There is also an interest in anarchy, well expressed by Kaplan in a trenchant recent essay (1994). By
contrast with those philosophical writers who admire anarchy as a desirable condition in which
governmental controls are suspended and people live amicably together, Kaplan paints a horror
picture of the future of much of our planet in which Hobbes' war of all against all will prevail.
In much of the world today, however, anarchy and authoritarianism are complementary aspects of
an all-too-common political syndrome that I think of, personally, as anarchianism. Since I was born
and raised in an anarchian society, as China was in 1917, I confronted its turmoil personally, as when
I saw the bodies of dead soldiers lying where they had fallen on the streets. In Beijing at that time
there was an authoritarian military regime that had minimal mastery of some land around the capital
city, but virtually no control over the rest of the country. Throughout the realm, rival warlords and
bandit chiefs fought each other to dominate and exploit fluid domains in which, sometimes, they
could impose a modest degree of order, especially for their favorites and those who paid for
Nevertheless, so far as the world community was concerned officially, there was only one China and
Beijing was its capital city. International rivalry prevented the main empires from partitioning China
into colonial dependencies, but not from asserting special privileges in urban concessions like
Shanghai, Tientsin and Canton, nor from carving out 'spheres of influence' on the mainland. I view
Chinese anarchianism as a prototype for what has now become a widespread phenomenon. The
main difference is that the contending warlords in China were ethnically homogeneous whereas, in
most contemporary anarchian societies, their counterparts lead (or try to lead) rival ethnonational
communities. By contrast, as seen in the turmoil suffered by Lebanon from 1975-1989,
contemporary anarchianism is likely to involve severe turmoil based on religious, linguistic, or
ancestral rivalries .
2. State. Terminological confusion prevails among us to such an extent that we often misunderstand
each other, using different terms for the same concept or one word to mean different things. State
is a good example. Both state and nation are often used as synonyms to refer to one of the 184
sovereign states that are members of the United Nations. Since we need to use nation for a broader
concept, as explained below , I shall avoid using this word as a synonym for state.
I shall also avoid the phrase, nation-state, although this compound is often used to express the same
idea. Because it is commonly used in an effort to overcome the ambiguity of state, I think we have
to recognize it as a possible though dangerous synonym. It is dangerous because it is also used for
a different concept  so that it, too, is subject to ambiguity. I will, therefore, not use it. Another
phrase, like independent state, could easily be introduced to take care of situations in which state by
itself might be ambiguous.
Such ambiguity may occur because state is also used for various other ideas, including that of a sub-state, like California, Illinois or Hawaii, often mentioned as sovereign states. In contexts like that
of the American federal system, where references to a 'state' clearly involve sub-states, the
expression 'independent state' could be used, by contrast, to identify the United States, Japan, France,
Finland, or India.
Of course, state also has other meanings, such as those we have in mind when we distinguish
between 'state' and 'society' or talk about the authority of 'the state'. Whenever state by itself is likely
to be misunderstood, an unequivocal synonym is needed. Since both 'sovereign state' and 'nation-state'--as noted above-- have other possible meanings, they are not satisfactory equivalents. Since
independent state is not used already as a conventional phrase and it lacks any other specific
meaning, why not use it to refer to states that are legally recognized in the world system whenever
state by itself might prove ambiguous?
3 Ethnonation. The term, ethnonation, has been available for some time--see Connor (1972)--but
it has not yet achieved the status of a precise and well recognized term. However, in his recent book,
Minorities at Risk, Ted Gurr (1993) characterizes ethnonationalists as one of 81 politicized
communal groups of "relatively large, regionally concentrated peoples who historically were
autonomous and who have pursued separatist objectives at some time in the last fifty years" (p.20).
He classes them as a type of national peoples, a category that also includes indigenous peoples,
whom Gurr identifies as 83 communities composed of the "conquered descendants of the original
inhabitants of a region who typically live in peripheral regions, practice subsistence agriculture or
herding, and have cultures sharply distinct from dominant groups" (p.18). Gurr identifies some 24
indigenous groups that have developed a sense of nationhood and are, therefore, cross-classified as
ethnonationalists (p.21). The various groups are listed and classified in Appendix A, pp. 326-338.
To facilitate comparisons, let me say that my use of ethnonations corresponds to Gurr's
ethnonationalists plus those indigenous peoples who make political demands based on their claims
to sovereignty. However, I distinguish between ethnonations as a type of collectivity, ethnonationals
as a term for all their members, and ethnonationalists to designate those ethnonationals who are
mobilized for political action. A ruling ethnic minority often constitutes a dominant ethnonation and
subordinated majorities become marginalized communities.
To use ethnonation consistently, we need agreement on what the concept
excludes as well as what it includes. In Gurr's scheme, ethnic communities that are not 'national
peoples' are called minority peoples: they may be politically active but they do not seek autonomy or
claim sovereignty. Gurr's minority peoples include politically dominant as well as marginalized
communities. I accept his concepts but I prefer terms for them that do not link demographic size
with power: ethnonations may be dominant or marginalized, and they may constitute a majority or
minority of the population in any country--as may his 'minority peoples,' for whom I prefer civic
ethnicity. I use this term to characterize any culturally distinct community whose members accept
their status as citizens of a multi-ethnic country and do not claim the right to autonomy or
independence as a sovereign people.
Parallel distinctions are made by other authors but, because different terms are used, precise
comparisons and cumulation of findings are hampered. Moreover, no hard boundaries can be drawn
about any of these categories: some members of any community may have ambivalent and
conflicting notions about their own identity and claims. They behave differently in separate contexts
However, the broad distinction between ethnonationalism and civic
ethnicity serves an important purpose, and it is not new. For example, Francis (1976) in his
neglected but monumental treatise, distinguishes clearly between secondary ethnic groups which "are
formed and maintained to compensate for deprivations suffered by individual members because of their
unequal treatment by the host society," and primary ethnic groups which "do not clamor for equal
treatment...but for the recognition of their separate collective identity" (p.298). In an earlier
work, I borrowed Francis' terminology (Riggs 1988) but encountered some resistance to it--perhaps
because 'primary' and 'secondary' lack transparent meaning, or they are easily confused with the more
familiar use of the same words by Cooley (1933) for the different though overlapping contrast between
personal face-to-face family-oriented groups and impersonal associations based on specific purposes and
long-distance communication patterns (pp. 208ff; discussed in Riggs 1964, p.166). This experience led
me to substitute ethnonation for primary ethnic group (or Gurr's national peoples,) and civic ethnicity
for secondary ethnic group (or Gurr's minority peoples).
The same distinction can also be found in a current book where we find the statement that "Most
academic attention to ethnic relations has focused either strictly on homelands peoples or strictly on
immigrants," (Esman, 1994, p.9). Here homelands peoples means almost the same as ethnonations
(primary ethnic groups, national peoples); and immigrants relate to civic ethnicity (secondary ethnic
groups, minority peoples). It would be convenient if we could establish a simple correspondence
in which what A calls M is what B calls N. However, the overlap is rarely complete, as this example
shows. Consider that although immigration is the principal generator of civic (secondary) ethnicity,
the two phenomena are different: they have a cause-effect relationships.
Undoubtedly most, but not all, immigrants form secondary (civic) ethnic groups. We assume that
they arrive as peaceful guests in a hostland willing to accept them, but encounter obstacles to full
integration that provoke protests and scholarly analysis. However, when migrants displace resident
communities, as European colonists did in many countries, they often create ethnonations and
establish their own state--as did the Americans, Australians and New Zealanders. Some of the
conquered indigenous peoples, or those who have survived after years of suffering, are only now
Moreover, when immigrants conquer a dependency, they become expatriates who behave quite
differently from civic (secondary) ethnic groups. Like most Americans living abroad today, they
form powerful social enclaves or 'golden ghettos' but not 'ethnics' or 'nationalists' in the normal sense
of these words . They neither accept citizenship in their hostlands nor seek sovereignty. Rather,
they constitute non-ethic minorities who simply retain their identity as state nationals of the
homeland from which they came.
Moreover, migrants belonging to an ethnic nation --especially refugees--may simultaneously
integrate into the life of their hostlands while retaining ethnonational ties to their homeland. Irish
Americans who supported the IRA, Serbian Americans siding with the Serbs in Bosnia, or Cuban
exiles fighting the Castro regime provide apt examples, but there are a host of such cases. Such
migrants are concurrently civic ethics and ethnonationalists.
An ethnonation, as I use this word, does correspond to what Esman (1994) means by a homeland
society or, more often, by an "ethnic nation," by which he means "a politicized ethnic community
whose spokesmen demand control over what they define as their territorial homeland..." (p.27). We
are using the same concept, but we prefer different terms for it.
Readers of Esman's book and of this paper should also notice that we use ethnic nation for different
concepts. I use this phrase for all members of an ethnic community who view themselves as a single
nation. This includes both diaspora peoples and enclaves living outside their homeland as well as
all residents of that region. . Actually, Esman discusses this phenomenon: for example, he talks
about Kurdish workers in Germany who participate in anti-Turkish activities (p.195). However, his
definition of 'ethnic nation' makes no sharp distinction between the places where the 'spokesmen'
live: it might include persons living outside their 'homeland' in diaspora. In most contexts, however,
Esman is thinking about those who live in their own homeland. I believe it is useful to distinguish
clearly between the diaspora of an ethnic nation and those residing in their homeland, whom we may
well refer to as an anaspora.
At least, I think the location and primary loyalty of ethnics are important distinctions. Trans-state expressions of national solidarity have often been decisive in mobilizing ethnonational movements. I use ethnic nation, therefore, to include both non-residents and residents of an ethnic nation. By contrast, I use ethnonation as a synonym for ethnic nation, although normally the term refers mainly, if not only, to its anaspora -- those not in diaspora.
Agreements on our key terms are needed not only to support the cumulation of knowledge based on
the work of scholars who use different terms for the same concept, but also to facilitate the making
of useful distinctions that are easily obscured when we limit our vocabulary unnecessarily. An
analysis of this problem and information about a hypertext conceptual glossary for ethnicity research
can be found in Riggs (1993).
4 Nation. In ordinary usage, we lack a term for the concept of nation defined here. Instead, the
word, 'nation', is typically used to refer either to a state or to an ethnonation (see notes #2 and #3).
The Oxford English Dictionary identifies the first sense of nation as "an extensive aggregate of
persons...associated with each other by common descent, language or history...[i.e., an ethnonation]
usually organized as a political state...[i.e., a state]" A note explains that "...in early examples the
racial idea is usually stronger..." but in recent usage "the notion of political unity and independence
is more prominent." The two aspects of this single concept, then, have now become separated so
that we use the word either for a state or an ethnonation but usually not for both at the same time.
Here, however, we need a term that can clearly combine both concepts, defined succinctly as any
community claiming sovereignty--see section 1 of the main text. This seems to be what Francis
(1976) had in mind when he wrote that "Nation is a political concept serving as a symbol of societal
identity and solidarity as well as a legitimation of practical politics" (p.387). Of course nation has
also had other meanings which evolved in a fascinating and historically interesting way--a good
exposition of these transformations can be found in Greenfeld (1992, 3-14)
Both states and ethnonations claim sovereignty and, therefore, they are two varieties of a more
general category. However, when we use 'nation' for either of these more specific concepts,
ambiguity and confusion often result. Walker Connor, among others, has protested strongly against
this usage (1978). In conventional thinking, we now distinguish so sharply between states and
ethnonations that we have difficulty seeing them as two species of a single genus. However,
contemporary global realities now compel us to recognize a broad concept that includes both states
and ethnonations, for reasons explained below. It is hard to think of a new term that expresses the
more general idea. Perhaps we could use a defining phrase like communities that claim or exercise
sovereignty, but this would be cumbersome.
A simpler and more rational solution, based on the earlier meaning of the word as defined in the
OED (and as understood by Francis) would be use nation, the generic concept that includes the two
types of nation: states and ethnonations. At least, that is what I shall do throughout this paper:
whenever I write nation, I will refer simultaneously both to states and to ethnonations.
The word can still, of course, be used unambiguously for either of its sub-types, provided the context
clearly shows which of them is intended. However, I believe that use of the more generic concept
will understand better the world as it is today and will evolve in the near future. Moreover, each
form of the word--e.g. national, nationalism, nationalist, and international--involves the same broad
concept: in various combinations it can be linked with a state or with ethnicity, as in ethnonation,
ethnic nation, ethnonationalist, ethic nationalist, national state, state nation, state nationalist. I shall
discuss these forms in the notes that follow.
In the world today, many nations are defined politically by citizenship, and others are defined
ethnically by some ascriptive criterion such as race, language, religion, or ancestry. Ethnicity is
itself a contested term with various meanings, but I shall not analyze them here--my thoughts on this
subject are given in Riggs (1991). However, I should explain that ethnic typically conveys the
notion of shared ancestry, as shown by the use of a common language, shared religious beliefs, racial
similarities, cultural practices or other ascriptive markers. Obviously, not all of these markers
coincide or have only the mythic meaning created by those who express them. However, members
of an ethnonation experience a sense of solidarity and political aspirations based on socially
constructed criteria--although often rooted in primordial grounds as well as in contemporary political
forces--rather than on state citizenship, as a legally defined marker.
Most ethnic communities do not constitute ethnonations. This is because their primary political
loyalty is to the state or just because they are politically apathetic or unmobilized. To explain this
fact, we need the concept of a state nation, i.e. a nation whose members identify themselves as such
because of their shared sense of patriotism or loyalty to the state of which they are citizens .
Where immigrants often become naturalized citizens, it is evident that members of a state nation may
not share any of the salient markers of an ethnonation. However, members of a state nation can also
identify themselves as members of an ethnic community--e.g. African Americans, Americans of
Japanese Ancestry, Chinese Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans--sometimes even
'native Americans.' Only when their sense of identity leads them to assign a higher priority to their
ethnic identity than to their state identity are we justified to class them as members of an
ethnonation. (Related contrasts are discussed in notes 10 and 11).
In industrialized democracies it is commonplace to find that a sense of state nationalism prevails
over a sense of ethnonationalism for most citizens, but this is not true in most countries. As a result
of modern imperialism, the sense of state nationalism in the successor states is often weak and
citizens feel that their identity as ethnonations is stronger than their sense of state nationalism: I am
thinking of such communities as the Karens in Burma, Serbs in Bosnia, or Tamils in Sri Lanka.
Although we typically think of ethnonations as constituting minorities within a state, there are
important cases where an ethnonation transcends state boundaries-- referred to here as divided
nations. Thus citizens of both Taiwan and the People's Republic think of themselves as, above all,
members of the Chinese ethnonation, a sentiment echoed by many Arabs who view the states among
which their members are divided as an abhorrent product of imperial oppression. Our concept of
nation therefore includes not only minority ethnonations within a state but also those that constitute
a majority and may be politically dominant--e.g., Russians in the Russian Federation, the French in
France--plus divided ethnonations whose members live in more than one state, as do the Koreans,
5 Nationalism: Ethno- and State. When members of different nations (i.e. states and/or
ethnonations) contend with each other, they manifest a sense of national identity or commitment that
may put rival nations into competition or conflict with each other. Such attachments are
characterized by a sense of nationalism. The word is typically used to refer to one or the other of
the two main forms of nationalism. However, we also need a concept that refers simultaneously to
both forms, plus precise terms for each of them.
The former may be called state nationalism, stressing the loyalty of citizens to their own state
without implying hostility to the citizens of other states. Although state nationalism may imply no
more than a benign commitment to support the integrity and welfare of an existing state, it can also
be used to support assimilationist zeal, i.e. the expectation that members of ethnic minorities within
a state should adopt the practices and attitudes that give priority to the obligations of citizenship
above those of their own ethnic communities.
This is the sense of the phrase as used by Esman (1994) to refer to the expectation that members of
ethnic minorities should "assimilate as individuals into the nation represented by the state in which
they resided" (p.5). The traditional American self- image as a 'melting pot' in which immigrant
minorities should lose their separate identities expresses this idea. The same ideology is now also
popular in some new states which emphasize nation building, by which they usually mean the effort
to create a sense of state nationalism--e.g. to become a Nigerian patriot rather than an Ibo, Hausa,
or Yoruba nationalist.
State nationalism easily merges into modern imperialism, a drive to expand the domain of a state and
extend its values to conquered peoples. Works on Western nationalism rarely include any discussion
of how it leads to imperialism and wars: see Greenfeld (1992) as an example. In the guise of
patriotism, nationalism reinforces the sense of chauvinism and xenophobia that surfaces during
imperial conquests and inter-state wars in which the citizens of rival modern empires fight each
By contrast with state nationalism, we may use ethnonationalism to characterize the sentiments of
members of any ethnonation who are mobilized to contend for the sovereignty of their ethnic
community. Some writers use 'nationalism' only in this sense: an example can be found in Esman
(1994) where nationalism is defined explicitly as "the ideology that proclaims the distinctiveness of
a particular people and their right to self-rule in their homeland" (p.28). Commitments to
ethnonationalism are often found not only among members of an ethnonation who live within a
given state, but also among others living outside the state--in diasporas and enclaves .
Both forms of nationalism lead to conflicts between a state and an ethnonation. Consequently, our
discourse is simplified if we can use nationalism in a broad sense to include both state nationalism
and ethnic nationalism. We can then, for example, speak of the current struggle of the Russian state
to maintain control over Chechnya as a conflict among rival nationalisms, rather than as state
nationalism at war with ethnonationalism.
Actually, the difference between these forms of nationalism may be more formal than real, and each
form can be transformed into the other. Since Chechnya declared its formal independence in 1991,
the Chechens no doubt now define their own nationalism as based on state citizenship rather than
on ethnic identity. Sometimes, the two forms of nationalism conspicuously replace each other, as
when a new state is created by secession, as in Bangladesh, Eritrea or Somaliland. Whenever a new
state was formed by its liberation from imperial domination, ethnonationalism could have been
transformed into state nationalism--thus, Filipino ethnonationalism became state nationalism
By contrast, after the partition of Poland in the late 18th century, Polish state nationalism turned into
ethnonationalism, as did any sense of national identity among peoples conquered by modern
empires. In many cases, therefore, the distinction between state and ethnonationalism is only formal--the basic sense of nationalism in a given community persists before and after its change of form.
It will be helpful, therefore, to use nationalism to refer simultaneously to its state-based and its ethnic
forms. Whenever it is relevant to specify which form of nationalism is intended, however, a specific
term can be used--i.e. state or ethno-nationalism.
Other forms of nationalism may be added to these basic forms. For
example, in some countries, residents of a sub-state identify more strongly with it than with the state
of which it is a component: for example, citizens of Quebec and Puerto Rico may choose to identify
with their sub-state nationalism or with a language community, i.e., as Francophones or
Hispanics. In other cases, sub- state nationalism is weak, as in Northern Ireland, where most
citizens appear to identify either with the UK or with Ireland, although their Protestant vs. Catholic
professions may overlap and compete as different ethnonationalisms.
Ethnonationalism may also be strong among ethnics who are citizens of two or more states.
Consider, for example, Kurds, the Koreans, or the citizens of East and West Germany before their
unification. In such cases, two or more state nationalisms may compete with a single
ethnonationalism. This is a common experience in divided ethnonations .
6 Self-Determination. Three different slogans have driven the main stages of modern nationalism:
unification, liberation and self-determination. The first slogan, during the 18th and 19th centuries,
helped centralizing monarchs and an increasingly powerful bourgeoisie to overcome the barriers to
national unity and economic growth posed by surviving feudal boundaries. During the twentieth
century, the slogan of liberation rallied dependent territories as they struggled for independence from
the modern empires.
Today we see the dawn of a great movement for self-determination that will, increasingly, inspire
disaffected minorities in many of the new states--and some of the older ones also--to struggle for
recognition, sovereignty, independence or autonomy, and sometimes for boundary changes. Starting
with Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points, this slogan has continually gained momentum as more and
more marginalized communities in the world see an opportunity to mobilize and to achieve the
nationalist goals of sovereignty and all of the benefits they suppose such status will bring to them.
At the global level, the General Assembly of the UN, in 1960, recognized the right of all peoples of
the world to self-determination, defined as the right "to freely determine their political status and
freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development" (Van Dyke 1994, p.3, from U.N. Doc.
A/4684 (1960)). In the context of dependent territories securing independence from imperial rule,
this resolution legitimized liberation movements.
Ten years later, the General Assembly in a new resolution on "Friendly Relations and Co-Operation
Among States..." declared that the right to self-determination is not necessarily a right to secede, and
that countries should not be dismembered if they allow all their citizens to participate equally in
governmental affairs on a nondiscriminatory basis" (Van Dyke 1994, p.4, U.N.Doc. 1/8028 (1970)).
As the number of liberated states in the United Nations increased, the premise changed: territories
under imperial domination automatically had the right to secede, but minorities in the new states
would enjoy the right to participate equally in governmental affairs, to share in democratic self-government on the basis of status equality, and therefore they had no right to secede.
Self-determination is now also commingled with class struggles--poor and marginalized communities seeking to improve their economic status are able to use the claimed right of self-
determination to legitimize their efforts to achieve social justice. Interestingly, this slogan now often also rationalizes the appeals of neo-traditionalists to restore lost cultural traditions and beliefs, to return to a glorified past, in the name of democracy. Thus political participation without discrimination is seen as including the right to restore ancient life-styles and beliefs. Wherever neo-
traditionalists succeed, the bitter fruit of nationalism will be a type of revivalism and sectarian
conflict based on indigenous cultural values that could lead to conditions resembling those found
in feudal Europe before modern nationalism was born.
7 National State. No doubt the concepts of a state and an ethnonation usually overlap but they
coincide in the notion of a national state. We may define a national state as a state whose citizens
belong predominantly to a single ethnonation. In conventional usage, nation and nationalism are
often used to refer to this concept, viewed as a prerequisite of democratic self-government. Francis
(1976), for example, tells us that "The proper functioning of democratic government requires the
integration of the citizens into a viable societal unit which is achieved through the cultural
homogenization of the state population" (p.387). Conversely, many assume that democracy leads
national homogeneity. Perhaps circular causation is involved: democracy promotes the formation
of national states and national states support democratic self-government.
However, temporal sequences may vary. The initiative for cultural homogenization may evolve
from an ethnonation that establishes a single state for all its members, or it may stem from state
policies that promote the assimilation of all citizens to shared cultural norms, with democracy as an
associated phenomenon. The current Serbian drive to constitute a greater Serbia illustrates the
former mode, as it is unfolding before our eyes. The latter mode is illustrated by the centralized
French state, as Feigenbaum (1995) explains its development.
For a convenient and comprehensive account of the complex forces interacting with each other in
the development of the different models of national states--as they arose in England, France, Russia,
Germany and the United States--see Greenfeld (1992). Historically, it may be true that during the
early period of nation building in Europe, political centralization preceded the formation of
ethnonations, whereas today ethnonations come first, seeking to create their own states, whether by
cross- border unification or by separation from existing states. The formation and dissolution of
modern empires was the intervening variable that followed the first of these processes and preceded
In today's world we can scarcely find any good examples of a national state: Japan or Denmark
might provide approximations. Most states, however, like the United States, South Africa, Nigeria
or Pakistan, are 'multi-ethnic states.' Germany is now, perhaps, a national state, but until its recent
unification, it was a divided ethnonation . Nigerians, by contrast, are likely to think of themselves
as belonging to the Ibo, Yoruba, Hausa, or other ethnonation rather than to the Nigerian state.
Unfortunately, however, the ideal type of a national state has become so popular that it is now the
vain but hopeless aspiration of most nationalists, including both state nationalists (e.g. 'Nigerians')
and ethnonationalists (e.g. Ibos- -remember the Biafra disaster). The dream of self-determination
will increasingly inspire such bloody and eventually hopeless endeavors . Meanwhile, the fate
of democracy hangs in the balance.
According to the OED definition cited above , nation was at first applied primarily to national
states, making it a narrowly specific concept. As states and ethnonations diverged--producing
recognized non-national states and unrecognized ethnonations, the term became ambiguous, referring
to either concept separately, but not both combined. Today, however, we need a broad concept that
can include both. Most states now contain several ethnonations who constitute minorities within that
state and some ethnonations are distributed among two or more states. Each of these possibilities
can be subsumed under the generic heading of a nation, giving us the possibility of specifying
different kinds of nations by the use of more specific terms, including those that are states but not
national states; and those that are ethnonations but not states.
If this sounds confusing, consider the basic logic involved as we might visualize it by means of two circles. First, imagine that each circle, called A and B, represents a different concept, for example state and ethnonation. Now, consider the following three possibilities: 1. if the two circles coincide, they produce only AB, e.g., a national state; 2. if they are fully separated, we have only A or B, e.g., states or ethnonations; but 3. if they overlap each other, they produce A, B, and AB, e.g., states, ethnonations, and national states.
In the 19th century it was possible to dream of establishing national states, AB, and the word 'nation'
was used for this concept: #1 above. During the 20th century, the concepts diverged so that 'nation'
came to mean A or B, depending on its context of use: #2. We now need a broader concept that can
include A, Band AB: #3. I use nation only in this sense, while using state for A, ethnonation for B,
and national state for AB.
A word of caution: when we are thinking
about national states it is important not to use nation-state as a synonym
. This term usually refers to states that are recognized
internationally--e.g. as members of the UN. It has gained
credibility because in federal unions, state is often used to refer to
sub-states--e.g. California, Texas and Hawaii in the United States.
Such sub-states are also called sovereign states, making this phrase
useless to distinguish between states and sub-states. 'Nation-state'
is the only established term that can readily sort states from their sub-
states, but it is easily confused with the idea of a national state.
To overcome this ambiguity, independent state can be used to mean an
internationally recognized state, and sub-state to identify the
territorial jurisdictions within a state, whether or not they have
A possible objection to national state may arise from its resemblance to national government, a
phrase often used to refer to central government, by contrast with local government. The meaning
of 'national' in these two set phrases is, of course, different. In the latter it refers to a central
government or a country as a whole, but in the former it identifies the ethnonational composition of
a state, distinguishing mono-ethnic states from those in which two or more ethnonations co- exist.
This ambiguity could be overcome if we would use central government in place of national
government. This substitution is also desirable because 'central' is certainly less ambiguous than
national when used in this sense. I suspect that 'national government' became popular when unifying
states wanted to distinguish the dominant culture of the center from the variants found in peripheral
areas, or even to distinguish centralized governments from federal or confederal unions. If so, then
it is surely desirable to stop using 'national government' because of its anachronistic connotations.
Incidentally, nation-state may also suggest the idea of a state as a whole rather than its sub-states,
another reason for avoiding the expression .
The most important point to remember, however, is that national state unequivocally distinguishes
the ideal type of a mono-ethnic state from virtually all real-world states which are typically multi-ethnic, whether or not they contain two or more ethnonations. It should not be confused with the
different concepts designated by 'nation-state' and 'national government.'
8 Divided Ethnonations. In principle, a divided ethnonation--also often called a divided nation--is
an ethnonation partitioned among two or more states: e.g. North and South Korea; the People's
Republic and Taiwan; the Kurds living in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria; Russians in Russia and in
Ukraine and other former Soviet republics--for more examples of what he calls trans-state
ethnonationalism see Kalaycioglu (1995). Ethnonational movements among such divided peoples
naturally affect the interests of the states in which they live and can provoke inter-state conflicts.
When such conflicts have a long history, as between Greece and Turkey, the struggle by Greek and
Turkish Cypriots to achieve unification with their homelands led to severe strife in 1974 and to the
de facto partitioning of that embattled country.
The term 'divided nation' is problematic since it could also mean an ethnically partitioned state, e.g. Cyprus or Belgium. Our focus here is on ethnonations divided between separate states, like the two Koreas. To be precise, we should call them 'divided ethnonations' or 'trans-state ethnonations.' Ethnonationalism in such communities carries the risk of provoking inter-state conflict among the states involved and deserves to be studied as an important kind of special case.
For the rest of TURMOIL AMONG NATIONS see:
 introduction || text || endnotes - 2 || bibliography || concept records