<html><head /> <body> <META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-16"><title>A Formula for Political Stability?</title><meta name="keywords" content="politics,states,africa,brendan,caribbean,determination,economy,ethnic,eu,europe,federalism,federation,hhi,international,minority,national,nationalism,power,regions,self,staatsvolk,theory,"><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; " align="center" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td style="background-color:silver; border-color:white; border-left-style:none; border-style:none; " width="730"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:larger; ">A Formula for Political Stability?</span></td> </tr> <tr> </tr> </tbody></table><br><table style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:medium; " align="center" bgcolor="white" border="0" width="50%"><tbody><tr> <td height="131" width="669"><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small;"><strong>Editors Introduction </strong></span><span style="font-family:Verdana; "></span><img src="auth_O'Leary.jpg" width=80 height=110 vspace=5 hspace=10 border=0 alt="Brendan O'Leary" align=right><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">A multitude of theories about the viability of various political states and structures abound. Ernest Gellner believed in the necessity of one cultural nation, one state. Arend Lijphart explores the workability of consociational agreements or power sharing by diverse social groups. Thus far, there has been no objective way to test such theories. </span> <P><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small;">In this article, Brendan O'Leary (right) puts forward a formula for determining the stability of a federation based on its ethno-national makeup. The self-styled "Dicey-O'Leary theory" is a complex and technical foray into the realm of accounting for the stability of states.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The comfort of federations</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">There is a notable way in which multinational or ethno-federalists may argue that nationalism and federalism can be harmonised--though it is rarely explicitly defended, because it is really a strategy to defeat national self-determination. Nevertheless it has been eloquently defended by Donald Horowitz in his 1985 work <I>Ethnic Groups in Conflict</I>. He suggests that federations can and should be partly designed to prevent ethnic minorities from becoming local provincial majorities.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The thinking here recommends weakening potentially competing ethno-nationalisms: federalism's territorial merits are said to lie in the fact that it can be used as an instrument to prevent local majoritarianism (which has the attendant risks of local tyranny or secessionist incentives). According to this argument, the designing of provincial borders of federated units should be organised on "balance of power" principles--proliferating, where possible, the points of power away from one focal centre, encouraging intra-ethnic conflict, and creating incentives for inter-ethnic cooperation by designing provinces without majorities and promoting alignments based on non-ethnic interests.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">This logic is extremely interesting, but empirical support for Horowitz's argument seems confined to the rather uninspiring case of postbellum Nigeria. In most existing federations, to redraw regional borders deliberately to achieve these results would probably require the services of military dictators or one-party states. As it stands, mobilised ethno-national groups do not take kindly to efforts to disorganise them through the redrawing of internal political boundaries. Belgium may, however, become an interesting exception to this scepticism: the Brussels region, created in the new federation, is neither overtly Flemish nor overtly Walloonian, and perhaps its heterogeneity will stabilise Belgium's relations with other countries, because without Brussels, Flanders will not secede, and there is presently little prospect of Brussels obliging Flanders.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Multinational and multi-ethnic federations have, of course, been developed for a variety of reasons--not just as means to harmonise nationalism and federalism. They have often evolved out of multi-ethnic colonies to bind together the coalition opposing the imperial power, as in the West Indies and Tanzania. They may have been promoted by the colonial power in an attempt to sustain a reformed imperial system, but subsequently developed a dynamic of their own, as has been true of Canada, India and indeed South Africa. A history of common colonial or conquest government usually creates elites (soldiers, bureaucrats and capitalists) with an interest in sustaining the postcolonial territory in one political unit. This has sometimes been true of Indonesia, which, as Benedict Anderson points out, has recently been recanvassed as a candidate for an authentic federation.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Large federations can often be sold on economic grounds; they promise a larger single market, a single currency, economies of scale, reductions in transaction costs and fiscal equalisation. Such instrumental discourses are the common coinage of Euro-federalists. Federations can also be marketed as geopolitically wise, offering greater security and protection than small states; indeed, William Riker in 1964 rather prematurely assumed that this was the basis for the formation of all federations. Lastly, federations can be advertised as necessary routes to superpower status, a foreground note in the enthusiasms of some Euro-federalists.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The failure of federations</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">But the central question still stands: Can multinational federations successfully and stably reconcile nationalism and federalism in liberal democratic ways? The answer at first glance looks like "Yes and no." There are federal successes and failures. Even some positive "yes" answers would be enough to counteract the pessimism induced by Gellnerian theory. But let us first do a Cook's Tour of the failures, which pose no problems for Gellnerian theory.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Multinational or multi-ethnic federations have either broken down or have failed to remain democratic throughout the Communist world and the postcolonial world. The federations of Latin America--Mexico, Venezuela, Argentina and Brazil--are either national federalisms and/or have yet to prove themselves to be durably democratic. The federations of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia broke down during or immediately after their respective democratisations. In the postcolonial world, multinational or multi-ethnic federations failed, or failed to be successfully established, in the Caribbean, notably in the West Indies Federation. Even the miniature federation of St. Kitts-Nevis recently faced the prospect of secession by referendum by the smaller island of Nevis</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Multinational or multi-ethnic federations have failed in sub-Saharan Africa, notably in francophone West and equatorial Africa, in British East Africa (Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika) and in British Central Africa (Northern and Southern Rhodesia and Nyasaland). Some have failed to remain durably democratic, as in Nigeria and Tanzania, or have yet to be established as durable authentic democracies. The Mali and Ethiopian federations in independent Africa have experienced breakups, while the Cameroons experienced forced unitarism after a federal beginning. The Arab world knows only one surviving federation, the United Arab Emirates, and this does not score highly on democratic attributes. In Asia there have been obvious federative failures in Indochina, in Burma, in Pakistan and in Malaya, where union was followed by the secession of Singapore.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Durably democratic federations have been rare--consider the history of Pakistan. In short, new multinational federations appear to have a poor track record as conflict-regulating devices, even where they allow a degree of minority self-government. They have broken down or failed to be durably democratic throughout Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. India stands out as the major exception in Asia.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">These failures in federation have had multiple causes, according to analysts such as Thomas Franck, Ursula Hicks and Daniel Elazar. In some cases, minorities were outnumbered at the federal level of government; in others, notably in Malaya, the relevant minority was simply not welcome at the federal level of government. Lee Kuan Yew's courting of the Malay Chinese helped break the Malay federation. In these scenarios, the resulting frustrations, combined with an already defined boundary and significant institutional resources flowing from control of their own province, provided considerable incentive to attempt secession. Breaks from federations may, of course, invite harsh responses from the rest of the federation: the disintegration of the Nigerian and American federations were halted through millions of deaths. India, the most successful postcolonial multi-ethnic federation, has so far faced down vigorous secessionist movements on its frontiers, especially in Kashmir and Punjab. The threat of secession in multinational or multi-ethnic federations is such that the late Erik Nordlinger, in his 1972 work <I>Conflict Regulation in Divided Societies</I>, consciously excluded federalism from his list of desirable conflict-regulating practices.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The emergent principle of international law that permits the disintegration of federations along the lines of their existing regional units is in some people's eyes likely to strengthen the belief that federation should not be considered a desirable form of multinational or multi-ethnic accommodation. Integrationist nation builders in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean have distrusted federalism precisely because it provides secessionist opportunities. The kleptocratic Mobutu offered federalism as a model for Zaire only when his power base collapsed. Tunku Abdul Rahman offered federation with Singapore only because he shared Lee Kuan Yew's fears of a Communist takeover. Postcolonial state builders' antipathy to federalism is now matched amongst the intellectuals of Eastern Europe, who regard it as a recipe for secession, given the Czechoslovakian, Yugoslavian and Soviet experiences.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Two final generalising statements must be added to this quick global survey of multinational or multi-ethnic federal failures. The first is that federations appear to have been especially fragile in bi-ethnic or bi-national or bi-regional states. In 1982 Maurice Vile could not find a single case of a surviving federation based upon dyadic or triadic structures. Pakistan's western and eastern divorce has been the biggest example of the instability of dualistic federations. Czechoslovakia is a more recent case. Whither Serbia and Montenegro, the last two units in Yugoslavia? Belgium may seem like a subsequent exception to Vile's rule, but technically it is a four-unit federation, and it is of rather recent vintage. St. Kitts-Nevis may seem another, but, as has already been indicated, Nevis has been tempted to go.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The second generalisation is that failures have occurred largely in developing or poor countries, where most theorists of democratisation would predict great difficulty in obtaining stable democratic regimes of whatever hue. This suggests that India, and the multinational democratic federations in the advanced industrial world, are the apparently anomalous successes that Gellnerian theory needs to be able to explain or else stand overtly falsified.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>The power of numbers</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The theory that I wish to advance and explore is this: That a stable democratic majoritarian federation, federal or multinational must have a <I>Staatsvolk</I>, a national or ethnic people who are demographically and electorally dominant.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">It must be said that the <I>Staatsvolk</I> need not be an absolute majority of the population, although they must be the co-founders of the federation. In any case, this is a theory that is consistent with liberal nationalism, national federalism, and with Ernest Gellner's theory of nationalism. It is inconsistent with liberal cosmopolitan and radical multiculturalists' hopes and with the more optimistic beliefs of some federalists, though (as I shall argue) it does not require entirely bleak conclusions to be drawn about the prospects for constitutional engineering in those multinational or multi-ethnic federations which lack a <I>Staatsvolk</I>. Let us call the theory the Dicey-O'Leary theory.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The theory states a necessary condition of stability in a liberal democratic majoritarian federation. Its logic rests on simple foundations. In liberal democratic systems, the population share of an ethno-national group can be taken as a reasonable proxy for its potential electoral power, if its members were fully mobilised en bloc--admittedly a rare occurrence. The underlying idea is simple: in a majoritarian federation, an ethno-national group with a decisive majority of the federal population has no reason to fear federation. It has the ability simply to dominate the rest of the federation through its numbers, or to be generous because it does not feel threatened. A <I>Staatsvolk</I>, a people who own the state, and who could control it on their own through simple democratic numbers, is a prime candidate to lead a federation, whether the federation is a national federation or a multinational federation.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The theory may also give a clue as to why multiple-unit federations appear at first glance to be more stable than binary or triadic federations. A <I>Staatsvolk</I> may be more willing to have its own national territory divided up into multiple regions, states or provinces, knowing that it is not likely to be coerced by minority peoples at the federal level. The theory also implies that if there is no <I>Staatsvolk</I>, then majoritarian federalism, of whatever internal territorial configuration, will not be enough to sustain stability--a point to which I shall return.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">In <a href="1632_table1.html" target="_blank">Table 1</a> I provide data which appear to confirm the Dicey-O'Leary theory. It lists the 23 currently democratic federations in the world--the data was collected before the coup in Pakistan, and before the Comoros Islands started to have more serious difficulties than normal--and it lists the share of the federation's population that I have classified as belonging to the relevant (or potential) <I>Staatsvolk</I>. I have arranged the data in descending order of the proportionate size of the relevant <I>Staatsvolk</I>. Let us take 50 per cent as our initial threshold for the existence of a <I>Staatsvolk</I>, a plausible threshold for democratic majoritarian assessment.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The data suggest that all the federations that have been durably democratic for more than 30 years have, prima facie, a <I>Staatsvolk</I> which is significantly more than 50 per cent of the relevant state's population: Australia (95); Austria (93); Germany (93); India (80), if its <I>Staatsvolk</I> is considered to be religious; the US (74); Canada (67), if its <I>Staatsvolk</I> is considered to be Anglophones; Switzerland (64); and Malaysia (62). The African federations have not been durably democratic, but on this measure the Comoros Islands and South Africa have reasonable prospects. By contrast neither Ethiopia nor Nigeria have a <I>Staatsvolk</I>, so the theory suggests that they are not likely to survive long if they are run as majoritarian democratic federations.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The Russian Federation may not prove durably democratic, but it has a <I>Staatsvolk</I>; so on the Dicey-O'Leary theory it has the necessary condition for survival. As for the other Asian cases the table suggests that Pakistan should be on the threshold of crisis, and that India would be too if an attempt were made to construct a <I>Staatsvolk</I> out of Hindi speakers. Of Micronesia I cannot speak, because I am wholly ignorant. Likewise, I have little confidence in interpreting the Latin American data, but at first glance they appear to suggest that Mexico and Brazil are closer to the threshold of the necessary condition than might be expected, though their status as durable democracies is far from confirmed. The data in Table 1 even suggest that Switzerland and Belgium have a <I>Staatsvolk</I> each, though doubtless this may raise eyebrows.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">This attempt to test for the existence of a <I>Staatsvolk</I> based on this data may seem very crude, and the data set may seem small, even if it is exhaustive of current democratic federations. Nevertheless I believe the data to be highly suggestive; there are no immediately anomalous cases. Those federations without a <I>Staatsvolk</I> are of recent vintage and are not obviously democratically stable. In short, the data appears to confirm Gellnerian theory on the political impact of nationalism. Naturally, the data cannot prove causation; the stability of the durably democratic federations may have other causes, possibly mutually independent causes in each case, but it is surely interesting that the data satisfy the necessary condition of the Dicey-O'Leary theory.</span><br> <br><span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Explaining the formula</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">But more sophistication is necessary before jumping to conclusions. How exactly should we determine whether a group is a candidate for the title of <I>Staatsvolk</I>? Perhaps we should focus more on the durably democratic and formally multinational (or multi-ethnic) federations that might be considered to constitute the strongest challenges to Gellnerian theory: India, Canada, Switzerland and Belgium. If the primary division in India is linguistic rather than religious, then India may appear to lack a <I>Staatsvolk</I>.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">If Anglophones are considered too heterogeneous a category, it might be suggested that Canada's real <I>Staatsvolk</I> is people of British and Irish descent, which would take the size of its <I>Staatsvolk</I> down, closer to the threshold of the necessary condition. If Swiss historic divisions were fundamentally religious rather than linguistic, then Helvetia too might appear to lack a definite <I>Staatsvolk</I>. The sheer size of the Francophone minority in Belgium and the country's long traditions of dualism might also lead us to pause before judging whether Belgium has a <I>Staatsvolk</I>. What we may perhaps need most of all is not just an index of the largest group, however defined, but a measure of the relative weight of groups according to a specific criterion.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">So let me rephrase the Dicey-O'Leary theory in this way:</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><I>In a stable democratic majoritarian federation, the politically effective number of cultural groups must be less than 2 on the index of the effective number of ethnic groups &#91;ENENg&#93;</I>.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Things begin to get more complicated here. ENENg is defined as the reciprocal of the Herfindahl-Hirschman concentration index of ethno-national groups. Let me demystify this mouthful. Specialists in the field of electoral analysis and party systems will immediately recognise the index as an application of a measure developed by Albert Hirschman in economics, and extended to political science by Rein Taagepera and his colleagues. These political scientists were interested in finding an objective way of measuring the effective number of parties in a party system, and in determining whether or not one party or bloc of parties was dominant.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Let me illustrate with an example. How might we respond to the question: How many ethno-national groups are there in Belgium? One would expect to be told that there are two big groups, Flemings and Walloons, with a smaller number of other groups, notably Germans, and recent migrants. Does that mean, for politically important purposes that bear on the stability of the state, that Belgium has two, or two and an eighth, or two and a sixteenth ethno-national groups? The Herfindahl-Hirschman concentration index was designed to provide an objective way of measuring the effective number of components in a system. It does so in a way that stops analysts from following their intuitive (though often sensible) prejudices about what should count as a big or a small and negligible component. The <a href="1632_table2.html" target="_blank">Herfindahl-Hirschman index (HHi)</a> runs from 0 to 1 and is applied with a certain logic to ethno-national groups.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">The merits of the HHi and ENENg indices are straightforward. With HHi we can calculate ENENg, which gives us a measure of the effective number of ethno-national groups in a system that makes political and intuitive sense. ENENg turned out to be 2 using 1976 Belgian linguistic data. It is easy to see that a state divided into four ethno-national groups of equal size would have an ENENg of 4. These examples, of course, are neat cases, chosen because they are helpful. But imagine that the demographic shares in Belgium shifted to, say, the following proportions: 51 percent Flemings, 42 percent Walloons, 5 percent Germans, 1 percent British migrants and 1 percent Italian migrants. Then the new Belgian HHi would be .439, and the new ENENg would be 2.28. The latter indicator, again, would conform to most people's intuitions about the effective number of ethno-national groups in the state--two big groups and a smaller third group, or a third clustering of smaller groups. These measures therefore provide means for potentially objective studies of the relationships between ethno-national groups and political systems. They also alert us to the importance of the size of second, third and other groups in the population, not simply the largest group.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">From applying this formula to the countries listed in Table 1, it is clear that there is a close relationship between the size of the <I>Staatsvolk</I> and the HHi and ENENg scores. All the federations with ENENg scores of less than 1.9 are, in fact, majoritarian federations, with the possible exception of India. By contrast, the bulk of the federations with ENENg scores of 1.9 and above have often been classified as non-majoritarian federations, because they have additional non-federal power-sharing or consociational features, or else they have had such institutions recommended to stabilise them.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Balancing power</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Consociational arrangements, that is, power-sharing systems formed by the cooperation of different social groups, particularly as clarified and theorised by Arend Lijphart, involve four features: cross-community executive power sharing, proportional representation of groups throughout the state sector, ethnic autonomy in culture (especially in religion or language), and formal or informal minority-veto rights. All of the durably democratic multinational federations previously identified as potentially problematic for Gellnerian theory (Canada, Switzerland, Belgium and India) have ENENg scores of 1.9 or more. But the first three of these have relatively undisputed consociational histories, and Lijphart has recently claimed that India had effective consociational traits during its most stable period under Nehru. All this suggests that the Dicey-O'Leary theory should have a corollary:</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; "><I>Where there is no Staatsvolk, or where the Staatsvolk's position is precarious, a stable federation requires (at least some) consociational rather than majoritarian institutions if it is to survive</I>.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Survival is, of course, by no means guaranteed. But the foundations of this theory are straightforward: where no group has a clear majority, a balance of power among ethno-national groups is likely to exist, and such a balance of power is conducive to consociational settlements--though it is of course also conducive to warfare and secessionism. The corollary has both strong predictive and prescriptive power: Malaysia, South Africa with autonomous Zulu organisation, Pakistan, India (with regard to its linguistic cleavages), Ethiopia and Nigeria may not endure as democratic federations without some consociational devices. In India, consociational add-ons have been most apparent in the development of ethnic autonomy in culture: the granting of provincial status to major non-Hindi-speaking peoples.</span><br><br><span style="font-size:x-small;"><strong>Conclusion: The practical political implications</strong></span><br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">If the arguments developed here are correct, then the Dicey-O'Leary theory seems, thus far, unfalsified: a majoritarian democratic federation requires a <I>Staatsvolk</I>--a demographically, electorally and culturally dominant nation. This lends weight to Ernest Gellner's theory about the power of nationalism. But the theory has a corollary: the absence or near absence of a <I>Staatsvolk</I> does not preclude democratic federation, but a democratic federation without a clear or secure <I>Staatsvolk</I> must adopt (some) consociational practices if it is to survive.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">This suggests that we are entitled to have greater optimism than Gellner allowed about political and constitutional engineering for multinational and multi-ethnic units. Perhaps I should emphasise that federations can be destabilised for reasons other than the lack of a <I>Staatsvolk</I>, and that multinational federations may be destabilised for reasons that have nothing to do with the absence of consociational practices. While the theory and its corollary are necessary conditions for stability in democratic federations, there may be other necessary conditions for stable federations--e.g., voluntary beginnings, a favourable external environment and appropriate matches between peoples and territories--but they have not been defended here. This is an initial statement: I plan to do more detailed research on the agenda suggested here.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">However, if the arguments sketched are broadly correct, then they have powerful practical political implications for the designers of federations. Those who want to federalise the UK have nothing to fear: the UK has a <I>Staatsvolk</I>, the English. They could live with either a majoritarian or an explicitly multinational democratic federation. The implications are, however, especially strong for Euro-federalists who wish to convert the European Union from a confederation into a federation. The European Union lacks a <I>Staatsvolk</I>. Its largest ethno-national people, the Germans of Germany, compose just over a fifth of its current population, about the same proportionate share as the Yoruba and Hausa each have in Nigeria. The European Union's ENENg score is presently 7.23, higher than Nigeria's 6.69, and it will go higher on the accession of the Poles, Hungarians and Ernest Gellner's Czechs.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">On the Dicey-O'Leary theory, to put it bluntly and insensitively, there are just not enough Germans for the European Union to function effectively as a majoritarian federation. This would still be true, even if we, causing mutual outrage, were to treat Austrian, Dutch and Swedish people as honorary Germans. The theory suggests, by implication, that calls to have a full-fledged European federation--with the classic bicameral arrangements of the US--address the so-called democratic deficit in the European Union may be a recipe for institutional disaster <I>unless</I> such calls are accompanied by strong commitments to consociational governance devices.</span><br> <br> <span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">Consociational governance implies strong mechanisms to ensure the inclusive and effective representation of all the nationalities of the European Union in its core executive institutions; proportionate representation of its nationalities in its public bureaucracies and legal institutions; national autonomy in all cultural matters deemed of profound cultural significance (e.g., language, religion, education); and, last but not least, national vetoes to protect national communities from being outvoted through majoritarian rules. In short, many of the current consociational features of the EU, which some federalists want to weaken or temper in their pursuit of formal federation, are in fact required to ensure the EU's prospects as a multinational democratic federation.</span><br> <br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; ">This is not a Euro-sceptical or Euro-phobic argument. The European Union has been correctly defended as a forum that has resolved the security and ethno-territorial disputes between France and Germany; that has facilitated the possible and actual resolution of British-Irish and Italian-Austrian border and minority questions; that is a means through which Irish nationalists, Tyrolese Germans and Austrians, and Spanish and French Basques can be interlinked with their co-nationals and co-ethnics in trans-frontier and functional cross-border programmes and institutions; and that may encourage its multinational member states to permit a fuller flourishing of internal regional autonomy. All this is true, though the EU's therapeutic powers should not be exaggerated. But one of the EU's greatest current dangers may stem from its ardent majoritarian federalists. That is a conclusion with which Ernest Gellner should have been comfortable.</span><br><br><span style="font-family:Verdana; font-size:x-small; font-style:italic; ">This lecture is being published in the journal Nations and Nationalism in 2001. Copyright The London School of Economics and Political Science.</span></td> </tr> </tbody></table> </body></html>