7

There appears to be a significant misuse of the and tags.

From the excerpt of the [independence] tag, it appears the tag should be used when the geographic area covers more than one country. (Note the use of "country tags", in the excerpt, below.) For example, Kurdistan extends across four countries: Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

Whereas, from the excerpt of the [secession] tag, the tag should be used when the geographic area is a political subdivision entirely within a single country.

For the [independence] tag, there are 67 questions.

Tag excerpt:

In politics, independence is where a geopolitical bloc seeks to form their own nation when they are already ruled by a government. Use with any relevant country tags.

For comparison, Wikipedia notes that independence is:

... a condition of a person, nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory.

For the [secession] tag, there are 25 questions.

Tag excerpt:

A region separating (seceding) from a country to form its own country. Not to be confused with succession.

For comparison, Wikipedia notes that secession is:

... the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance.

Three questions use both tags.


If the goal of [secession] is to gain [independence], is it necessary to have both tags?

Or, what else should be done, if anything, to tag the questions according to the excerpts?

11
  • Would people describe colonies as "seceding"? E.g. the American Revolution isn't talked about as a secession IME. Or like if Guam left, I wouldn't really call it a secession but they're still getting Independence. Aug 22 at 15:55
  • Indeed Guam's WP mentions independence, but not secession. Aug 22 at 15:56
  • So do Scotland and Catanoia want to seceed or are they seeking independence? Seems to me that we want to make secession a synonym of independence. Aug 22 at 18:21
  • @AzorAhai-him- There are those who have and do describe the colonies as having seceded from the British Empire. It depends upon the level of one's vocabulary. But, should Guam secede, does it gain independence or sovereignty, or both. The choice might depend on one's vocabulary or context. Independence has an additional meaning beyond that given in the post. Does a Senator, elected as an Independent, have independence? Such a question could not be tagged [independence] by the current excerpt, but could by relying on the other definition.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 22 at 23:15
  • @MartinSchröder - Secession has but one meaning -- complete separation. Independence has levels. An autonomous area has more independence than other areas of the same country. Free Association is another level. Lumping these levels of independence together may not be beneficial. I don't yet have an opinion on the [independence] tagged questions; but I am certain that [secession] needs to remain.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 22 at 23:53
  • @MartinSchröder - Scottish referenda have dealt with different subjects -- some secession, some closer to free association. See, for comparison, West Indies Associated States. "Over time, the associated states moved to full independence, ..."
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 22 at 23:54
  • @RickSmith What do you mean, "it depends upon the level of one's vocabulary?" Aug 23 at 1:07
  • 1
    @AzorAhai-him- If a person has never encountered the word "secede" they can't use it properly; but "independence" is a more common word and may be used in the same context without knowing that secede is the "technically correct" word for the context.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 23 at 1:22
  • Are you saying I used it improperly? Aug 23 at 2:57
  • @AzorAhai-him- Are you saying I used it improperly? No. Consider the question, Is there are non-independent country with “full fiscal autonomy”?. If one doesn't know the word, "autonomy", it could be described as "full fiscal independence"; but "independence", in that context, doesn't mean the same as "secession". The meaning of independence varies with context. Others are free to use words as they see fit; but my recommendations need more precision than a word whose meaning varies with context.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 23 at 3:31
  • All words vary in context. Nevertheless, you could talk about secession from the Commonwealth, but not independence from it. Likewise, Canada never seceded from the UK (it's termed patriation). Likewise, Singapore became independent but never seceded from Malaysia. I see your point they're very similar and could use clarification, but some points for discussion. Aug 23 at 3:48
3

The fundamental problem is with the [independence] tag and its excerpt. As currently written, the excerpt describes "secession"; thus questions tagged [independence] could be properly retagged [secession], while others could have the [independence] tag removed for not matching the excerpt. Doing so would result in having no questions tagged [independence].

In researching the question, I found that secession does not always affect independence and independence does not always require secession. The two subject areas are distinct though related only in international politics.

My conclusion is that the tag excerpt for secession needs to be amended and the [independence] tag needs to be replaced to distinguish between "national independence" and "local independence". Following the change, the questions need to be tagged or re-tagged, or the tag removed, to reflect the excerpts.


Based on the research and comments, the following "tag map" is proposed:

tag synonym
secession independence-movement
independence
local-autonomy devolution

The tag excerpt for [secession] contains a reference to [local-autonomy].

While [session] and [local-autonomy] will be distinct a tag search may be done to find all occurrences of both tags.

[secession] or [local-autonomy]

The above search will list all questions tagged for both types of movements.


Secession

The excerpt for secession should follow, more closely, the Wikipedia definition.

Secession is the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity, but also from any organization, union or military alliance.

For , I suggest:

Questions about the withdrawal of a group from a larger entity, especially a political entity. Use with a country or other tag to identify the entity. For question about "local independence" use [local-autonomy], instead.

  1. Brexit was a secession from the European Union; but had no effect on its independence because it was always free to withdraw.

  2. As part of the UN's Decolonization movement, the UK granted Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla (Saint Christopher is more commonly called Saint Kitts) more independence as "states in free association with the United Kingdom".

The moves towards independence were not always smooth, with separatist movements/campaigns occurring in Barbuda, Nevis and Anguilla. In Anguilla, this resulted in the secession of Anguilla from Saint Kitts-Nevis-Anguilla in 1969 and its reversion to British rule as a separate colony.

Anguilla's secession from the free association colony and its reversion to British rule as a British Overseas Territory did not result in independence.

  1. The remaining islands seceded and gained full independence as the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, though it remains part of the Commonwealth.

Local Autonomy

The excerpt for independence is more problematic. In international politics, there is no significant distinction between secession and independence — secession is the act and independence is the result. However, with internal politics, independence has "levels" or "degrees". Again, the Wikipedia definition is useful.

Independence is a condition of a person, nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory.

Note, in particular, that "or some portion thereof" denies secession as a necessary action for independence.

Add a [local-autonomy] tag.

For , I suggest:

Questions about actions or movements that promote a greater degree of self-government within a country or political subdivision, or whether an area is independent. Use with a country tag. When the question is about full independence from a country, use the [secession] tag, instead.

For example, the Scottish independence movement gets the [secession] tag, while the Scottish devolution movement gets the [local-autonomy] tag.

Any movement calling for the creation of an autonomous area or redistribution of power to political subdivisions gets the [local-autonomy] tag.

7
  • A couple thoughts. I like your idea for secession. Maybe it should say "entities involved." Aug 24 at 21:37
  • 1
    However, "Questions about actions or movements that promote a greater degree of self-government within a country or political subdivision" doesn't seem right. "Independence movements" don't aim to increase autonomy, they seek to leave the country. Tagging a Q about Scottish devolution independence seems wrong (maybe we need a devolution or local-autonomy tag). Aug 24 at 21:39
  • Maybe a solution would be the following tags: secession; local-autonomy and devolution; *independence-movement; independence and sovereignity. (ands mean synonyms) Aug 24 at 21:40
  • So a question about Scottish independence would use the i-m tag, but a question about how debts are assumed (just making something up) after a new independence could get just independence? Aug 24 at 21:41
  • @AzorAhai-him- 1) There is already a [sovereignty] tag. 2) A question about how debts are assumed in a breakup only needs the addition of the [debt] tag. 3) There is no problem with adding your own answer addressing the issues you raise. Just suggest the tags and when to use them. 4) I won't be taking any action for 7 -10 days, if there is a positive response.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 25 at 0:12
  • 1
    1) I didn't say there wasn't? 2) Yeah, you can have multiple tags. 3) I will if you don't revise your suggestion. 4) okey dokey. Aug 25 at 2:19
  • @AzorAhai-him- I am unwilling to touch the [sovereignty] tag, which is part of a [sovereignty] - [authority] - [power] tag set that I need to think more about later.
    – Rick Smith
    Aug 25 at 16:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .