In micronational terminology, a macronation is a sovereign state—as opposed to a micronation. The term has no fixed definition, but generally refers to all UN member states and observer states as well as and some states with limited recognition, near-universally Kosovo and the Republic of China (Taiwan). Macro- is a prefix meaning "large", an antonym (opposite) of micro- from micronation. Just as micro- denotes micronationality, the prefix macro- denotes macronationality.
In other words, the prefix is used to refer to everything that is external to the context of the micronational community—"macronational citizenship" would thus refer to one's legally recognised citizenship as opposed to their micronational citizenship. According to micropatriologist Pedro Aguiar, the usage of macro- to denote entities related to macronations is commonly used to avoid the use of the word "real", which in contrast would denote micronations as something unreal or imaginary. A macronation within which a particular micronation is located is known as its parent macronation.
Macronation is a combination of macro- and nation. Macro- is a prefix meaning "large". It is a loan word from French that was from Latin, ultimately from the Ancient Greek μακρός makrós meaning "long". It is an antonym of micro- from micronation, which means "small". Hence, macronation is an antonym (opposite) of micronation. The terms nanonation—a micronation within a micronation—and piconation—a nanonation within a nanonation—have similar origins, but rather nano- and pico- are unit prefixes below micro-. According to the Micronational Dictionary, macronation is first attested on a Usenet newsgroup on 9 September 1997. It is first seen as macronational and used by Lise Mendal, then-Secretary-General of the League of Secessionist States, in a post to alt.politics.micronations. Because it is macronational, it is almost certain that macronation actually predates this.
A macronation is, generally, any sovereign state that is not a micronation. Just as micro- denotes micronationality, the prefix macro- denotes macronationality. In other words, the prefix is used to refer to everything that is external to the context of the micronational community. For instance, "macronational citizenship" refers to one's legally recognised citizenship as opposed to their micronational citizenship. The obsolete phrase IML—"in micronational life", a parallel with "in real life"—coined around 1998 was used to refer to one's role within imicronationalism as opposed to macronationalism or their "macronational life".
Asking for one's macronation is most commonly seen in micronational citizenship applications for the purpose of easily knowing a citizen's location as well as conducting statistics of these demographics. Outside of necessity or connivence, such as planning micronational summits, the macronation in which a micronationalist resides is almost never asked unless in the context of which macronation one's micronation is located. This is more specifically known by micropatriologists as a micronation's parent macronation.
The definition of country itself is vague, and the precise meaning of macronation may depend upon the user of the term. In practice, macronation always refers to all 193 member states of the United Nations as well as its two observer states—the State of Palestine[a] and Vatican City[b]—and two states with limited recognition: Kosovo[c] and the Republic of China (Taiwan).[d] Macronation seldom enjoys usage in referring to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (Western Sahara)[e] and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,[f] while it generally never refers to the Republic of Abkhazia nor the Republic of South Ossetia – the State of Alania (South Ossetia), which are both recognised by most of the international community and many micronationalists as "Russian-occupied territories in Georgia".[g]
On Wikimicropídia, Brazilian micropatriologist Pedro Aguiar writes that the usage of macro- to denote entities related to macronations is commonly used to avoid the use of the word "real", which in contrast would denote micronations as something unreal or imaginary. Micropatriologist Zabëlle Skye further adds that macronation may be used to avoid confusion with some secessionist micronationalists who refer to their own micronations as sovereign states, countries or nations, with macronation thus denoting only internationally recognised states.
- The sovereignty of the State of Palestine is disputed between the State of Israel. As of 31 July 2019, a total of 138 UN member states recognised the sovereignty of Palestine.
- Vatican City, an independent city-state, is under the jurisdiction of the Holy See, itself under the jurisdiction of the Pope in his role as the bishop of Rome. Though Vatican City is recognised by all 193 member states of the UN, it maintains its observership status in the UN as such.
- Kosovo unitarily declared independence from Serbia in 2008, and as of 4 September 2020 had been recognised by 101 UN member states.
- The People's Republic of China (China) considers itself to be the sole legitimate government of Taiwan and therefore claims exclusive sovereignty over all of Taiwan's controlled territory. As of May 2023, Taiwan had been recognised by 12 UN member states.
- In 1975, Morocco invaded and annexed most of the Spanish-controlled Western Sahara, forcing Spain to withdraw entirely from the territory that same year. In 1976, the Polisario Front declared the independence of Western Sahara as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. It claims the entire territory of Western Sahara but controls only a small fraction of it called the Free Zone. As of May 2023, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic was recognised by 46 UN member states.
- Northern Cyprus declared its independence in 1983. It controls the northeast portion of the island of Cyprus, while the Republic of Cyprus—which is internationally recognised as the sovereign territory of the entire island—controls the southwest. Northern Cyprus is recognised by only one UN member state, Turkey.
- As of May 2023, both Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognised by five UN member states.
- Skye, Zabëlle (15 May 2023) [18 October 2022]. "macronation". Micronational Dictionary (2 ed.). Sonder-Traverse Press. Institute of Micropatriological Research. p. 14. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
- Mendal, Lise (9 September 1997). "Starting a micronation" (post) — Usenet. alt.politics.micronations. Retrieved 20 May 2023 – via Google Groups.
- Wedgwood, Ruth (2000). "Cyber-Nations". Kentucky Law Journal. University of Kentucky College of Law. 88 (4): article 5, p. 962. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
- Cava, Bruno; Filgueira, Rafael (10 March 2006). "Macronacional [Macronational]" (in Portuguese). Micropédia. Retrieved 20 May 2023 – via the Wayback Machine. Internet Archive.
- Skye, Zabëlle (15 May 2023) [18 October 2022]. "IML". Micronational Dictionary (2 ed.). Sonder-Traverse Press. Institute of Micropatriological Research. p. 12. Retrieved 21 May 2023.
- Rasmussen, Peter Ravn (n.d.). "A glossary of micronational terms". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Sovereign Principality of Corvinia. Government of Corvinia. § Macronation. Retrieved 13 March 2023 – via the Wayback Machine. Internet Archive.
- Skye, Zabëlle (15 May 2023) [18 October 2022]. "parent macronation". Micronational Dictionary (2 ed.). Sonder-Traverse Press. Institute of Micropatriological Research. p. 22. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
- Aguiar, Pedro (15 October 2006). "Macronação [Macronation]". (in Portuguese). Wikimicropídia. Retrieved 20 May 2023.