Autonomous administrative division

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Autonomous administrative division
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{{Refimprove|date=September 2016}}(File:Autonomous areas.svg|thumb|upright=1.25|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

{{See also|List of autonomous areas by country}}{| class="wikitable sortable"! Designation! Division! State! Notes
TerritoryAzad Kashmir}}{{flag|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.
  • {{flag|Faroe Islands{edih}
  • {{flag|Greenland}}
  • WEB,weblink Greenland, Ackrén, Maria, November 2017, Autonomy Arrangements in the World, Faroese and Greenlandic are seen as official regional languages in the self-governing territories belonging to Denmark., 2019-08-30,weblink" title="">weblink 2019-08-30, dead,
  • WEB,weblink Greenland, 2013-06-03, International Cooperation and Development, European Commission, en, 2019-08-27, Greenland [...] is an autonomous territory within the Kingdom of Denmark,
  • WEB,weblink Facts about the Faroe Islands, Nordic cooperation,weblink" title="">weblink 23 April 2018, dead, 1 July 2015, The Faroe Islands [...] is one of three autonomous territories in the Nordic Region, dmy-all, 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).
BannerOroqen Autonomous Banner>Oroqen{{nowrapPeople's Republic of China}}}} In effect, these are autonomous counties.
Evenk Autonomous Banner>Evenk
Morin Dawa Daur Autonomous Banner>Morin Dawa Daur
CityBandera de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.svg}} Buenos AiresArgentina}}| Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina
Ceuta}} {{flag|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 emblem.jpg}} TashkentUzbekistan}}| 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}}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 (political custom)>constitutional convention, without the agreement of the devolved legislature).
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 138 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
Autonomous administrative divisions of India>autonomous district councils in IndiaIndia}}| Autonomous district councils are formed under the provisions of the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India
| Island| Tobago
Trinidad and Tobago}}Tobago House of Assembly is an autonomous legislature that is responsible for the island of Tobago.Tobago Division Of Tourism - About Tobago, Governance {{webarchive>url= |date=2007-07-10 }}
| Okrug
There are 6 autonomous okrugs of Russia
Autonomous oblast>OblastFlag of the Jewish Autonomous Oblast.svg}} Jewish Autonomous OblastRussia}}|
| Prefecture
There are 30 autonomous prefectures of the People's Republic of China
ProvinceFlag of Jejudo.svg}} JejuRepublic of Korea}}|
Kosovo and MetohijaSerbia}}In 2008, the 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 {{Numrec>Kosovo|recognised by}} UN member states.
Republic of Kosovo|name=Kosovo}}
South Tyrol}}{{flag|Italy}}
Flag of Vojvodina.svg}}{{flagicon image|Tradicionalna zastava Vojvodine sa grbom.svg}} VojvodinaSerbia}}
Aceh}}{{flag|Indonesia}}| Aceh is the only Indonesian province practicing Sharia law officially
Flag of Papua.svg}} Papuaspecial autonomous
Flag of West Papua (vectorised).svg}} West Papua
Flag of Yogyakarta.svg}} Yogyakarta| Yogyakarta is the only officially recognised monarchy within Indonesia
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Malampa Province.png}} Malampa
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Penama.png}} Penama
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Sanma.png}} Sanma
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Shefa.png}} Shefa
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Tafea.png}} Tafea
  • {{flagicon image|Flag of Torba Province.png}} Torba
Vanuatu}}|The provinces of Vanuatu are autonomous units with their own popularly elected local parliaments.
Region{{flag|Ã…land Islands}}}}Finland}}
Flag of Valle d'Aosta.svg}} Aosta ValleyItaly}}
Bougainville}}Papua New Guinea}}
Friuli-Venezia Giulia}}Italy}}
| Guangxi
People's Republic of China}}
Hong Kong}}{{flag|Macau}}People's Republic of China}}
Flag of the Hopi.png}} Hopi ReservationUnited States}}
Flag of the Cherokee Nation.svg}} Cherokee NationUnited States}}
Choctaw flag.svg}} Choctaw NationUnited States}}
Pine Ridge Flag.svg}} Oglala Lakota of the Pine Ridge Indian ReservationUnited 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}}Somalia}}| Puntland Territory is the only autonomous region within Somalia. States and regions of Somalia
Flag of Bangsamoro.svg}} BangsamoroPhilippines}}
Flag of the Greek Orthodox Church.svg}} Mount AthosGreece}}
Navajo flag.svg}} Navajo NationUnited States}}
| Ningxia
People's Republic of China}}
Bandera Nis'ga Nation.png}} Nisga'a Nation{{flag|Canada}}
Flag of Nunatsiavut.svg}} Nunatsiavut
Flag of Region Autonoma del Atlantico Norte.svg}} RAAN{{flag|Nicaragua}}
Flag of Region Autonoma Atlantico Sur.svg}} RAAS
{{flagicon image|Coat_of_Arms_of_Mayotte.svg}} Politics of MayotteComoro IslandsComoros}}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.
Flag of Rojava.svg}} RojavaSyria}}
Tibet Autonomous Region>TibetPeople's Republic of China}}
| Tłı̨chǫ
| Xinjiang
People's Republic of China}}
Flag of Zanzibar.svg}} ZanzibarTanzania}}
RepublicNakhchivan Autonomous Republic}} NakhchivanAzerbaijan}}
Flag of Adjara.svg}} AdjaraGeorgia}}
AbkhaziaGeorgia}}In 1999, the Abkhazia declared its independence from Georgia after the War in Abkhazia (1992–93)>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.
Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province>Gorno-BadakhshanTajikistan}}
{{flagicon image|Flag of Crimea.svg}} CrimeaUkraine}}
Flag of Karakalpakstan.svg}} KarakalpakstanUzbekistan}}
Western SaharaSouthern ProvincesMadrid AccordsMorocco}}
Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic}}
| Sector
Bandeira Bissau.PNG}} BissauGuinea-Bissau}}|
Territorial unitFlag of Gagauzia.svg}} GagauziaMoldova}}|
TransnistriaMoldova}}In 1990, the 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 International recognition of Transnistria>recognized by 3 other non-UN member states.
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.WEB,weblink Chatham Islands Council Act 1995 No 41 (as at 01 July 2013), Public Act Contents – New Zealand Legislation,,
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

{{Expand list|date=September 2016}}

See also


{{reflist|30em}}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{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}, report by Minority Rights Group International
  • P.M. Olausson, Autonomy and Islands, A Global Study of the Factors that determine Island Autonomy. Ã…bo: Ã…bo 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,weblink
  • Thomas Benedikter, The World's Modern Autonomy Systems, EURAC Bozen 2010;weblink{{dead link|date=October 2016 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}
{{Autonomous types of first-tier administration}}{{Terms for types of country subdivisions}}

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