Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/877
Title: A GEOPOLITICAL AND GEO-STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVE OF POST-NATIONAL POLITICS IN THE EU AND ITS BORDERS: EUROPEANISATION AS A CULTURAL PHENOMENON IN TRANSCAUCASIA
Editors: Claval, Paul
Pagnini, Maria Paola
Scaini, Maurizio
Issue Date: 19-Jul-2006
Journal: Proceedings of the Conference THE CULTURAL TURN IN GEOGRAPHY, 18-20th of September 2003 - Gorizia Campus
Part VII: Cultural Geography and Geopolitics
Abstract: 
How realistic is it to speak of a post-national politics in Europe today, and how authentic
are the post-national demos and ethos in today’s EU? Then, whether and how can it be
projected towards Transcaucasia?
The global uncertain security environment and the vital necessity to meet transnational and
asymmetric challenges and threats, make the answers to the above-mentioned questions truly
crucial for the effectiveness of the EU policies given their particular decision-making
mechanisms. Furthermore, uncertainty over the use and potential of CFSP and ESDP in the
process of an appeasement of one of its most dangerous peripheries – Transcaucasia persists.
The EU is shaped by rather revolutionary transformations: the May 1st enlargement and the
Constitutional Treaty. The latter is posing not-so-easy-to-overcome problems. In the light of
these difficulties and of a bitter division over the war in Iraq, considerations of a European
Union beyond the nation-state seems to carry with it a breath of idealism rather than realism.
The cynicism of Robert Kagan’s vision of Europe as a de-territorialised “post-modern
paradise” unable to match the raw territorial might of American power (Kagan, 2003) is rising
some affirmative echoes even in the EU.
However, things are changing, and in order to succeed in its growing ambition and selfconfidence
as a security actor, the EU, has to address issues determining its very nature, the
nature of its actual and potential borders and the peculiarities of its neighbours. Today, the EU
is an inter-state system acting through a multi-level and networked governance (L. Hooghe
and G. Marks, 1996) operating above and below the state, rather than a post-national stability
guaranteeing and security projecting grouping. We also have to acknowledge, that a
proliferation of interest groups annihilating the traditional distinctions between public and
private interest, as a core feature of these emergent governance practices is growing. Whereby,
the technocratic allocation of “values” seems to become the primary target for policy-making
(Kohler-Koch and Eising, 1999) at an internal level.
On the other hand, in Europe, the nation was never mapped fully, nor absolutely onto the
state, even at the apogee of modernity, and the very possibility of integration policies in
modern western societies has been practicable by “forgetting” the contingent and always
partial nature of such a “fit” (Anderson, 1995). For this very reason, an attempt to craft
policies independent of nation-state territoriality highlights the natural status of Europe as a
community of shared destiny, pointing out the dynamic nature of its future external
boundaries. In this perspective the definition of borders by Ratzel as “scars of the history”
(Ratzel, 1897), which necessitate to be overcome can still be useful.
Since the primary aim of this article is the geopolitical and geo-strategic analysis of the
shifting nature of the EU borders, the importance of Gottmann’s circulation/iconography
relations (Gottmann, 1952) in the core state ideology and societal trends of its neighbours, and
particularly those in Transcaucasia, it is necessary to focalise on different theoretical models,
as well as, empirical initiatives, that are or should be carried out by the European Union.
While state borders remain the main crossing lines within geopolitics, regional groupings are
also seeking for frontier characteristics. A need of understanding the function and identity of
such frontiers is emerging.
The nature of the European borders is a multifaceted one. In fact, it combines issues linked
to migration flows, refugee, asylum and citizenship norms, European integration models and
last but not least, security concerns. We can identify an ongoing debate about the EU frontiers
from the perspective of the EU as an emerging geopolitical and cultural gravitational model in
442
the world arena. There is a comparison between the EU and a Westphalian state, which is
expected to have fixed borders delimiting its territory and a single sovereign centre. In
contrast, according to some observers, the EU evokes a post-Westphalian and post-modern
political and territorial model, which is moving away from a strong emphasis on bounded
territory (Axford and Huggins, 1999).
Type: Proceedings
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/877
ISBN: 88-8303-180-6
Rights: © Copyright 2003 Edizioni Università di Trieste - EUT
Appears in Collections:The cultural turn in geography

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