What is a Micronation?

Paradiplomatic Affairs (PDA) represents all nations, including nations which may already have representation in other international organisations.

Paradiplomatic Affairs (PDA) also represents micronations.

What is a micronation?

According to pedestrian, but not necessarily accurate and unbiased wisdom, a micronation — sometimes referred to as a model country or new country project — is an entity that apparently intends to replace, resemble, mock, or exist on equal footing with a recognised and/or sovereign state.

Scholarly research, however, shows that a real micronation must be at least an empirical clan or band, or it simply isn't a micronation.

In reality, most self-described micronations are more of a mocking of real nations than real states, and it is intellectually dishonest to classify something, as the Wikipedia does in its article about micronations, based not on what that something actually is, but rather on what it isn't.

The first reference in English to the word micronation in a book appears in The battle for Buenos Aires, a 1943 book by Saxtone E. Bradford. The first reference in English to the word micronation in a popular book appears in The People's Almanac #2, a 1978 book by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace. It is clear that the term micronation, which literally means small nation, is a neologism. Moreover, since the authors of the aforementioned books were not citizens, nationals, residents or members of micronations, it is clear that the term micronation is also an exonym. The term is now often used even to retrospectively describe various ancient unrecognised entities, some which date to as far back as the 17th century.

The serious mission of an intergovernmental organisation like Paradiplomatic Affairs (PDA) demands a more precise and scientific vocabulary.

A micronation, as the word implies, is simply a small nation. The Wikipedia states that a micronation is an entity that claims to be an independent nation or state, but which is not recognised by world governments or major international organisations. So according to the Wikipedia, a micronation is a fictional or illegitimate state, but are nations and states the same thing to begin with?

It is interesting to note for comparative purposes within the social sciences, that most sociologists and scholars of religion began to reject the word cult altogether, because of its negative connotations in mass culture. Some began to advocate the use of new terms like new religious movement or alternative religion to describe most of the groups that had come to be referred to as cults.

We are aware of no micronational scholarship, outside of our own, that has at least attempted to correct the false perceptions associated with the word micronation in the Wikipedia and elsewhere, where the term is almost always used in a disparaging and a demeaning way, not in a neutral and/or scientific way. Moreover, just as the word micronation is often used in a disparaging and a demeaning way by specialists of propaganda, not science, the words bantustan and volkstaat are also often used in a pejorative sense when describing a region that lacks any real legitimacy. We advocate the use of new terms like Fourth World nation when appropriate, as well as Fifth World nation and Sixth World nation in most other instances.

A micronation is simply a small nation, just as Monaco is a small nation, except that a micronation is a Monaco with a difference: it usually doesn't exclusively control land like Monaco does, and so it is not considered a state.

It should be noted that micronations are either real nations — made of real people, who should also have real rights, and who are united by common descent, culture, or language, although they don't necessarily inhabit the same particular country or territory — or they are simply not micronations. If you don't call a state an entity that doesn't exclusively control land, you shouldn't call a micronation a single teenager, a group of teenagers, a single adult, or even a family or extended family, since it is clear that a micronation has to be a larger and more permanent thing than even the average family.

Paradiplomatic Affairs (PDA) represents all micronations, all Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth World nations, and Membership is also open to small states like Monaco, which generally can be treated as Second World nations, since they usually have more power than towns (Third World polities), and less power than metropolises (First World polities).

It should be noted that most Fourth World nations are not micronations, even though there are also micronations of the Fourth World variety. The Fourth World comprises anything from states with limited recognition like Abkhazia, Nagorno-Karabakh, or Somaliland; to active separatist movements/parties/peoples recognised by intergovernmental organisations like Cabinda, Southern Cameroons, or the Moro people; to town-size secessionist micronations like Seborga, Filettino, or Freetown Christiania. These are all secessionist entities, but the sizes of the claimed territories, as well as the situations, can vary considerably.

The Fifth World is made of more mature non-secessionist entities, the most advanced of which can be recognised by less prominent intergovernmental organisations. While these can vary considerably between those with large territorial (irredentist) claims, to those with no territorial claims whatsoever, the active national populations of these nations are all small, and thus these are all micronations.

The Sixth World is made of relatively new non-secessionist entities, some whose active national population is not much larger than an extended family, and these have not been recognised by states or intergovernmental organisations, but at best by alternative media, by some books, and/or by the Wikipedia, so these are micronations that at best enjoy the recognition of what is often known as the Fourth Estate.

Not all micronations have existed long enough, or are prominent enough to be Members of Paradiplomatic Affairs (PDA), so many genuine micronations will only be initially granted the status of Observers, but it is important to understand that PDA is open also to real micronations, not just to larger nations and/or states.