that of settlerized communities, which I
discussed above. These are the prototypical "indigenous" nations of settler states in the Americas
and Australia/New Zealand. My guess is that few of them will become independent states, but
they are quite likely to gain administrative autonomy in structures that build upon but enhance the
rights they have often secured already in their "reservations."
The UN definition of "indigenous peoples" has added the tribalized communities found in many
new states of the world -- one might expect them to be more successful because, quite often,
weak authoritarian metro-pols both aggravate their grievances and are also less able to resist their
national movements. However, this is a shaky generalization and many exceptions can surely be
found. In general, one may expect more violence to arise in confrontations between new states
and their enclave nations.
A third form of enclave nationalism occurs in the old states of Europe and the former Soviet
Union -- it is not included in the UN definition of "indigenous" people. Few of these peoples, I
expect, will ever achieve independence as separate states, but they are quite likely to gain some
form of administrative autonomy -- the Chechens are a good example. We may speculate that this
is true to the degree that their metro-pols are democratic and more willing, therefore, to
accommodate the demands of permanent minorities who feel their basic interests cannot be
adequately protected through the established institutions of representative governance. This is not
to say, however, that their nationalist goals will be achieved without extended and sometimes
fierce struggles, especially when democratic institutions are not yet well consolidated, as in the
When we think about enclave nations, an important dichotomy emerges between those who can
be classed as "indigenous peoples " and those who cannot. The former are able to secure more
assistance from the United Nations and various liberal movements than the latter. As noted
above, the UN has expanded the original definition of "indigenous" to include not only the
settlerized peoples but also those who have been tribalized. By contrast, the non-state nations
found in industrial democracies are rarely classed as "indigenous" -- instead, they are viewed as
some kind of national minority or ethnic nation. Consequently, the international organizations
tend to view their struggles as an interesting problem for the industrialized countries but not as
candidates for support under the rubric of "human rights."
Other differences affect the future of enclave nations regardless of their form or status. Perhaps
most importantly, rival ethnic groups (factions, organizations) usually exist within every ethnic
nation and their internal conflicts hamper their efforts to deal effectively with their metro-pols.
Sometimes these conflicts involve fundamental goals -- whether, for example, the nation should
aim for independence, autonomy or unification with another state. Other controversies may arise
about who should be entitled to membership in a nation -- the leading issues involve ancestry (the
criteria such as "blood quantum" that enables one to be viewed as a "brother" or "sister") and
residence (the degree to which persons in diaspora, living outside the enclave, should be accepted
as members of a nation). No doubt the classic imperial policy of "divide and rule" also works
here, leading metro-pols to act, sometimes, in ways that aggravate the internal conflicts that
divide enclave nations and also, often enough, hasten their mobilization. Moreover, metro-pols
often seek to eradicate enclaves by assimilation policies -- the term ethnocide has been used for
such practices -- but often enough they spur enclave nationalists to organize resistance
movements that are as likely to strengthen as to weaken enclave nationalism.
Perhaps even more importantly, many
residents do not see themselves as members of an enclave nation --
proportionally, their numbers are no doubt greater in most enclaves than
in exclaves. The most salient obstacle to success for an enclave nation
may stem from resistance by enclave residents who identify primarily with
the metro-pol and, consequently, support maintenance of the status quo.
Northern Ireland is an extreme example: consider the Unionists who insist
on retaining their status as members of the United Kingdom, by contrast
with the Republicans who demand changes that would unite them with
Ireland. Generalizing from this case, we might use unionist as a
generic term for advocates of the status quo, and separatist for
anyone seeking a fundamental status transformation. As this example
shows, internal tensions within an e-clave can also block proposed
solutions offered by metro-pols who really want to find peaceful
solutions. Unionists in Ulster want the province to remain an exclave of
the United Kingdom, but separatists strive to transform their land into an
Irish enclave. Neither camp embraces the typically ethno-nationalist goal
of an independent state called "Ulster." This suggests that separatists
may also differ among themselves depending on whether they are
nationalists demanding a state of their own, or
sub-nationalists who would prefer to be integrated into an
existing state. In the Irish case, I should imagine both of its
metro-pols would be willing to accept a nationalist solution that would
create establish the independence of Ulster, but neither of its contending
parties are willing to accept this idea.
MINNEAPOLIS. In my paper for the Minneapolis panel, I intend to develop this theme by discussing the historical record of exclaves and enclaves as they relate to the rise and prospects of ethnic nationalism in the world today. Before doing that, however, I shall respond to Ted Gurr's questions about the use of enclave and exclave. Some earlier thoughts on this matter can be found in my notes to Gurr . I hope this discourse will clarify some important conceptual issues facing us and facilitate more meaningful discourse at our coming meetings. Meanwhile, I hope the observations offered will provoke some responses from participants and lead into a lively and illuminating session at the ISA conference.
See linked pages:  Discourse Links || Enclave Nationalism || Who's Indigenous || Gurr comments || Gurr2 comments || Tilley comments || The PER Report || Hall's comments ||Response to Hall's Comments || Hall's paper || Riggs' Paper