• It has come to our attention that some users may have been "banned" when they tried to change their passwords after the site was hacked due to a glitch in the old vBulletin software. This would have occurred around the end of February and does not apply after the site was converted to Xenforo. If you believe you were affected by this, please contact a staff member or use the Contact us link at the bottom of any forum page.

The lessons of multinational confederations


Well-known member
May 8, 2009
As the European Union is most roundly criticised for a democratic deficit and an increasing tendency towards bureaucratic centralism, historical comparisons teach us that it is in fact the process of decentralisation that usually sparks the catalyst of disintegration. The Roman Empire thrived through a combination of governmental centralism combined with cultural autonomy, yet the division of its territory into Eastern and Western halves was to prove permanent, encouraging barbarians to commence the ultimately fatal encroachment and conquest. Russia found out twice that constitutional federalism proved impossible, firstly the 1905 Revolution provoking fatally high expectation, and perestroika inflaming nationalist demands. Similarly, the Austrian Empire hoped the settlement of the Magyar Question would prove a final balancing of its multiethnic empire, yet unwittingly only served to fuel the fire of Slavic dissatisfaction. With devolution in the UK and Spain once more generating demands for independence, can Brussels satisfy individual members without provoking its own demise?