Mikronationer – på besök i hemgjorda nationer by Johan Joelsson and Jonatan Jacobson

“Micronations – Visiting Homemade Nations”

This book has not yet been translated into English, but since the topic is of interest to all micronationalists, a short review may be of use to the community.

The book is beautifully bound, and the layout is also pleasing with two-column pages on quality paper. The preface is somewhat centered around micronationalism in Scandinavia, but also gives general information on what it takes to form a nation, i.g. The Montevideo Convention.

The following nations are covered in the book: The Principality of Sealand, Ladonia, the Kingdom of Elleore, the Principality of Seborga, Sweutschland, the Republic of Molossia and Elgaland-Vargaland. The book also contains a review from PoliNation, an international conference on micronations.

The author, who works as a freelance reporter, seems to have done his homework. He has done several interviews with leaders of mentioned countries, and also visited all of the micronations covered in the book. The presidents and kings of the various micronations come through as they are, not portrayed as mere nut jobs nor are they ridiculed.

The pictures are excellent, and add another layer of information to the text. I understand that the author wants to portray the vast variety of micronations in the world. That is, however,  also my main concern. The examples in the book are highly selective, and may not be representative of the micronational world as a whole.

Elgaland-Vargaland is more of a conceptual art project than a micronation, and Sweutschland is a techno dance music festival. These creative projects may not be considered to be micronations per se among the community, but they are great examples of how diverse the world of homemade nationalism is.

On the whole, this is a great introductory book for anyone interested in the somewhat obscure world of micronationalism. The book is not intended as a comprehensive work* on aspirant nations, but rather a taste of the high degree of individual freedom and creativity that can be found among the founding fathers of these nations.

* For a more in-depth book on contemporary and historical struggles for independence, I highly recommend Christopher F. Roth's encyclopedia Let's Split! A Complete Guide to Separatist Movements and Aspirant Nations, from Abkhazia to Zanzibar (Litwin Books, 2015).