Monday, May 24, 2010

The Economist Redraws Europe to Reflect Current Geopolitical Trends

For the longest time Europe has been drawn in two along relatively unmoving lines. The Western/Eastern Roman Empire, the Catholic/Orthodox, Christian/Ottoman, and then the Western/Warsaw Pact divides have shared much of the same territory.

However, as I wrote about before, the geopolitical trends in Europe have shifted the boundary line east in a Brussels (European Union/NATO) versus Moscow (Russian-influenced) divide. There are also other shifts in geopolitical thought as Belgium's ethnic struggle, though peaceful, is like the problems in the Balkans, Central European countries like the Czech Republic are now virtually indistinguishable from Western European countries, and old established states like the United Kingdom and France are feeling stronger pulls for regional autonomy/independence.

The Economist earlier created a map redrawing the map of Europe as if the continent's geography reflected the current geopolitical trends of the regional countries. The video above does a good job explaining the reasoning of The Economist.

Other changes I would have made is to separate Cyprus making the Greek, lower half closer to Europe while the having the Turkish, northern half of the country hover near Turkey. The location of Turkish Cyprus should reflect the strong ties between the two but accurately show the present-day worry that the secular, militaristic Turkish Cyprus has for the religious, anti-military establishment government currently ruling in Turkey. Bosnia should be spiralling down a sinkhole as ethnic tension threatens to tear the country apart again. Finally, Israel should move closer to Europe as it has long been thought of as an extension of Europe though the Gaza Strip and West Bank should be shown as weighing down the state keeping it attached to the Middle East.

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