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)

Abstract

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.

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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

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