Eastern boundary of Europe reflected in internet presence of TNCs

Leszek Jan Lipinski

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis explores the concept of Europe as a continent. Taking as a point of departure a strictly geographical definition it then explores its historical, political and social sources and expressions. The picture emerging from these varied sources is incoherent and not adequately supported by coherent data, so the thesis looks for an appropriate angle to provide a more clear-cut picture of the most problematic part of overall picture. After identifying global businesses as an appropriate source of data on general perception of the continent it sets to explore the discourse created by the biggest of the transnational businesses by exploring their websites. It finds them a rich source of data, with a majority of the international companies using a spatial division of the world on continental level that includes Europe in some way. It estabilishes that the companies' spatial understanding draws the Eastern border of Europe in a way that includes Russia and Turkey but excludes Kazakhstan. That corresponds to a broad, inclusive vision of Europe. It finds that Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia are generally considered European, but they are a relatively unknown region and doubts persists about them among the transnational companies. Generally, most of the region researched appears to be marginal for the global businesses, the data collected underline uneven character of globalisation. Approach used manages to measure a gradual decline in Europeanness from the core towards the margins. According to this picture, Soviet Union nearly completely ceased to be a point of reference, and European Union is still less important label than Europe in general. The thesis describe possible practical repercussions of such an image. European integration, global geopolitical situation and globalization, the position of Russia in the modern world are discussed. High level of usage and uniform picture point to relevance of Europe as a concept and consequently further integration of Europe is predicted. The European projects should also include territories in the east.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages100