Historical regions (or historical countries) are delimitations of geographic areas for studying and analysing social development of period-specific cultures without any reference to contemporary political, economic or social organisations.
The fundamental principle underlying this view is that older political and mental structures exist which exercise greater influence on the spatial-social identity of individuals than is understood by the contemporary world, bound to and often blinded by its own worldview - e.g. the focus on the nation-state.
Definitions of regions vary, and regions can include macroregions such as Europe, territories of traditional states, or smaller microregional areas. A geographic proximity is the often required precondition for emergence of a regional identity. In Europe the regional identities are often derived from the Migration Period, but for the contemporary perspective are related to the 1918-1920 time of territorial transformation, and another in the post-Cold War period.
- Sven Tägil, (ed.), Regions in Central Europe: The Legacy of History, C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 1999
- Marko Lehti, David James Smith, Post-Cold War Identity Politics: Northern and Baltic Experiences, Routledge, 2003 ISBN 0-7146-5428-0
- Compiled by V. M. Kotlyakov, A. I. Komarova, Elsevier's dictionary of geography: in English, Russian, French, Spanish, German, Elsevier, 2006 ISBN 0-444-51042-7
- Martin W. Lewis, Kären Wigen, The Myth of Continents: A Critique of Metageography, University of California Press, 1997 ISBN 0-520-20743-2