Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald
rfmcdpei

[BRIEF NOTE] Those damned transnational regions!

Strange Maps has a couple of posts (1, 2) on the belief, among certain elements of the British right, that the European Union plans to partitioning the islands into Trans-Manche, Atlantic, and North Sea regions. (On both maps, parts of the British midlands are left clear. Perhaps that will be the reserve of the English?)

The misreading seems to rest on the false assumption that the sub-national regionalism and transnational regionalism promoted, occasionally, by the European Union, is capable of threatening the integrity of established nation-states. Given the relatively few powers that many of these regions have and the indifference with which these are used and their attachments to their national states, that's more than a bit laughable. The Czechs have kept their part of Silesia free from Poland; the Hungarians haven't conquered Transylvania; Estonia and Finland haven't been merged; the Franco-Spanish borders haven't fused to constitute a sort of Occitano-Catalan state. Scottish, Catalonian, and Flemish secessionists might enthusiastically use these instruments of regionalism, but no one in Brussels is ordering them to secede. Really.

All that reminds me of what might, or might not, be an interesting lacuna in North America. In books like Joel Garreau's Nine Nations of North America, a variety of transnational regions based on common cultural, economic, and political factors are described in detail. This experience is a lived experience on the ground--in the Great Lakes Basin region, for instance, Ontario often compares itself with Michigan, upstate new York, or even Ohio. And yet, there aren't that many transnational regions that I know of in North America is Atlantica, including New England and Atlantic Canada.

Am I missing a cluster of transnational regions? Or are North Americans really not that sociable across their national frontiers?
Tags: europe, european union, north america, oddities, regionalism, transnationalism
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