Confirmed: Czech Republic is in Western Europe, says US textbook

In the latest version of the US textbook Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, the Czech Republic has achieved Western European status

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky
Published on 04.02.2019 12:14 (updated on 04.02.2019)

Long has the debate raged on: is the Czech Republic in Eastern Europe?

For the latter half of the 20th century, Europe’s geographic divisions were based on the former Iron Curtain: the Czech Republic (née Czechoslovakia) was grouped with Poland, Hungary, East Germany and other former Soviet satellite states in a region referred to as Eastern Europe.

But those definitions are now 30 years old, and no one today, for example, would consider Dresden or Berlin (half of it, anyway) to be part of Eastern Europe.

As many will point out, Prague is further west than Vienna. Geographically, the Czech Republic is smack-dab in the center of Europe, and by many definitions considered a part of Central Europe, or among among Central and Eastern European (CEE) territories.

But – especially abroad – the use of Central Europe or CEE terminology isn’t widespread, and basic geographical discussion of the continent still divides Europe into Eastern and Western halves.

In that context, then, where would the Czech Republic belong? Well, look no further than the latest edition of the US textbook Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts:

via Reddit / Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, 17th Edition
via Reddit / Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts, 17th Edition

Yes, that’s the Czech Republic entirely located in what the textbook terms the “European Core” and firmly entrenched in yellow “Western Europe” status.

Slovakia, meanwhile, falls outside both of those definitions.

Of course, that’s only one definition of European geography, and likely to conflict with many others; besides the Czech Republic, geographic labelling of other countries in the image above (taken from this r/Europe post) might cause some heated debate.

But Geography: Realms, Regions, and Concepts has been published since 1971 and now in its 17th edition, credited to authors Jan Nijman, Peter O. Muller, Harm J. de Blij. It’s used in some US schools, at least, to teach students world geography.

And hey, we’ll take any definition of the Czech Republic as Western Europe that we can get.