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The lessons of multinational confederations


FloatingVoterTralee

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
997
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?
 
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