Talk:Multinational state

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This list is rather ridiculous. Can someone please explain to me what two or more nations comprise, say, Germany or the United States? This article needs some serious work. --Grahamdubya 03:12, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Removed Canada[edit]

I removed Canada. By the definition of this article, a state must consist of two or more distinct nations of significant sizes to be considered "multinational". For Canada to fit this definition, it would require the Québécois and some large subset of English-speaking Canadians to form separate nations. The idea that this later group form a distinct nation, with a national identity separate from over-arching "Canadianness", would be highly controversial and is, I think, without merit. --thirty-seven 01:04, 17 December 2006 (UTC)

So native Canadians, I believe they are referred to as the "First Nations" do not exist? --David Barba (talk) 09:04, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

with all respect to the First Nations peoples, they do not make a significant percentage of the current population to bring Canada into the 'multinational nation' catagory, also 'new world' countries are probably best left out of consideration for this article as they are mainly populated by the desemdants of relitivly recent imigrant that make up a new nationality without a single ethnicity, this page is about nations that have recognisble historic populations (so mostly 'old world' countries). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:39, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Since Canada was removed (in 2006) Québécois have been officially declared a distinct nation by the Federal government; I have therefore but Canada back. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Drmab (talkcontribs) 16:44, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

And I've removed the weasel phrase that "no official documents describe Canada as multinational." A Parliamentary resolution moved by the Prime Minister is pretty official. Geoff NoNick (talk) 19:07, 16 May 2013 (UTC)

From a European perspective, saying a nation is too small to constitute a polity is absurd. In Europe they have several small nations that are outnumbered by Quebec or the First Nations! Hewdropsbow (talk) 11:30, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

UK a multinational state?[edit]

Whilst it clearly is a multinational state, I suggest that according to the definition presented in the article, it is actually a nation-state. In a nation-state, the "bulk" of the population are of one nation. 83% of the UK population is English, and 83% of something is the "bulk" of it. TharkunColl (talk) 18:09, 26 March 2008 (UTC)

Your remarks are contradictory: the UK is multinational, you say, but really a one-nation state, where the biggest takes all. So the UK should be renamed 'England' and the 17% non-English should redefine themselves as 'English', just because they are a minority? Were all the citizens of the Soviet Union, therefore, 'Russian', simply because Russians constituted the majority? Illogical and imperialist.
Try and tell that to the folks at Scotland, they consider themselves a 'nation' seperate from the rest of the UK. GoodDay (talk) 19:01, 26 March 2008 (UTC)
This is somewhat disputed because I believe the English hegemony over the other 'nations' in the UK is so strong. (Clearly this is not NPOV). A better example would be Belgium. There exist different 'communal states' in a federal setup. They are Belgian but they are Flanders and Walloons first (or German for that matter).--Tikar aurum (talk) 12:51, 25 August 2008 (UTC)
justify your remarks about English hegemony (name a UK governmental, legislative or political institution that is solely 'English'). Your statement that this is not NPOV is ridiculous. It clearly is: personal, uninformed and unsubstantiated.

If Britain is a 'multi-national state' then so are Germany and Italy, both formed from a number of independent states (like the UK) and there are many more cultural differences between Prussians and Bavarians for instance than between people living in England and Scotland, it seems the followers of the deluded half-wits Alex Salmond and Gerry Adams have been screwing around with Wikipedia and have almost total domination of everyone who disagrees with them. Anyone who thinks 'Welsh', for example, is a nationality is completely deluded, Wales ceased to exist as an independent state nearly 1000 years ago, is Essex going to be regarded as a nation by Wikipedia next, one wonders? Or even possibly Yorkshire, which is more culturally distinct than England or Scotland. 'England' only existed as a state for just under 800 years, how long does a state have to exist before it is considered a nation? The constant hypocrisy of Wikipeida really grinds my gears-TashkentFox 23:57, 16 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Your remarks and comparisons re. the extent of cultural differences between Scotland and England are clearly based on either ignorance or anglocentric prejudice. As for 'nationality', with few exceptions, the natives of Germany and Italy would define themselves as being of German and Italian nationality, yet not all natives of the UK would define their main, or sole, nationality as 'British'. The reference to Yorkshire cultural distinctiveness is laughable. Your reference to Wales shows that you do not understand the difference between 'nation' and 'state'. (Are you saying, therefore, that the Welsh (the original 'British' from whom the term was stolen) belong to the English nation or the UK nation?).Your point about England is garbled; if you mean that it is a nation but not a state, then that is the whole point - it is one of the nations that make up the multinational state, the UK!
Existing as an independent state at a sufficiently short enough time period in the past is not in any way a criterion for being considered a nation. There are plenty of nations that exist that have never had there own state, there are plenty of states that have existed for vast stretches of time that would never in anyone's wildest dreams be considered a "nation". This is the entire point, really, of making the distinction between "nation" and "state". If you need me to spell this out for you, just look at the names: Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom. Which of these is unlike the others? Doesn't seem like much room for anyone but the Germans in Germany, does it? On the other hand, if you will notice, the third one is not a national indicator. No one calls themselves United Kingdomish. What is this Kingdom a union of? The countries of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, and England. A multi-national character is clearly built into the definition of the state itself. The best you could say is that there is some common "British" identity, but it's unusual to refer to yourself as "British" rather than your home nationality unless the latter is ambiguous (for instance, J.K. Rowling, who was born in England and lives in Scotland - this only after Scottish and English fans fought bitterly over claiming her as their own). The main thing that defines these peoples as separate nations is the fact that they come from entirely different cultures than the English do. Unlike Bavarians, who are a German culture, or Tuscans, who are an Italians culture, the English are the descendants of a Germanic people, speaking a Germanic language, who took advantage of the collapse in Roman institutions in the 5th and 6th centuries to basically raid the Celto-Roman inhabitants, slaughtering all the men and taking all the women for their own. The Welsh, Scottish, and Irish, on the other hand, are the descendants of Celtic cultures in the area who lived in remote enough regions to survive this. So, two entirely different cultures. Though the Celts have sense come under domination of the English, they were never entirely integrated. For instance, there are still 500k speakers of Welsh. In Germany and Italy, on the other hand, the only languages are the official ones or ones related to the home culture. Finally, your point about Italy and Germany "both being formed of independent states" is just total ignorance. For one thing, by definition these states are not "independent", nor, for that matter, is Scotland, England, or Northern Ireland. Think about that word before you use it, the Scottish referendum on Independence is not a bid by Alex Salmond to reaffirm Scotlands current "independent" status, now is it? With that out of the way, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, and England aren't "states" of the United Kingdom, it isn't a federal republic like Germany or Italy. Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales have been granted some degree of autonomy directly because of their status as separate nations. England, on the other hand, is still ruled directly by parliament. (talk) 12:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

I have added the Belgian example because it is a good example. Petty arguing over the reality of the United Kingdom is petty, it exists. What would be constructive debate is agreeing an encyclopaedically acceptable distinction between a 'multi-national state' and an empire. I would propose that a 'Multi-national state' is democratic, with no ethnic group having constitutional dominance eg the modern UK. While an empire has official dominion over subservient peoples/races eg Napoleon’s France, the old British Empire or the Austro Hungarian Empire. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:33, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

That presents difficulties. Austro-Hungary was, theoretically, at least two different states that simply had chosen the same king. And, especially late in its existence, it realized the crisis it was in and attempted to reform. In some instances, the monarchy directly promoted other regions in the Empire, to play the nationalities off one another. The problem with your definition is that there are some states, like Austro-Hungary, that often uncomfortably straddled the two definitions. Austro-Hungary wasn't a totally democratic state, and no one would claim the Croations liked their position. On the other hand, it wasn't exactly the Austrians declaring racial supremacy over their worthless subjects and making zero attempts towards more inclusionism. As well, Yugoslavia clearly wasn't democratic, and so would fail your test by definition. But how are you supposed to describe it otherwise? It wasn't like it was the largest nationality, Serbia, ruling over all the others. Perhaps the Kingdom of Yugoslavia would sort of fit that definition, because it was ruled by the former King of Serbia as an enlargement of his territory. On the other hand, in those times it was clearly seen as somewhat of a necessity for all of the weak south Slavs to band together. But Communist Yugoslavia? Again, not democratic. But it was ruled by a Croat. In later years (after the Croation spring, around the mid-70's), Tito established a more or less equal, federal structure between the constituent regions of the country, and actually directly weakened Serbia by breaking off two "autonomous republics" from it, and giving Serbia, these autonomous republics, and the five or so other republics, more or less equal status. This actually somewhat infuriated Serbians, who thereafter had about 1/8 or so of the say in a country that was composed 40% of Serbians (the attempts of Serbia later to establish a dominant position is one of the main things that lead to the breakup of Yugoslavia and the wars they had in the 90's). So, here we have a non-democratic, authoritarian state ruling over several distinct nations, nevertheless making large attempts to equalize the status of minorities and in no way favoring the majority nation or enshrining their constitutional position. (talk) 12:12, 13 January 2013 (UTC)


The sources provide nothing but a trivial mention. Reliable sources describing what a multinational state is are required for verification.

Find sources: "Multinational state" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference

--Hm2k (talk) 10:35, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

Should each multinational state get its own sub-entry?[edit]

Because if yes, at the absolute least China and India are missing. And the final list would likely be quite long. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:16, 27 August 2011 (UTC)


Within Article 3 of the 1954 Constitution of the People's Republic of China, it is affirmed that China is a "single multi-national state", while the "national autonomous areas are inalienable parts". From this, does China count as a "multi-national state"? China itself has 56 different ethnic groups, including Han Chinese, Zhuang people, Mongols, Tibetans, Manchus, Uyghur people, Koreans, et cetera, and has geographical regions dedicated to ethnic minorities. -- 李博杰  | Talk contribs email 04:36, 24 September 2011 (UTC)

of course the PRC is a multinational state, just one with a very heavy ethnic majority. --dab (𒁳) 15:05, 10 September 2012 (UTC)


Says the introduction, without any attempt at clarification or attribution,

"A multinational state need not also be multicultural and multilingual."

This is nonsense, in my opinion. The problem is that the links go to Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, which do not mean the same as the adjectives without the "ism", and whose "ism" doesn't mean the same thing in each case:

  • Multilingualism: "the act of using polyglotism, or using multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers". A multinational state is, of course, multilingual, but its people do not necessarily practice multilingualism.
  • Multiculturalism: this actually pertains to an ideology that wants to blend culture, i.e. not multiple regional cultures alongside one another, but a syncretism of cultures with the ultimate aim of destroying all regionalism. So, a multinational states obviously is multicultural, but it will not, as a rule, subscribe to multiculturalism.

These terminological distinctions are important. --dab (𒁳) 15:05, 10 September 2012 (UTC)

So, how about something like, "Depending on various definitions of such terms as nation, nationality, multicultural, multiculturalism, multilingual and multilingualism, a multinational state may or may not be multicultural and / or multilingual"? Definitely longwinded and perhaps a mite WP:WEASELy, but it pretty much covers the possibilities. Jim.henderson (talk) 00:31, 18 September 2012 (UTC)
Multiculturalism, in a strict sense, merely refers to multiple cultures living alongside one another. As an ideology, it generally seeks to promote the benefits of having multiple cultures alongside one another. The ideology of attempting to blend them together, is known as assimilationism, not multiculturalism. Assimilationism is an ideology that will often arise in a multicultural state, merely because multicultural arrangements are often very uncomfortable and unstable, peoples tend to either unite or fall part, so it's often used merely as a measure of self-preservation. Of course, it only works with varying degrees of success, amongst new arrivals (like has mostly been the case in the US - integrating immigrants into the general American culture, rather than having everyone walled off into their own ethnic ghettos), peoples who already have a lot in common, or maybe those who have been united for a reaaaaallllyyy long time. Of course, often what people mean when they say "assimilationism" is that they want the smaller to gobble up the larger, and the smaller is rarely keen on that idea. And meeting a satisfactory middle ground is often impossible. (talk) 10:22, 13 January 2013 (UTC)


It is difficult to justify the exclusion of France (home of Bretons, Basques, Flemish, Alsaciens, Catalans, Savoyards and Corsicans), Italy (home of South Tyroleans, Aostans, Friulans, Sardinians, Slovenes and Albanians), the Netherlands (home of West Friesians), Germany (home of Sorbs, Danes and North Friesians) from this list. The Kingdom of Denmark consists of three entities, with the Faeroese and Greenlanders enjoying home rule (and some would argue that the Jutlanders are a nation in their own right, and that the people of Bornholm are Scanians). Arguably Finland (home of Swedes and Sami), Norway (home of Sami) and Sweden (home of Finns, Scanians and Sami) should be included, along perhaps with Austria (home of Slovenes, Hungarians and Croats) and Switzerland (home of the Suisse Romande, Swiss Germans and Ticinese plus the Romansch). In eastern Europe it is difficult to think of a single country that isn't multinational. Skinsmoke (talk) 22:46, 13 February 2013 (UTC)


By any definition, Ethiopia classes as multinational, with a political structure that recognises the different "nations" within the country. Skinsmoke (talk) 22:49, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

South Africa[edit]

This section is biased. "and a dialect of Dutch called S.A. Dutch, sometimes called "Afrikaans" by pro-apartheid groups". Afrikaans is a distinct language. SA Dutch is not a language. — Preceding unsigned comment added by SuperKlippie (talkcontribs) 11:03, 17 July 2013 (UTC)

UK and Spain go under "Europe"[edit]

The UK and Spain should go under "Europe", not under "regional nationalist movements". The idea of the multinationality of the UK may be controversial and that of Spain even more so, but the concept of a multinational state is inherently ambiguous and its acceptance depends by ideological bent so in the end we'd have to put all states under "regional nationalist movements". The Spain section I find is little-elaborated, there needs to be information on Spanish language policy since the democratic transition as well as the legal status of what are known as historic nationalities. saɪm duʃan Talk|Contribs 15:58, 30 December 2013 (UTC)

The UK is a polity with a government. Scotland and the European Union are also polities. One can argue that the Commonwealth is also a polity. They can all possibly have a seat at the United Nations. But the Common Travel Area is not a polity, even-though the UK and Ireland are far more integrated than EU or Commonwealth. One should also consider the ambigious situations of Wales and Cornwall in the varying degrees of integration with England. Then there's whatever Britain's equivalents of France's "overseas departments/departments outremer" are! Hewdropsbow (talk) 11:24, 28 September 2015 (UTC)

India is a multinational polity[edit]

I think some information needs to be added about India. It was historically an empire made up of several independent states, similar to the modern day European Union, united by the British. Nowadays many Indians (and other South Asians) view the polity as a more 'united' Indian version of the European Union. The different levels of political integration can be seen with the fully integrated 'states', heavily integrated nations such as Nepal or Bhutan, mildly integrated states such as Sri Lanka, and blacked nations such as Pakistan. Hewdropsbow (talk) 11:18, 28 September 2015 (UTC)


Turkey was founded by Ataturk's Turkish National Movement as a nation state, a national homeland for the Turkish people. Now, I know that facts on the ground are that there's plenty of Kurds and Zaza and a bit of Arabs who live in Turkey's East, but on paper Turkey is the Turkish Republic, in fact, its constitution defines as "Turkish" all its citizens and the authorities take all this usually in an ethnic way. Officially, the Kurds are essencially, guests in the Turkish nation-state. That's why often you hear of Turkey bombing Turkey (i.e. the military bombing the East) - the government regards itself as the government of (ethnic) Turks.2A02:2F0E:52AA:9400:783C:285:6B6F:7F8D (talk) 08:15, 9 February 2016 (UTC)


ethnies? (talk) 01:40, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Jew and American[edit]

I would kindly like to know why being Jewish and American, is being used as a multi-national example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Disifere (talkcontribs) 12:45, 18 September 2016 (UTC)