Internal and External Perceptions of Europe/the EU in the World through Mental Maps

  • Clarisse Didelon-Loiseau
  • Claude Grasland
Part of the The European Union in International Affairs Series book series (EUIA)


The EuroBroadMap project1 was designed to elaborate non-Eurocentric visions of Europe in the world. For some, this ambitious research agenda was based on an initial paradox: when one wants to elaborate a non-Eurocentric vision of Europe in the world, they are obliged to define the geographical limits of an object called ‘Europe’ in order to be able to benchmark internal and external visions; but if they define the limits of Europe before the start of the analysis, they introduce a strong Eurocentric bias because the limits of continents has been historically elaborated by … Europeans (see, e.g., Lewis and Wigen, 1997; Grataloup, 2009). For others, this paradox is a false problem. Those scholars focus on a relatively well-defined political object called ‘the European Union’ (EU) instead of a fuzzy historical-geographical notion of ‘Europe’. Most of the chapters in this volume examine the external images and perceptions of the EU. However, as geographers, we cannot but face the complexity of the interactions between the notions of ‘Europe’ and ‘the European Union’, and thus focus our analysis on the concept of external perceptions of ‘the EU’ as linked to the concept of external images of ‘Europe’. The confusion between the notions of ‘Europe’ and ‘the EU’ is profound both in mental representations of the general public in Europe and outside it, as well as in EU political discourses.


European Union Mental Representation Global View European Union Country World Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Braudel, F. (1982) On History (S. Matthews, trans.) (Chicago: University of Chicago) (original work published 1969).Google Scholar
  2. Brennetot, A. and Rosemberg, M. (2013) ‘Géographie de l’Europe et Géographie de la Construction Européenne’, L’Espace Politique, 19,, DOI: 10.4000/espacepolitique.2613, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  3. Didelon, C. (2011) ‘Socio-Spatial Frameworks of Spatial Representations and Variation of Knowledge and Appreciation of Europe’, Social Variation Synthesis Report; EuroBroadMap project,, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  4. Didelon, C., Grasland, C. and Richard, Y. (2008) Atlas de l’Europe dans le Monde (Paris: La Documentation Française).Google Scholar
  5. Dortier J.-F. (2002) ‘L’Univers des Représentations ou l’Imaginaire de la Grenouille, Sciences humaines, 128, 24–31.Google Scholar
  6. Gould P. and White R. (1997) Mental Maps 1st ed. 1976 (London and New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
  7. Grasland, C., Didelon, C. and Beauguitte, L. (2012) ‘Visions of Europe in the World, Synthesis Report’, EuroBroadMap project,, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  8. Grasland, C., Didelon, C., de Ruffray, S. and Beauguitte, L. (2012) Final Report of the Project European Union and the World Seen from Abroad (EuroBroadMap),, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  9. Grasland, C. and Van Hamme, G. (2010) ‘La Relocalisation des Activités Industrielles: Une Approche Centre/Périphérie des Dynamiques Mondiale et Européenne’, L’Espace Géographique, 1, 1–19.Google Scholar
  10. Grataloup, C. (2009) L’invention des Continents (Paris and Larousse: Collection Terre & Nature).Google Scholar
  11. Lewis, M.W. and Wigen, K.E. (1997) The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography (California: University of California Press).Google Scholar
  12. Lucarelli, S. (2007) (ed.) The External Image of the European Union, GARNET Series e-book, 2007, papers/1707.pdf, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  13. Lynch, K. (1960) The Image of the City (Cambridge and London: MIT Press).Google Scholar
  14. Moles A. and Rohmer E. (1978) Psychologie de l’Espace (Paris: Casterman).Google Scholar
  15. Montello, D.R. (2003) ‘Regions in Geography: Process and Content’, in M. Duckham, M.F. Goodchild and M.F. Worboys (eds.), Foundations of Geographic Information Science (New York: Taylor & Francis).Google Scholar
  16. Moscovici, S. (1961) La Psychanalyse, Son Image, Son Public (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France).Google Scholar
  17. Peeren, E. and Horskotte, S. (2007) ‘Introduction: The Shock of the Other’, in S. Horskotte and E. Peeren (eds.), The Shock of the Other: Situations Alterities (Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi).Google Scholar
  18. Pickering, M. (2001) Stereotyping: The Politics of Representation (New York: Palgrave).Google Scholar
  19. Saarinen, T.F. (1987) ‘Centering of Mental Maps of the World’, Discussion Paper (Tucson: Department of Geography and Regional Development).Google Scholar
  20. Simmel, G. (1950) The Sociology of Georg Simmel (Kurt Wolff, Trans.) (New York: Free Press) (Original work published 1906).Google Scholar
  21. Toureille, E. (2014) ‘L’image du Monde Après la Crise, à Travers l’Analyse Diachronique des Préférences Résidentielles Par Des Étudiants Turcs (2008–2013)’, Colloquium CIST 2014 — Frontiers and Boundaries of Territorial Sciences,, date accessed 21 October 2013.
  22. Van Houtum, H. and Van Naerssen, T. (2001) ‘Bordering, Ordering and Othering’, Tidschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geogragfie, 2, 125–136.Google Scholar
  23. Wallerstein, I. (ed.) (1979) The Capitalist World-Economy (Vol. 2) (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  24. Wallerstein, I. (2011) The Modern World-System I: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century, with a New Prologue (Vol. 1) (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Clarisse Didelon-Loiseau and Claude Grasland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Clarisse Didelon-Loiseau
    • 1
  • Claude Grasland
    • 2
  1. 1.Le Havre UniversityFrance
  2. 2.University Paris DiderotFrance

Personalised recommendations