How far separatist demands will go toward full independence, and whether groups pursue constitutional and nonviolent or armed violence, depend on a variety of economic, political, social and cultural factors, including movement leadership and the government's response. Governments may respond in a number of ways, some of which are mutually exclusive. Some include:
accede to separatist demands
improve the circumstances of disadvantaged minorities, be they religious, linguistic, territorial, economic or political
adopt "asymmetric federalism" where different states have different relations to the central government depending on separatist demands or considerations
allow minorities to win in political disputes about which they feel strongly, through parliamentary voting, referendum, etc.
Some governments suppress any separatist movement in their own country, but support separatism in other countries.
Types of separatist groups
Separatist groups practice a form of identity politics - "political activity and theorizing founded in the shared experiences of injustice of members of certain social groups." Such groups believe attempts at integration with dominant groups compromise their identity and ability to pursue greater self-determination. However, economic and political factors usually are critical in creating strong separatist movements as opposed to less ambitious identity movements.
Zionism sought the creation of the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland. This resulted in religious separatism between the Jewish Israelis, and Muslim and Christian Palestinians following the Balfour Declaration. Simon Dubnow, who was ambivalent toward Zionism, formulated Jewish Autonomism which was adopted in eastern Europe by Jewish political parties such as the Bund and his own Folkspartei before World War II. Zionism can also be seen as somewhat ethnic too, however, as its definition of who is Jewish has often included people of Jewish background who do not practice the Jewish religion.
The Partition of India and (later Pakistan andBangladesh) arose as a result of separatism on the part of both Hindus and Muslims, as well as strong national identities on both sides.
Sikhs in India sought an independent nation of Khalistan during the 1970s and 1980s. The Khalistan movement inside India that even involved the assassination of the then Prime Minister of IndiaIndira Gandhi as a retaliation of an Indian military operation Operation Blue Star directed against Sikh militants in the Sikhs' holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, in which many innocent Sikh civilians too lost their lives. The murder of Mrs. Indira Gandhi evoked a backlash in the form of mass murders of Sikhs in 1984, which only further strengthened the Khalistan Movement, but it largely subsided owing to the efforts of the police in Punjab, led by a Sikh police officer KPS Gill. However, some in the Sikh diaspora in the West and elsewhere, and even Sikhs in India, still support the idea of Khalistan, and there have been sporadic instances of violence for this cause, or attempts at the same, which have been foiled by India's intelligence agencies and security personnel.
Map of active separatist movements in Europe. Red names indicate regions with movements that only claim greater autonomy within the actual state. Black names indicate regions with important secessionist movements, although both categories include moderate movements. The nations highlighted in colors are the territories claimed by the local nationalist groups, including areas out of the state's borders and cases of annexation to other states (click to enlarge).
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a worldwide view of the subject. Please improve this article and discuss the issue on the talk page.(August 2011)
Some separatist groups seek to separate from others along racist lines. They oppose marriage and association with members of other "races" and seek separate schools, businesses, churches and other institutions or even separate societies, territories, countries, and governments.
White separatism in the United States and Western Europe seeks separation and survival of they call the "white race" and limits to immigration by "non-whites". According to two sociologists writing in the year 2000, most separatists now formally reject any ideology of white supremacy in public, though some advocacy groups continue to criticize such separatist groups.
^Link to: Chima, Jugdep. "Effects of Political Leadership on Ethnic Separatist Movements in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Palmer House Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, April 12, 2007 (PDF); Chima, Jugdep. "How Does Political Leadership Affect the Trajectories of Ethnic Separatist Insurgencies?: Comparative Evidence from Movements in India" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Marriott Wardman Park, Omni Shoreham, Washington Hilton, Washington, D.C., September 01, 2005 (PDF).
^ abSee D.L. Horowitz's "Patterns of Ethnic Separatism", originally published in Comparative Studies in Society and History, 1981, vol 23, 165-95. Republished in John A. Hall, The State: Critical Concepts, Routledge, 1994.
^Mughal, Muhammad Aurang Zeb. 2012. Spain. Steven L. Denver (ed.), Native Peoples of the World: An Encyclopedia of Groups, Cultures, and Contemporary Issues, Vol. 3. Armonk, NY: M .E. Sharpe, pp. 674-675.