What is a micronation?
What is a micronation?
The easiest way to answer that question is to start by answering a related question: what is a nation? A nation is a large aggregate of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory. A state, on the other hand, is an aggregate of land with a sovereign government and laws.
Wikipedia says 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. 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 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 which doesn't exclusively control land, you shouldn't call a micronation a single individual, or even a family or extended family, since it is clear that a micronation has to be a larger and more permanent thing than a family.