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An autonomous administrative division (also referred to as an autonomous area, entity, unit, region, subdivision, or territory) is a subnational administrative division or internal territory of a sovereign state that has a degree of autonomy — self-governance — under the national government. Autonomous areas are distinct from the constituent units of a federation (e.g. a state, or province) in that they possess unique powers for their given circumstances. Typically, it is either geographically distinct from the rest of the state 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. States 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 designationEdit
|Oroqen||People's Republic of China||In effect, these are autonomous counties.|
|Morin Dawa Daur|
|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.|
|Tashkent||Uzbekistan||Tashkent is the capital of Uzbekistan|
|Bangui||Central African Republic||Bangui is the capital and the largest city of the Central African Republic|
|Noakhali||Bangladesh||Noakhali is the autonomous region of Bangladesh|
|There are 17 autonomous communities of Spain|
|United Kingdom||Three of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom, namely Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, each has an elected, devolved legislature which has the ability to legislate in devolved matters. The Parliament of the United Kingdom which retains sovereignty (the United Kingdom is a unitary state), can dissolve the devolved legislatures at any time, and legislates in matters that are not devolved, as well as having the capacity to legislate in areas that are devolved (by constitutional convention, without the agreement of the devolved legislature). Formerly, both Scotland and England were fully sovereign states.|
|Kingdom of Denmark||The two autonomous countries (Danish: land, Faroese: land, Greenlandic: nuna) 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 Kingdom Parliament 'Folketinget' retains sovereignty (The Kingdom of Denmark 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 without the agreement of the devolved legislature).|
|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. The plan was accepted by the Jewish Agency, and rejected by Arab leaders. 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. Israel has since fought several wars with Arab countries, 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). It extended its laws to the Golan Heights and East Jerusalem, but not the West Bank. Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territories is the world's longest military occupation in modern times. 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 138 UN members and since 2012 has a status of a non-member observer state in the United Nations – which implies recognition of statehood. It is a member of the Arab League, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, G77, and the International Olympic Committee and other international bodies.|
|There are 117 autonomous counties in China||China|
|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|
|Tobago||Trinidad and Tobago||The Tobago House of Assembly is an autonomous legislature that is responsible for the island of Tobago.|
|There are 4 autonomous okrugs of Russia|
|Jewish Autonomous Oblast||Russia|
|There are 30 autonomous prefectures of the People's Republic of China|
|South Tyrol||Italy||The autonomous provinces of South Tyrol and Trentino actually constitute Trentino-Alto Adige, one of the five special regions of Italy to be granted more autonomy than the ordinary fifteen, but the most recent regional constitutional reform redistributed so many regional competences to the two provinces that these two can now be considered separate autonomous provinces for all practical purposes, leaving the existence of the region to basic importance. (for example, some national acts apply to «all regions and autonomous provinces», specifically using this theoretically unnecessary terminology almost as if Trentino-Alto Adige didn't exist as a region, even though it does and «all regions» should also include the one constituted by those two provinces)|
|Aceh||Indonesia||Aceh is the only Indonesian province practicing Sharia law officially|
|Papua||Papua and West Papua are the only Indonesian provinces where the indigenous people have privileges in their local government|
|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.|
|Bougainville||Papua New Guinea|
|Guangxi||People's Republic of China|
| Hong Kong
|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|
|Somalia||Somaliland is a self-declared state, It is internationally considered an autonomous region independent in northwestern Somalia.|
|Navajo Nation||United States|
|Ningxia||People's Republic of China|
|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.|
|Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria||Syria|
|Tibet||People's Republic of China|
|Xinjiang||People's Republic of China|
|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.|
|Bissau||Guinea-Bissau||Bissau is the capital and largest city of Guinea-Bissau.|
|Left Bank of the Dniester||Claimed by:
|In 1990, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (PMR, commonly known as Transnistria) 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.|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Chile||In 2007, the Chamber of Deputies of Chile passed a law designating both as "special territories", granting them more autonomy. Additionally, the Juan Fernandez Islands archipelago is a commune, while Easter Island is both a commune and a province.|
Other autonomous regions include, Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland, Ethiopian Controlled Somalia, The Netherlands (part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Aruba (Kingdom of the Netherlands), Curaçao (Kingdom of the Netherlands), and Saint Maarten (Kingdom of the Netherlands).
List of other entities considered autonomousEdit
British Overseas Territories and Crown dependenciesEdit
Guernsey, the Isle of Man, and Jersey 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.
Dutch constituent countriesEdit
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 CorsicaEdit
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, Guadeloupe, 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.
New Zealand overseas territoriesEdit
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.
Ethiopian special woredasEdit
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 peoplesEdit
List of historical autonomous administrative divisionsEdit
- Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship
- Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao in the Philippines (1989–2019)
- Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus in Albania (1914).
- Autonomous republics of the Soviet Union (1922–1990)
- Subcarpathian Rus and Slovakia within Czechoslovakia (1938–1939).
- Grand Duchy of Finland of the Russian Empire.
- Magyar Autonomous Region of Socialist Republic of Romania (1952–1968)
- Southern Ireland (1921–22) and Northern Ireland (1921–72) within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
- List of autonomous areas by country
- List of autonomous regions leaders
- Personal union
- Region (administrative)
- * 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
- Ackrén, Maria (November 2017). "Greenland". Autonomy Arrangements in the World. Archived from the original on 2019-08-30. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- Tobago Division Of Tourism - About Tobago, Governance Archived 2007-07-10 at the Wayback Machine
- "Easter Islands now a "special territory" with more autonomy".
- "Chatham Islands Council Act 1995 No 41 (as at 01 July 2013), Public Act Contents – New Zealand Legislation". www.legislation.govt.nz.
- 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,
- Thomas Benedikter, 100 Years of Modern Territorial Autonomy - Autonomy around the World, Berlin/Zürich, LIT 2021, ISBN 978-3-643-91401-9 (pb)
- Thomas Benedikter, The World's Modern Autonomy Systems, EURAC Bozen 2010; https://www.academia.edu/44170136/The_Worlds_Modern_Autonomy_Systems