A micronation , fantasy state or pseudo-state are structures that appear like independent sovereign states and give the impression of acting with state authority, although they lack or are at least highly controversial characteristics that make up a state under international law . Internationally recognized sovereign states or institutions therefore refuse recognition or do not react at all because they do not take these structures and their claims seriously. Sometimes the founders don't take themselves seriously or just operate the micronation as a state simulation or game on the Internet ( virtual nation ).
The state activities of a micronation and the identity cards, certificates and documents issued by it are considered ineffective in legal dealings or, at best, as the civil law behavior of the private interest group or individual who stands behind the micronation. For the most part, these are people who are considered eccentric or who actually pursue completely different, mostly economic or local political interests or who reject the political system of their country for political reasons .
Concept and delimitation
The origin and meaning of the term is controversial. In the German-speaking Internet in particular, virtual nations that only exist as simulations or online games refer to themselves as micronations, or MN or µN for short . For some years now, micronation has been increasingly used as a generic term for all manifestations from pseudo and fantasy states to cyber nations and state simulations and is also used for historical anomalies or state foundations that have failed or have only received a dubious degree of success and attention.
Micronations are to be clearly differentiated from miniature states whose territory is extremely small, but which have all the characteristics of a real state under international law and are recognized by other states. A comparison with the atypical subjects of international law, the Holy See , the Sovereign Order of Malta or the International Committee of the Red Cross , which also lack the prerequisites for a state, would be more obvious. However, these are internationally recognized by all or at least a majority of the states.
The differentiation from structures like the stabilized de facto regimes is more problematic . Even these are not officially recognized as a state, or only by a few states, and the existence of state features is usually disputed. As a rule, however, micronations do not even come close to their size and population, or at least are not able to exercise a comparable degree of actual control ( state authority ).
Usually there is a small group of people or even an individual who declares the claim to rule for a new state. The new structure either claims an area that is unclear under international law or claims independence by splitting off from an existing state. Characteristic for many micronation projects is the declaration of uninhabited islands or atolls of other recognized states as their own national territory. The possession of a territory is intended to underline the legitimacy of the claim as a state. For the same reason, most micronations have a flag, national anthem or decorations and issue passports, stamps and coins.
Some micronations that make territorial claims have gained greater prominence, such as B. the Hutt River Province (a farm in Western Australia that has declared itself independent and a free principality from Australia), the free city of Christiania near Copenhagen, Sealand (a former sea fortress off the British south-east coast in the North Sea ) or the Conch Republic (Key West in Florida). The ball house of the "Republic" Kugelmugel has been standing at Vienna's Prater amusement park since 1982 - uninhabited, without electricity or water and behind a barbed wire fence. Fictitious states in Germany are proclaimed primarily by representatives of the Reich Citizens' Movement, who try to evade the state authority of the German state they have rejected. Well-known examples were the so-called "Kingdom of Germany" by Peter Fitzek or the pseudo-state Ur , the protagonist of which tried to murder a police officer during an eviction.
Virtual fantasy states
It is often difficult to distinguish a micronation from an imaginary country. Purely virtual nations consider themselves particularly in Germany itself often called micronations and exist only on the Internet as a site . In the real world, these do not claim any state rights, but rather see themselves as online games or simulations .
Members of these virtual micronations first acquire virtual civil rights and then reproduce a complete state and its economic relationships as a political and economic simulation. There are democratic and dictatorial micronations related to the present, but also to history or the fictional future. From private forums, wikis or portal pages on this topic it can be concluded that there are between 70 and 120 such micronations in the German-speaking Internet alone. In some cases, micronations maintain diplomatic relations with one another and can be recorded together on virtual maps of Internet world organizations.
- Crazy micronations and fantasy states attract tourists. In: Bild.de . November 3, 2011, accessed January 1, 2012 .
- Micronations - a kingdom in the backyard. In: news.de . July 10, 2011, accessed January 1, 2012 . withphoto gallery
- The incredible story of the micronations. In: GMX.de . September 20, 2011, accessed January 1, 2012 .
- AHerrmann: Who rules the internet? - The virtual world of the micronations. In: politik-digital.de . Retrieved January 1, 2012 . (Article mainly about German-speaking virtual micronations)
- List of bogus states ( Memento from December 6, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
- List of micronations
- Micronations News Network Blog Page
- John Ryan, George Dunford, Simon Sellars: Micronations. Lonely Planet Publications, Footscray et al. a., 2006, ISBN 1-74104-730-7 .
- Micronations: Castles in the air. In: The Economist , December 24, 2005 - January 6, 2006.
- Fabrice O'Driscoll: Ils ne siègent pas à l'ONU. Revue de quelques micro-états, micro-nations et autres entités éphémères. Éditions des Presses du Midi, Toulon 2000, ISBN 2-87867-251-8 .
- Addresses of the micronations. In: Fan forum 'Marketplace of Micronations'. Retrieved January 1, 2012 .
- Category: State. In: www.mnwiki.de. Retrieved January 1, 2012 .
- Collection of fictitious maps. In: The Micronational Cartography Society. Retrieved January 1, 2012 .
- Government of Mars. January 1, 2012, accessed January 1, 2012 . Mars Emperor. (No longer available online.) March 9, 2014, archived from the original on March 9, 2014 ; accessed on March 9, 2014 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.