Autonomous administrative division

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Countries with at least one area labelled "autonomous" or defined as such by law

An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subdivision or dependent territory of a country that has a degree of self-governance, or autonomy, from an external authority. Typically, it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the country or populated by a national minority. Decentralization of self-governing powers and functions to such divisions is a way for a national government to try to increase democratic participation or administrative efficiency or to defuse internal conflicts. Countries that include autonomous areas may be federacies, federations, or confederations. Autonomous areas can be divided into territorial autonomies, subregional territorial autonomies, and local autonomies.

List of autonomous subdivisions by designation

Designation Division State Notes
Territory  Azad Kashmir  Pakistan Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are self-governing territories associated with Pakistan but have not formally been annexed to Pakistan as Kashmir conflict has not yet been resolved. Claimed by India.
 Gilgit-Baltistan
 Kingdom of Denmark The two territories[1] of the realm of the Kingdom, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, each have an elected devolved legislature which has the ability to legislate in devolved matters. The Parliament of Denmark retains sovereignty (Denmark is an unitary state) and legislates in matters that are not devolved, as well as having the capacity to legislate in areas that are devolved (this does not normally occur without the agreement of the devolved legislature).
Banner Oroqen  People's Republic of China In effect, these are autonomous counties.
Evenk
Morin Dawa Daur
City Buenos Aires  Argentina Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina
 Ceuta  Spain The autonomous cities of Spain are two exclaves located on the north coast of North Africa surrounded by Morocco, separated from the Iberian peninsula by the Strait of Gibraltar.
 Melilla
Tashkent  Uzbekistan Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan
Commune Bangui  Central African Republic Bangui is the capital and the largest city of the Central African Republic
Community
There are 17 autonomous communities of Spain
Country  United Kingdom Three of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each have an elected devolved legislature which has the ability to legislate in devolved matters. The Parliament of the United Kingdom retains sovereignty (the United Kingdom is a unitary state) and legislates in matters that are not devolved, as well as having the capacity to legislate in areas that are devolved (this does not normally occur, by constitutional convention, without the agreement of the devolved legislature).
Authority State of Palestine Palestinian Authority West Bank and Gaza Strip In 1947, the United Nations (UN) adopted a Partition Plan for Palestine recommending the creation of independent Arab and Jewish states and an internationalised Jerusalem.[40] The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders.[41][42][43] The following year, the Jewish Agency declared the independence of the State of Israel, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War saw Israel's establishment over most of the former Mandate territory, while the West Bank and Gaza were held by neighboring Arab states.[44] Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries,[45] and since the Six-Day War in 1967 held occupied territories including the West Bank, Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip (still considered occupied after the 2005 disengagement, although some legal experts dispute this claim).[46][47][48][fn 5] It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank.[49][50][51][52] Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times.[fn 5][54] Efforts to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict have not resulted in a final peace agreement. However, peace treaties between Israel and both Egypt and Jordan have been signed. On 15 November 1988, Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), in Algiers proclaimed the establishment of the State of Palestine. A year after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, the Palestinian National Authority was formed to govern the areas A and B in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Gaza would later be ruled by Hamas in 2007, two years after the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The State of Palestine is recognised by 137 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations – which implies recognition of statehood.[26][27][28] It is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies.
County
There are 117 autonomous counties of the People's Republic of China
District council There are 25 autonomous district councils in India  India Autonomous district councils are formed under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India
Island Tobago  Trinidad and Tobago The Tobago House of Assembly is an autonomous legislature that is responsible for the island of Tobago.[2]
Okrug
There are 6 autonomous okrugs of Russia
Oblast Jewish Autonomous Oblast  Russia
Prefecture
There are 30 autonomous prefectures of the People's Republic of China
Province Jeju  South Korea
Kosovo and Metohija Claimed by:
 Serbia
In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared independence. While Serbia has not formally recognised Kosovo's independence and still has an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Province, its independence is recognised by 112 UN member states.
Controlled by:
 Kosovo
 South Tyrol  Italy
 Trentino
Vojvodina  Serbia
 Aceh  Indonesia Aceh is the only Indonesian province practicing Sharia law officially
Papua special autonomous
West Papua
Yogyakarta Yogyakarta is the only officially recognised monarchy within Indonesia
 Vanuatu The provinces of Vanuatu are autonomous units with their own popularly elected local parliaments.
Region  Åland Islands  Finland
Aosta Valley  Italy
 Azores  Portugal
 Bougainville  Papua New Guinea
 Friuli-Venezia Giulia  Italy
Guangxi  People's Republic of China
 Hong Kong
 Macau
 People's Republic of China
Hopi Reservation  United States
Cherokee Nation  United States
Choctaw Nation  United States
Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation  United States
Inner Mongolia  People's Republic of China
 Iraqi Kurdistan  Iraq Iraqi Kurdistan is the only region that has gained official recognition internationally as an autonomous regional entity.
 Jakarta  Indonesia Jakarta is the capital and the largest city of Indonesia
 Puntland
 Somaliland
 Galmudug
 Jubaland
South West State
Central Regions State
 Somalia Puntland Territory is the only autonomous region within Somalia. States and regions of Somalia
 Madeira  Portugal
Bangsamoro  Philippines
Mount Athos  Greece
Navajo Nation  United States
Ningxia  People's Republic of China
Nisga'a Nation  Canada
Nunatsiavut
RAAN  Nicaragua
RAAS
Politics of Mayotte
Comoro Islands
Claimed by:
 Comoros
The islands are politically divided between Union of the Comoros (pop. 850,688) and two territories of France: the department of Mayotte (pop. 270,372) and the Glorioso Islands, a part of the Scattered Islands in the Indian Ocean, the 5th district of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. This change was approved by 73% at a referendum on Mayotte. After the constitutional reform of 2003 it became a collectivité d'outre-mer while keeping the title collectivité départementale de Mayotte. Mayotte became an overseas department of France (département d'outre-mer, DOM) on 31 March 2011 following the result of the March 2009 Mahoran status referendum, which was overwhelmingly approved by around 95% of voters.
Controlled by:
 Mayotte
 Rodrigues  Mauritius
Rojava  Syria
 Sardinia  Italy
 Sicily
Tibet  People's Republic of China
Tłı̨chǫ  Canada
Xinjiang  People's Republic of China
Zanzibar  Tanzania
Republic Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic Nakhchivan  Azerbaijan
Adjara  Georgia
Abkhazia Claimed by:
 Georgia
In 1999, the Republic of Abkhazia declared its independence from Georgia after the 1992–1993 war. Georgia and most of the U.N. member states have not recognized Abkhazia's independence and still has an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Republic; its independence is recognized by Russia and three other U.N. member states.
Controlled by:
 Abkhazia
Gorno-Badakhshan  Tajikistan
Crimea Claimed by:
 Ukraine
Controlled by:
 Russia
Karakalpakstan  Uzbekistan
Western Sahara
Southern Provinces
Madrid Accords
Claimed by:
 Morocco
Controlled by:
 Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic
Sector Bissau  Guinea-Bissau
Territorial unit Gagauzia  Moldova
Transnistria Claimed by:
 Moldova
In 1990, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic declared its independence from the Soviet Union. While Moldova has not formally recognized Transnistria's independence and still has an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Province, its independence is recognized by 3 other non-UN member states.
Controlled by:
 Transnistria
Entity  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Other autonomous regions include, Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Ethiopian Controlled Somalia, The Netherlands (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Curacao (Kingdom of the Netherlands), and Saint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands).

List of other entities considered autonomous

Overseas territories

British Overseas Territories and Crown dependencies

Jersey, Guernsey, and the Isle of Man are self-governing Crown dependencies which are not part of the United Kingdom; however, the UK is responsible for their defence and international affairs. Gibraltar is a self-governing overseas territory of the UK. Most of the other 13 British Overseas Territories also have autonomy in internal affairs through local legislatures.

New Zealand dependent territories

New Zealand maintains nominal sovereignty over three Pacific Island nations. The Cook Islands and Niue are self-governing countries in free association with New Zealand that maintain some international relationships in their own name. Tokelau remains an autonomous dependency of New Zealand. The Chatham Islands—despite having the designation of Territory—is an integral part of the country, situated within the New Zealand archipelago. The territory's council is not autonomous and has broadly the same powers as other local councils, although notably it can also charge levies on goods entering or leaving the islands.[3]

Dutch constituent countries

Aruba, Curaçao, and Sint Maarten are autonomous countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, each with their own parliament. In addition they enjoy autonomy in taxation matters as well as having their own currencies.

French overseas collectivities, New Caledonia, and Corsica

The French constitution recognises three autonomous jurisdictions. Corsica, a region of France, enjoys a greater degree of autonomy on matters such as tax and education compared to mainland regions. New Caledonia, a sui generis collectivity, and French Polynesia, an overseas collectivity, are highly autonomous territories with their own government, legislature, currency and constitution. They do not, however, have legislative powers for policy areas relating to law and order, defense, border control or university education. Other smaller overseas collectivities have a lesser degree of autonomy through local legislatures. The five overseas regions, French Guiana, Guadaloupe, Martinique, Mayotte and Réunion, are generally governed the same as mainland regions; however, they enjoy some additional powers, including certain legislative powers for devolved areas.

Ethiopian special woredas

In Ethiopia, "special woredas" are a subgroup of woredas (districts) that are organized around the traditional homelands of an ethnic minority, and are outside the usual hierarchy of a kilil, or region. These woredas have many similarities to autonomous areas in other countries.

Areas designated for indigenous peoples

Other areas that are autonomous in nature but not in name are areas designated for indigenous peoples, such as those of the Americas:

List of historical autonomous administrative divisions

See also

References

  1. ^ a b * Benedikter, Thomas (2006-06-19). "The working autonomies in Europe". Society for Threatened Peoples. Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2019-08-30. Denmark has established very specific territorial autonomies with its two island territories
    • Ackrén, Maria (November 2017). "Greenland". Autonomy Arrangements in the World. Archived from the original on 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2019-08-30. Faroese and Greenlandic are seen as official regional languages in the self-governing territories belonging to Denmark.
    • "Greenland". International Cooperation and Development. European Commission. 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2019-08-27. Greenland [...] is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark
    • "Facts about the Faroe Islands". Nordic cooperation. Archived from the original on 23 April 2018. Retrieved 1 July 2015. The Faroe Islands [...] is one of three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region
  2. ^ Tobago Division Of Tourism - About Tobago, Governance Archived 2007-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Chatham Islands Council Act 1995 No 41 (as at 01 July 2013), Public Act Contents – New Zealand Legislation". www.legislation.govt.nz.

Works cited

  • M. Weller and S. Wolff (eds), Autonomy, Self-governance and Conflict Resolution: Innovative Approaches to Institutional Design in Divided Societies. Abingdon, Routledge, 2005
  • From Conflict to Autonomy in Nicaragua: Lessons Learnt[permanent dead link], report by Minority Rights Group International
  • P.M. Olausson, Autonomy and Islands, A Global Study of the Factors that determine Island Autonomy. Åbo: Åbo Akademi University Press, 2007.
  • Thomas Benedikter (ed.), Solving Ethnic Conflict through Self-Government - A Short Guide to Autonomy in Europe and South Asia, EURAC Bozen 2009, http://www.eurac.edu/en/research/institutes/imr/Documents/Deliverable_No_9_Update_Set_educational_material.pdf
  • Thomas Benedikter, The World's Modern Autonomy Systems, EURAC Bozen 2010; http://www.gfbv.at/publikationen/weitere_publikationen.php[permanent dead link]
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