Regional History

Historical regions (or historical countries) are geographic areas which at some point in time were a cultural, ethnic, linguistic or political unit, regardless of present-day borders. They are used as delimitations 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]

Definitions of regions vary,[3] and regions can include 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 often 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]

See also

References

  1. ^ p.332, Kotlyakov, Komarova (entry 2781)
  2. ^ p.151, Tägil
  3. ^ a b xiii, Tägil
  4. ^ p.82. Lehti, Smith
  5. ^ p.65, Lewis, Wigen

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

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