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Historical region

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Historical region

Historical regions (or historical countries) are delimitations of geographic areas for studying and analysing social development of period-specific cultures without any reference to contemporary political, economic or social organisations.[1]

The fundamental principle underlying this view is that older political and mental structures exist which exercise greater influence on the spatial-social identity of individuals than is understood by the contemporary world, bound to and often blinded by its own worldview - e.g. the focus on the nation-state.[2]

There is no universally accepted definition of a region,[3] and the word does not differentiate between macroregions such as Europe, territories of traditional states, or smaller microregional areas. A geographic proximity is the often required precondition for emergence of a regional identity.[3] In Europe the regional identities are often derived from the Migration Period, but for the contemporary perspective are related to the 1918-1920 time of territorial transformation, and another in the post-Cold War period.[4]

Some regions are entirely invented, such as the Middle East in 1902 by a military strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan to refer to the area of the Persian Gulf.[5]

References

Further reading

  • Sven Tägil, (ed.), Regions in Central Europe: The Legacy of History, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1999
  • Marko Lehti, David James Smith, Post-Cold War Identity Politics: Northern and Baltic Experiences, Routledge, 2003 ISBN 0-7146-5428-0
  • Compiled by V. M. Kotlyakov, A. I. Komarova, Elsevier's dictionary of geography: in English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Elsevier, 2006 ISBN 0-444-51042-7
  • Martin W. Lewis, Kären Wigen, The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography, University of California Press, 1997 ISBN 0-520-20743-2

See also

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