Historical region
Historical regions 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.

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.

There is no universally accepted definition of a region
Region is most commonly found as a term used in terrestrial and astrophysics sciences also an area, notably among the different sub-disciplines of geography, studied by regional geographers. Regions consist of subregions that contain clusters of like areas that are distinctive by their uniformity...

,and the word does not differentiate between macroregion
A macroregion is a geopolitical subdivision that encompasses several traditionally or politically defined regions. The meaning may vary, with the common denominator being cultural, economical, historical or social similarity within a macroregion...

s such as Europe, territories of traditional states
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

, or smaller microregion
A microregion is a geographic region of a size between that of a community and that of a district.-See also:* macroregion* mesoregion* Microregion :Category:Microregions of the Czech Republic...

al areas. A geographic proximity is the often required precondition for emergence of a regional identity. In Europe the regional identities are often derived from the Migration Period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

, but for the contemporary perspective are related to the 1918-1920 time of territorial transformation, and another in the post-Cold War period.

Some regions are entirely invented, such as the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

 in 1902 by a military strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan
Alfred Thayer Mahan was a United States Navy flag officer, geostrategist, and historian, who has been called "the most important American strategist of the nineteenth century." His concept of "sea power" was based on the idea that countries with greater naval power will have greater worldwide...

 to refer to the area of the Persian Gulf.

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 0714654280
  • Compiled by V. M. Kotlyakov, A. I. Komarova, Elsevier's dictionary of geography: in English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Elsevier, 2006 ISBN 0444510427
  • Martin W. Lewis, Kären Wigen, The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography
    Metageography can refer to:*the idea that mapping the world as a whole is always subjective and never objective;*the core concept of Martin W. Lewis' and Kären E. Wigen's 1997 published postmodern work The myth of continents : a critique of metageography...

    , University of California Press, 1997 ISBN 0520207432
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