Antonio Mora Guanche
The purpose of this article is to introduce the geopolitical concept of “multicontinentality” in the context of international relations between countries and regions as well as to determine its possible application utility.
- Concept of multicontinentality
We could define multicontinentality as the relationship of a country or region with a given continent, be it a geographical or cultural relationship.
The geographical–type relationship is given by the location of the country or region in a given continent. Likewise, the cultural relationship corresponds to the historical links maintained between the multicontinental country or region and other continents. These links can be given by various forms of relationship, such as economic or commercial exchanges, integration between populations or cultural relations.
- Examples of multicontinentality
An example of the application of the concept of multicontinentality is the case of the Canary Islands, a Spanish region located geographically on the African continent and which fundamentally presents a European culture to which cultural links with the American continent are added.
Therefore, we can affirm that the Canary Islands presents a Tricontinentality relationship by being linked to three continents: Europe, America and Africa.
Likewise, we can point out the case of Chile as an example of tri-continentality from the geographical point of view since Chile is located on three continents, America, Antarctica and Oceania.
Thus, Chile has a presence in America (continental Chile and the archipelago of Juan Fernández and Islas Desventuradas), in Oceania (Isla Salas and Gómez and Easter Island) and in the Antarctic continent.
- Why we talk about multicontinentality
At this point, we consider why we talk about multicontinentality.
And accordingly, we can affirm that the knowledge of the multicontinentality of a country or region gives us an idea of the possibilities of action of said country or region in the international sphere, allowing us to establish networks or ties of collaboration and exchange between countries and regions and to facilitate international trade and economic and social development in general, ultimately providing knowledge of the cultural base of the population and, in particular, its international component, the external influence on the language of the country or region, the population characteristics and of customs and traditions.
In this section it is worth noting that when the geographical link between a country or region is not complemented by a relationship between that country or region with the continent in question, the potential of the geographical position of said country or region is lost.
- Final conclusion
In short, the knowledge of the continental relationship of a country or region, in the countries in which this relationship is applied, makes it possible to focus on the global phenomenon more adequately.
Antonio Mora Guanche is Professor of Industrial Engineering at University of La Laguna and Regional Development Consultant. He is also former General Director for Industry at the Government of Canary Islands (Spain) and Manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers Consulting.￼