Various mental images about the geographical extension of Central, Southeast and Eastern Europe

Open access

Abstract

Central Europe, Eastern Europe, the Balkans and Southeast Europe as macro- region space concepts are not regions designable by physical geography; the geographical content of these concepts is drawn and re-drawn by historical, cultural and geopolitical processes. Debates on the extension and content of the macro-regions featured intensify every now and then, especially in crisis periods - it is enough to think of the years before, during and after the world wars, the regime change, and these days. Our paper, with the brief summary of the preliminaries, highlights, from the perspective of our age, the geopolitically determined transformation and demonstrates the findings of our empirical research. During our research we made a questionnaire survey in which we recorded mental maps of the university students of Hungary and its seven neighbour countries, looking at where the respondents put their own countries and what image of the respective macro-regions lived in their minds. Our findings may be subject to debates but clearly show the convergent or divergent directions of the respective countries, at least as regards the judgement by the youth.

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