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Why Geography Matters more than ever.

(de Blij, 2012)


Discussion guide

Chapter 9: Superpower in the making or paper tiger of the future?

At the Heart of the World (242-243):


o What was globalization before it became Americanization?
o What revolutions did Europe generate?
o What have been the dominant events of the last half century?

Assets and Liabilities (243-247):


o Why does this realm remain a Tower of Babel?
o If Europes cultural diversity is a challenge, why is its natural diversity an
opportunity?
o Why does Europes economy struggle today?
o How is overcrowding avoided?
o What accounts for long traffic jams?
o What factors account for Europes population stagnation?
o What are some of the troubling implications?

Where and What Is Europe? (247-249):


o Why is the issue of whether Russia a part of Europe so important?
o What are some of the differences between the two?
o What happened to prevent North Africa from becoming European?
o What does Europe stand for today?

Fractious Europe; Truman Plan; Six to Nine to Twelve: (249-255):


o What accounts for Europes political map?
o What are some of the current disputes?
o How as Europe begun to combat these disputes?
o How did the European unification movement get started?
o How did the Marshall Plan and NATO provide a framework?
o What political and institutions grew out of these multinational scheme?

Too Far, Too Fast? (256-259):


o What advantages did Portugal, Spain, and Greece derive from EU membership
when they joined?
o What practical dilemmas does the EU face?

European Governance (259-260):


o What are the four pillars?
o Where is the EU capital?
o How does the EU legislative power create a level of dissonance?
A Geographical Paradox (260-262)
o How does the seven-rank perspective help give form to Europes hierarchy of
political entities?
o Given the decentralization of France and other countries into regions, how are
taxation and economic policy being affected?
o What problems arise from devolutionary pressures?
o Why has European supranationalism intensified the devolutionary spirit?
o How do the territorial fragments of history, such as Gibraltar, Ceuta, Melilla,
Kaliningrad, and Cyprus, represent minor irritants of long standing?

Europe and the Euro (263-264):


o Why has the rise of the euro and its potential adoption by new members been a
source of worry?
o What does the EU really need to survive?

De Blijs book was copyright in 2012 since then Britain has successfully voted to exit the
EU (Brexit). How do you think de Blij would change this section knowing about the
change in Europes greatest experiment?