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Conditions and Possibilities of the Area -Study-Approach to Mediterranean World

Publication Date
  • 지중해
  • Mediterranean World
  • 이념적
  • Ideological
  • 역사적
  • Historical
  • 지리적 접근
  • And Geographical-Spatial Approaches
  • 세계화
  • Globalisation
  • 네트워크
  • Network
  • 통일성과 다양성
  • Diversity And Integrity
  • 학제간 연구
  • Interdisciplinary Study
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Geography
  • Political Science


This paper aims to establish the validity of the approaches to Mediterranean world as a unified region where such elements as politics, economy, and ecology have dynamically produced an original culture. The study on the Mediterranean has been activated again with the publication of The Corrupting Sea (Oxford: 2000) by Horden and Purcell; after Braudel's pioneering works, this book was motivated with rethinking of the importance of the Mediterranean world in terms of political, economical, and particularly, ecological concerns. However, we cannot say that this book achieved its own aim of rethinking; rather we should seek ways of actualising the general intentions appeared in that book. In this respect, this paper reexamines the possible directions of the regional study of Mediterranean world. They are divided in three: ideological, historical, and geographical-spatial approaches. However, these are not visibly separated but rather they form a total perspective towards the mediterranean. First, from the ideological perspective, I examine the appropriateness of the general area study. Area study has been regarded as a tool for imperialist enterprises. But now we should change our aim of area study towards a way of resisting that sort of thought. The study of Mediterranean world functions for this since it consists of extremely diverse cultures, history and small areas, and simultaneously, shows a compact unity. Second, this compact unity which reveals diversity and unity of the Mediterranean can be seen historically. In the Mediterranean world, europe, arab, africa and asia have co-existed for more than 50 centuries, and we can witness the aspects of unity of the Mediterranean in our history in terms of trades, wars and the subsequent exchanges of cultures. Third, geographical-spatial approach becomes very crucial issue in our extremely industrialised society, particularly in relation to social, cultural, political, economical, ecological and military importance of the Mediterranean. The model of the Mediterranean unity and diversity will allow us to seek a way of harmonising the conflicting positions of the Mediterranean nations, and further, of the rest of our world. My idea starts from the recognition that our current world is governed by new imperialist capitalism which is called "globalisation". Here, globalisation displays the terrors of totalisation that neglects the possibility of coexistence of unity and diversity. Given the approaches that I have suggested, the Mediterranean world emerges as an object of the most appropriate area studies that we have to promote in this era of globalisation.

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