Autonomous administrative division
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 and/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
|State||Azad Kashmir||Islamic Republic of Pakistan||Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is a self-governing state under Pakistani control, but under Pakistan's constitution the state is not formally a part of the country as the Kashmir conflict has not yet been resolved.|
|Banner||Oroqen||People's Republic of China||In effect, these are autonomous counties.|
|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.|
|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|
|Country||Scotland||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; however, (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).|
|Oblast||Jewish Autonomous Oblast||Russia|
|Jeju||Republic of Korea|
|Kosovo and Metohija|| Claimed by:
|In 2008, the Republic of Kosovo declared independence. While Serbia has not formally recognized Kosovo's independence and still has an administrative apparatus for the Autonomous Province, its independence is recognized by 110 UN member states, in contradiction of the UN Resolution 1244.|
| Controlled by:|
|Malampa||Vanuatu||The provinces of Vanuatu are autonomous units with their own popularly elected local parliaments.|
|Bougainville||Papua New Guinea|
|Hong Kong||People's Republic of China|
|Hopi Reservation||United States|
|Cherokee 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.|
|Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao||Philippines|
|Navajo Nation||United States|
|Ningxia||People's Republic of China|
|Tibet||People's Republic of China|
|Xinjiang||People's Republic of China|
|Abkhazia|| Claimed by:
|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 four other U.N. member states.|
| Controlled by:|
|Crimea|| Claimed by:|
| Controlled by|
|Transnistria|| Claimed by:
|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:|
|Entity|| Republika Srpska
||Bosnia and Herzegovina|
List of other entities considered autonomous
- 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. A number of other 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.
- Danish constituent countries
- 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 3 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
- Aboriginal (First Nation or Native American) reserves and reservations, in, respectively, Canada and the United States.
- the five comarcas indígenas ("indigenous regions") of Panama.
List of historical autonomous administrative divisions
- Autonomous Silesian Voivodeship
- Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus in Albania (1914).
- Autonomous republics of the Soviet Union (1922–1990)
- Bantustans of apartheid-era South Africa and Namibia.
- Subcarpathian Ruthenia and Slovakia within Czechoslovakia (1938–1939).
- Baltic Provinces of the Russian Empire.
- 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.
- Free imperial city of the medieval Holy Roman Empire
- Transjordan of British Palestine
- Autonomous caza of Kuwait, a subdivision of the Ottoman Empire
- List of autonomous areas by country
- Administrative division
- Personal union
- List of autonomous regions leaders
- 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, 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