COMMENTS FROM VIRGINIA TILLEY
28 January 1998
Continuing earlier discourse, this is a comment and response exchange between Virginia Tilley (VT) and Fred Riggs (FR). For related discussions see:
 Discourse || Enclaves || Who's Indigenous || Gurr comments || Gurr2 comments || Wilmer documents 
1. VT: I think your explanation of enclave" is convincing,
so far as it goes. It certainly has applicability to the actual political
clashes that characterize some of these conflicts.And it does highlight
the dilemma of a group whose territory has been incorporated, without their
volition, into the territory of a nation-state.
FR: Thanks for this acknowledgment. Actually, I think it goes a lot
farther than that by putting the current rise of ethno-national movements
among indigenous peoples into a broader historical context. Since I've
argued that point elsewhere in our discourse, I won't repeat the arguments
here -- Gurr2, #2.
2. VT: But it does not address Ted Gurr's point that numerous peoples
(such as the Maya) geographically straddle several states. Yes, their actual
political programs orient toward gaining privileges from their respective
governments, so the term "enclave" might work and be useful in
that pragmatic respect.
FR: Actually, I have discussed this point in my discourse with Ted -- see Gurr2 #5. You will see that I speak of divided nations (like the Kurds) -- that would include the Maya. Each segment located within one country is, of course, an "enclave," by definition. The politics of how members relate to their separate states, cross borders to gain safe-haven and organize resistance, etc., is quite fascinating and has counterparts in many parts of the world -- including both indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.
3.VT: But to the extent that these peoples' movements are transnational,
their orientation is precisely toward criticizing current state formation
and boundaries. In that sense, as Ted points out, the term "enclave"
only reinforces the state-centric paradigm/discourse whose very hegemony
those movements are trying to counter. Thus the term "enclave"
would position us as endorsing the hegemonic discourse. In other words,
we would be taking sides in a loaded debate: highly undesirable.
FR: Sorry I don't really understand your point. Most of the divided nations, I believe, hope to create their own states -- they do of course attack the boundaries that divide them -- e.g. between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria that fragment "Kurdistan." In some cases, however, the people on one side of a border have little in common with their co-nationals on the other side -- e.g. Azeris in Iran may not wish to join the state of Azerbaijan, and the Basques in France, I think, would not particularly support union with a separatist Basque state formed in Spanish territory.
Perhaps more importantly, although enclave nations have homelands, many co-nationals live outside its borders, in various kinds of diaspora, and most enclaves have mixed populations so many people within an enclave may not support the aspirations of its militant nationalists -- e.g. the Republicans in Ulster support union with Ireland but are stoutly resisted by the Unionists.
I guess my general point would be that accepting any tool for analytic
purposes does not involve any ideological commitment -- "enclaves"
are neither good nor bad in themselves, they are just facts involving the
location of communities within the borders of a state. Identifying them
as such provides a basis for comparing enclave nations and the policies
of the states ("metro-pols") that enclose them. They surely do
not involve acceptance of any hegemonic discourse -- rather, they make
it easier, I think, to identify the grievances of peoples caught in the
trap of an enclave. You may sympathize with victims and support their causes
without thereby becoming a victim, or accepting the case made for victimizers.
5. VT: Here you are, I surmise, referring to decolonization. And yes,
of course, decolonization did entail the independence of colonized areas
outside the contiguous territory of the colonial power. But this does NOT
mean that ALL national peoples have achieved statehood. In the carving
up of the globe into alleged "nation-states," various elites
took charge, and MOST "national peoples" did NOT achieve statehood.
FR: I think we are in complete agreement about the facts -- as I explained above, the lack of a comma meant that I was not referring to "all national peoples" but only to those that did achieve independence. As for who is an "alleged nation-state," if you are referring to "national states," i.e., those that are ethnically homogeneous, I guess there are virtually none in the world -- I have often mentioned Iceland as coming close, but they have a significant minority of Greenlanders. The problem here is that most people use "nation state" to mean an independent state, including all members of the United Nations. In this sense, all states are "nations," but it is also true that most ethnic nations are not independent but are, indeed, enclaves enclosed by intra-state boundaries. Finally, let me add that many "national peoples" do not aspire for statehood, some seek only autonomy, or equal rights within a state for their citizens. When I say "enclave nation" I have in mind a people living within the borders of a state who seek autonomy or statehood. This term, therefore, includes some but not all national peoples. The real problem here is how we communicate clearly with each other -- not matters of fact. We agree on the facts, I believe, but use different language to talk about them. I think that what I want to talk about can be simplified if we add "enclave" and "exclave"to our vocabulary and I cannot understand why these two well established words are so repellant. They have no ideological or prescriptive connotations -- they just help us describe the geographic location of ethnic nations in relation to the states that dominate them.
6. VT: The obvious example is the Kurds, who lost their chance for statehood
when Arab elites in Iraq and Syria negotiated those countries' independence
from French rule.
FR: Actually, I think the Kurds lost out when the British sold them out to the French. Of course, none of the imperial powers had any respect for ethnic nationalism at that time -- it was not until after World War II when the British, for whatever reason, supported statehood for Israel that we can speak of an imperial policy based on respect for ethnic nationalism. Until then, I believe, realist theory is more explanatory -- states respected power and nations were only pawns in their rivalries. No doubt Woodrow Wilson gave the notion of "self-determination" a big boost, and the idea helped rationalize the destruction of the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, but it was not until after World War II, I believe, that it became a major political influence, perhaps starting with India. Even then, the British surrendered India because they had to, not because they thought it was right. Nor did they accept Pakistan for reasons of principle -- it was an unavoidable necessity.
7. VT: But there are many other such examples. It was the very decolonization
process of crafting new "nation-states" that DENIED statehood
to such peoples --precisely the question we comparatively address. If you
point out that such peoples as the Kurds are now "enclaves" then
so be it, but, again, the distinction with "exclave" is meaningless.
FR: Here, again, I think any disagreement we have is over words, not facts. The decolonization process created new states virtually of which were located outside their metropoles -- hence they were exclaves. They were expected to become "independent states" but not "national states." Since "nation state" is used ambiguously to refer to both, as you do above, it is difficult to be clear when you use this phrase. As for the unfortunate status of the Kurds, they are just one example of innumerable enclave nations. The fact that they are also a divided nation whose segments live inside four different states adds to the complexity but is not hard to explain. Of course, since they were not exclaves of any state, there is no reason to use "exclave" in connection with the Kurds. That does not mean the term is irrelevant in other contexts where a people does live outside the boundaries of the metro-pol that controls them. Goa was a Portuguese exclave easily annexed by India, but the British held on to their Hong Kong exclave until last year when law and history compelled them to surrender it to China. When you say the "enclave/exclave" distinction is meaningless, I cannot understand what you mean unless you do not really see any difference for a people being inside the boundaries of a state or outside it. No doubt this difference results from historical accidents -- who was conquered by whom and where -- but if this difference helps us understand why some people could liberate themselves from imperial masters (their metro-pols) before others, then it strikes me as a distinction worth making. Please don't object to "metro-pol," a word I use to include not only metropoles, as imperial powers, but also any state that happens to dominate a people enclosed within its borders. Or, if you do object, give me a better term for this concept.
8. VT: One other quibble: The term "indigenous peoples" cannot
be confined to the definition below. You wrote: When Franke explained
the UN definition (attributed to Cobo) it became clear that although peoples
conquered by settlers coming from Europe was the starting point, parallels
were offered for communities treated as "tribes" by the ruling
elites of new states created upon the collapse of modern empires. It then
became clear that although this expanded definition might include the Kurds,
it could not include the Scots. Aside from the question of inclusion
(e.g., of the Scots), one problem here is the narrow traces of such cases
to the "collapse of modern empires."
FR: I agree that the expansion of the notion of "indigenous peoples" by the UN from its original connotation of those victimized by European settlers to minorities anywhere in the world who were classed as "tribes" by the new states, has created a fuzzy set of overlapping concepts that troubles us now. Although the Kurds may be "indigenous" by the UN definition, they were not conquered by European settlers. The facts are clear enough but the language is so elastic that we find ourselves entrapped by it. This, of course, is why I wanted to find another term so that we could compare not only the "settlerized" nations of the "New World" and the "tribalized" nations of the "New States," but also the enclosed nations of Europe who also seek autonomy or independence. The fact that they confront, historically and substantively, similar problems makes it important, I think, for us to be able to compare them. That's why I proposed using a different term, like "enclave nation" to identify them regardless of how, historically, they came into existence.
Our first session will focus unequivocally on ethnic nations viewed by themselves and everyone else as indigenous. The second session, however, opens our window to view any ethnic nation in the world that seeks autonomy or statehood, whether or not they choose to call themselves "indigenous" -- some, no doubt, do but others do not. I argue that, empirically, virtually all these nations have a homeland enclosed by borders located within a state -- there may be a few located in exclaves (possessions outside a state's borders) but they are rare. However, 50 years ago there would have been many such cases. The historical difference needs to be explained and that is another aspect of the subject I hope we will be able to explore -- most of the exclave nations of the world, I think, have won their independence even though, within each of them, there are now a growing number of enclave nations also seeking independence or autonomy.
9. VT: I think it unnecessarily opens a Pandora's Box if we formally
wed our inquiry to observation of Europe settler colonialism or "the
collapse of MODERN empires" (who is included in the latter term? what
about China and its western peoples? Turkey and the Kurds -- a problem
which traces to the Ottomans? or Algeria and the Berbers-- a problem tracing
to the Muslim Arab conquest in the 7th and 8th centuries? or indeed the
Scots, who were conquered as part of England's territorial expansion and
consolidation within a nascent nation-building project?).
FR: Your questions about the identity of "modern" empires deserve attention, but I don't think we need to discuss them here. I used the term because the new states created after the collapse of imperialism in the late 20th century and the rise of ethnic nationalism as a powerful motivator are, I think, the focus of our attention. However, ethnic nationalism has also risen within the imperial homelands --notably in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Italy, the USSR, though not much in Japan. The pre-modern empires go back to ancient times -- China, the Mongols, the Romans, the Ottomans, and many others. Their dynamics were quite different because they involved power, ambition, trade, religion, etc. -- as do all empires, but not the specifically modern aspects of industrialized mass-production and capitalism, democracy, plus ethnic nationalism as a foundation for legitimizing popular sovereignty.
At the margins, the distinctions are fuzzy, but in a long-term perspective, they seem clear enough to me. All traditional empires were multi-ethnic, and there were, indeed, enclaves of conquered peoples, but ethnic nationalism was not a political force. Of course, many of the enclaves in Europe today have pre-modern origins --as you point out in the Scottish case. The importance of modern imperialism is that it legitimized ethnic nationalism as a political force, and its successes in the Third World have powered emulative movements in the "Fourth World" and in the First and Second Worlds as well. That makes it globally important which is why I wanted to find a term that could unify our panel as dealing with a global phenomenon. Incidentally, our Toronto papers deal with imperialism in a world-historical context and you might find it useful to re-read some of them on my Web Page as background too our Minneapolis meeting. It will help us if we don't have to repeat a lot of the material we have already covered.
I think it far more useful to focus on the dynamics and political logics generated by the nation-state model through its powerful fusion of territory with central governmental sovereignty. But that process was (a) long, taking several centuries to evolve, and (b) global, involving elites all over the world emerging from all kinds of histories. Not to absolve Europe et al of notorious sins, far from it. But the comparative project, I think, should transcend the common political agenda of highlighting the unique evils of any particular state or empire-builder. But not to omit the beleaguered Scots' standing regarding term "indigenous peoples," I would only point out, again, and adamantly, that whatever we do, we are constrained in our use of this term because it serves two intimately related functions: (1) as a social science term, primarily to designate a certain political situation characterized by typical socio-political dilemmas (about which we quibble); and (2) as a term for political organizing. In the latter sense, answering the "who is indigenous" question requires tracking the actual trajectory of transnational organizing (e.g., the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations, or the WCIP) and finding out who has participated. We MUST be cognizant of this. To be responsible in our work, we must recognize that we are never divorced from the consequences of the language we choose to use, especially as social scientists have historically played such a powerful role in "crafting knowledge" about such matters (e.g., playing our part in reinforcing state authority, and thus contributing, intentionally or unintentionally, to state coercion and violence against such peoples). In short, we cannot create or redefine terms to embrace various peoples for our intellectual convenience, when those terms have burning significance for crucial political processes in the "real world."
10. VT: Can we not leave the status of the Scots a question, and simply
note its complexity, and consciously avoid terms that may assert some typology
that actually contributes to a conflictory climate?
FR: Actually, I don't think we need to worry about such a conflict. We have already agreed to include Josephine Squires' paper in our second session which will focus on non-state nations (enclave nations) found outside the domains where colonial settlers occupied the lands of the indigenous peoples. This will include both a European case (Scots) and a "tribalized" people (Kurds). The first session will focus on the "settlerized" peoples, those unambiguously viewed as "indigenous" in all definitions of this word.
The reason for including Scotland is substantive and has nothing to do with broader or narrower conceptions of "indigenous." It has to do, rather, with the fact that the rise of ethnic nationalism as a modern phenomenon has now penetrated far beyond its early locus in the dependent territories of modern empires (I sometimes say "European" but the concept has to include the U.S., the U.S.S.R. and Japan, which goes beyond the borders of Europe -- and some European empires -- Austria, Spain, Portugal, were contemporary not truly "modern") It now permeates all the new states created by the collapse of these empires, and it has entered their homelands as well -- this includes the older European homelands as well as the New World homelands of the Americas and Australia/New Zealand. Scotland clearly belongs in this category which, for convenience, I think of as "enclave nations." It strikes me as a relatively simple case to study by contrast, for example, with Northern Ireland. but, if you can come up with a better term, I will eagerly embrace it. Just remember, the term has to include the idea of all ethnic nations (communities seeking autonomy or sovereignty -- whether or not they think of themselves as "indigenous") whose lands are enclosed within the borders of existing states. The rising tide of conflict involving "minorities in revolt" will occur in such places. That's what I hope our double panel can focus on.
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Updated: 28 January 1998
See the general guide to our whole discourse.
For discussions of the meanings of indigenous, and of enclave and exclave see:
 Enclaves || Who's Indigenous || Gurr comments || Gurr2 comments || Wilmer documents