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European Regions Geography Question

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Tsar
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European Regions Geography Question

Post by Tsar » August 15th, 2015, 8:48 pm

Where do the following countries best fall in the European regional geography?

I'd like to know where you think the following eight countries best fit. The choices are either Central Europe, Eastern Europe, or Southern Europe.

1. Czech Republic -Central Europe
2. Serbia - Eastern Europe (Former Yugoslavia)
3. Bosnia and Herzegovina - Southern Europe? (Former Yugoslavia)
4. Croatia - Southern Europe (Former Yugoslavia)
5. Hungary - Eastern Europe
6. Slovenia - Southern Europe
7. Slovakia - Eastern Europe
8. Macedonia - I'm going to say Southern Europe (Former Yugoslavia)




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gsjackson
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Re: European Regions Geography Question

Post by gsjackson » August 15th, 2015, 11:37 pm

Czech, Hungary and Slovakia -- central Europe. All the rest southern, with Slovenia kind of in between the two.

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Winston
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Re: European Regions Geography Question

Post by Winston » July 18th, 2018, 6:01 pm

Isn't there such a thing like Southeast Europe? lol. Just like Southeast Asia?

What about Poland? Is it Central Europe or Eastern Europe?
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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: European Regions Geography Question

Post by Contrarian Expatriate » July 18th, 2018, 6:39 pm

This is a very complex question for 2 reasons:

First, the US and many other Western nations tended to view Western and Eastern Europe as dichotomous political blocks. Countries that were behind the Iron Curtain or Communist-led were Eastern European regardless of geography. For example, Austria was part of Western Europe but Czechoslovakia was part of Eastern Europe even though their positions overlap.

Second, there are geopolitical influences that go into certain regional names. For example, the Balkan peninsula encompasses everything from the former Yugoslavia and Bulgaria and everything south of them. However, Romania and Greece do not consider themselves Balkan countries even though they are on the Balkan peninsula. This is due to both political, historical, and cultural reasons. The Balkans are thought to be the troublesome wild west of Europe and Romania and Greece shun the stigma of being included.

The term Central Europe is very commonly used in Europe and in my experience it is used by countries like those in the former Yugoslavia to distinguish themselves from the totalitarian Eastern European countries. Today, Slovenes and Croats proudly correct people by stating they are Central European thus on a different keel than the poorer countries of Eastern Europe.

I think the best terms are Northern Europe, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, The Balkans, and The Caucasus. Yes, that leaves out Greece and Romania and Turkey, but those countries tend to like it that way.

Central Europe is a regionally preferred appellation fraught with imprecision and ill-defined membership. Its use reminds me of Latin countries screaming that they too are American so the USA should stop dominating the use of that term. That is national ego speaking more than geography.

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Winston
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Re: European Regions Geography Question

Post by Winston » July 21st, 2018, 3:58 pm

Ok thanks @Contrarian Expatriate. But what about Poland? Is it part of Eastern Europe?

Is the boundary between Eastern Europe and Central Europe and Western Europe official and fixed? Or is it arbitrary and loosely defined?
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Contrarian Expatriate
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Re: European Regions Geography Question

Post by Contrarian Expatriate » July 21st, 2018, 4:34 pm

Winston wrote:
July 21st, 2018, 3:58 pm
Ok thanks @Contrarian Expatriate. But what about Poland? Is it part of Eastern Europe?

Is the boundary between Eastern Europe and Central Europe and Western Europe official and fixed? Or is it arbitrary and loosely defined?
To Americans and most Westerners of my generation, Poland is definitely Eastern European since it was Communist and it bordered the former Soviet Union. However, there is a newer school of thought that does consider Poland Central European which I believe is more rooted in a desire to distance the country from its former "2nd World" status. Central Europe simply has less "backwardness" stigma than Eastern Europe.

I see Poles as strongly tethered to Eastern Europe because they are true Slavs, but also strongly connected to the West because they are Roman Catholics instead of Eastern Orthodox (along with the large Polish diaspora in the West).

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