I've been trying to find a word for this concept and not had any luck in dictionaries or on Google.

If a part of a nation or state decides to separate from the whole, it secedes. Is there a term for a nation or state booting part of itself out? For a (purely hypothetical) example, if Canada decided it no longer wished to govern British Columbia and rescinded its sovereignty claims, what would that be called?

I thought of expulsion or renunciation but those are more general terms.

  • 1
    Interesting, but no state/nation has a constitution that provides for this system. However, if anything, I think "abandon" can function, e.g. "Canada abandoned British Columbia." – user19148 Oct 31 '12 at 21:08

It is a rare event.

The events in 1965 when Singapore left Malaysia have been called expulsion, separation and independence, depending on on whose history book you read.

If you want to stress that it was involuntary, then expulsion looks like the best word.

  • I think it was an amicable divorce between the Czech republic and Slovakia. – Mitch Oct 31 '12 at 21:54
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    +1 Also see: expulsion from the EU. – coleopterist Nov 1 '12 at 6:05
  • That's an excellent example! I didn't realize it had actually happened in the modern world. The wiki page also has a linked article that refers to Singapore's forced independence as "ejection". – Marcus_33 Nov 1 '12 at 13:35


a forced sundering.

I first came across it in a translation of Hegel. The original German is, Entzweiung - or, split.

From the Latin, it appears to be used transitively - thus its pertinence. The state, or the self, for Hegel, dirempts itself and cleaves a withered portion away.

  • Although this word could fit the bill, it is now rarely used and few would understand it without a glance in the dictionary. – American Luke Nov 5 '12 at 12:57

According to Wikipedia, West Virginia broke away in turn from seceding Virginia during the Civil War, thereby "seceding from secession."

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