Do you prefer multinational states/empires or relatively homogeneous states?


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Do you prefer multinational state/empires or relatively homogeneous states? This question seems important due to the fact that the latter (as in, homogeneous states) became much more widespread over the last couple of centuries than they previously were. Austria-Hungary, the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union, British India, French Indochina, Czechoslovakia, and Yugoslavia were all multinational states (or colonies, in British India's and French Indochina's cases) that subsequently ended up breaking up and becoming more homogeneous states--though India did maintain a lot of ethnic and linguistic diversity while reducing its amount of religious diversity. Of course, there were some trends in the other direction in regards to this in recent decades as well--especially the European Union project (which could theoretically eventually become a unified European superstate) and the fact that countries in the West became much more diverse as a result of mass non-European immigration into these countries.

In my honest opinion, both of these have their upsides and downsides. The upside of living in a multinational state/empire is that you get to be part of a larger economic and political unit and thus get to be part of a country that has much more economic and military muscle than a smaller country in that part of the world would have (and this is not the mention the smaller amount of economic and trade barriers that people would have if they all lived in one country). On the flip side, though, multinational states/empires could also be oppressive and have some ethnic groups ruling over and dominating others--thus fueling resentment and even separatist sentiments among members of these other groups. Multinational states could also reduce trust if there's going to be a feeling that not everyone in the country is actually invested in the relevant "national project", so to speak. It's much easier to feel a sense of unity when everyone has a feeling that, as citizens of a particular country, they are all going to experience some sort of common destiny and common future. Meanwhile, the plus side of smaller, more homogeneous countries is that it helps actualize the principle of national self-determination and gives smaller groups a greater sense of control over their own destiny and future--and even problematic aspects such as the weakened security that could result from separation could be ameliorated by the creation of military alliances with much more powerful countries (such as NATO). It does seem like the multinational states that were the most successful either genuinely gave their subject peoples a lot of autonomy and self-rule (like in India) or are extremely strong and oppressive and thus ensure that their countries will not fragment (such as the Soviet Union before Gorbachev came to power and began being much less oppressive and thus helped the entire Soviet structure to come crashing down).

Anyway, what are your own thoughts on this?
Jan 2020
United Kingdom
Homogeneous populations don’t have that much problems with divisions.

Take Japan, a homogenous nation with 98% of the population being Ethnic Japanese. The country hadn’t seen civil war ever since the Meiji restoration whereby a national Identity with a slight influence from the West was forged. This gave them protection from Western exploitation and formalised Japan into an Industrial Power.
Japan went on to rival Russia, China, and The USA

Multi-ethnic nations suffer from ethnic strife and therefore autonomy is often granted to conquered lands. Countries with Multiple ethnicities often fall apart or must be held through laws that give limited freedom to minorities. These curtailments are fragile. In an event of a war or economic decline, it isn't unusual for the diversity to turn into chaos and the eventual decline of a country/empire due to revolts by minorities is a gloomy fact.

Rome is a perfect example of what happens when a state collapses under its own weight of people and cultures.
  • Like
Reactions: Futurist


Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
I prefer Empires....big countries running better in economic and politic way.... Czech, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia.... small third division teams! when they consisted by Die K und K Monarchie... they were a powerful and very respected States.... Skoda was a big boss... or the same about hungarian agriculture...
Or Spanish Empire.... what about Flanders when the Flemish and German bankers did bussines in Indies.. or Sicily or Naples....The same about Russia Empire.... is it Georgia, Armenia, Turkestan... greater today than in 1910 or in 1982?