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A multipolar system is a much better description because it allows a gradation of connection between the poles, as opposed to the delineation of territory into impermeable blocs. The latter reminds me of how Africa got carved up by diplomats from Spain, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Portugal on a map that had very little to do with the cultural and tribal realities on the ground.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 08:57:54 AM EST
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If you look at a terrain map, there are obvious geographical choices for territorial boundaries. But when mapmakers use a river as a territorial line, eg, the mappers forget that a river has two banks - that don't divide people, both banks attract the same people.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:04:01 AM EST
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That can also be read as an argument for better geographic line-drawing. As Migeru is fond of pointing out, you'd want to go with catchment basins. e.g.

Of course it's all rather more complicated and IMO the best thing we can do is not interfere more, since we Europeans have a long history of screwing things up. Which is sometimes remembered!

by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:35:38 AM EST
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But I think nanne's criticism of the EU making a multipolar world a geostrategic goal is that it's as if the EU were asking Kissinger's question about other regions. "If the High Representative wants to phone South America, who should she call?"

Should the EU really be doing that?

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:21:06 AM EST
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It's already doing that to itself. Europe is increasingly multipolar as the ancient and modern boundaries become more irrelevant by the year. That's what free movement of goods and people means.

For accounting purposes (who pays and who gets what) those boundaries still exist. But for people (culture) they are far less important.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 09:30:50 AM EST
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I think, as I suggest above, that the text is more about creating large regional food markets in opposition to the Doha Round globalising tendency which would see major powers deriving their food supplies from (in some cases neo-colonial) plantation-type agriculture -- than it is about foreign policy.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 10:04:44 AM EST
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