Talk:Europe/Draft

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 Definition Sixth largest continent; area 10,000,000 km2; pop. 720,000,000 [d] [e]

New structure

I have set up a new structure in the hope of attracting contributions on a broader range of subjects than is covered by the current draft. Nick Gardner 20:58, 20 December 2010 (UTC)

States of Europe

It is gratifying to see a fresh contribution so soon! The table seems to me to be a valuable addition to the article, but it interrupts the flow, and is inconsistent with the existing format, so I propose to delete it from the main page and add a link to it on an addendum subpage. I have created an addendum subpage for that purpose and copied the table to it.

However it is not my practice to make changes without providing an opportunity for discussion, so I shall defer the deletion for a few days. Nick Gardner 21:21, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

I'm not convinced. A synthetic table containing basic facts is always useful inside an encyclopedic text. However, you are the main contributor of this article and I can understand that you perceive an unpleasant interruption in the flow. The table could be displaced at the end of the text, as an appendix, but it should remain in the main page; moving it to an "addendun subpage" would make it invisible. Something else: the table should be improved with two new columns at least: area and population--Domergue Sumien 22:57, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I think it's great to have this table, and to extend it. I don't share Domergue's reservations about moving it to a special page. The subpages are very valuable for dense detail - timelines subpages can be more interesting (and more work) than the main article. But I'd consider giving the subpage an informative name rather than just 'Addendum', and of course flag its presence prominently in the main article. In a subpage the references to the sources of data on population and area could be included (dates of data are important to note). Data on GDP might also be worth adding, if you've the energy?Gareth Leng 23:33, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
I am content with an appendix provided that there is a prominent link to it in the text, but I prefer to use the CZ facility of subpages. I plan to develope a broad chronology as well, but I think that should be on a subpage rather than an appendix. I have added a panel above the lede, on the assumption that the subpage option is acceptable. Nick Gardner 06:44, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
So, my opinion is minoritary. I let you move the appendix to a subpage.--Domergue Sumien 10:21, 23 December 2010 (UTC)
If I may make a suggestion, entries in the language column could be annoted (R), (S) or (G). A link to the table could then be added to the languages paragraph on the main page, enabling tedious cataloguing there to be avoided. Nick Gardner 10:58, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

Ethnicity

Domergue: Would it be a good idea to add some reference to genetic origins to your (admirable) paragraph on ethnicity? If so, this might help. Nick Gardner 06:46, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Done (here)!--Domergue Sumien 14:04, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

The treatment of history

I have been struggling with the problem of what to say about European history in an article on Europe. After a few attempts I realised that it would be foolish to attempt to summarise two thousand years of history in one paragraph - and that even to do so in a five-page article would be a challenge. I concluded that all that was needed was a brief account of those aspects of history that are having a significant influence upon the present state of Europe. That meant that many events of major importance in themselves could be omitted. I realised, for example, that Europe's colonial adventures needed no mention since - although important to those affected - they have litle or no influence on present-day Europeans. I concluded that the colonies would be an important part of the - yet to be written - article on the history of Europe, but would only be a digression in an article on Europe. I came to the same conclusion about the three modern wars - their origins and conduct would be an important feature of a history of Europe article, but the peace settlements are the only matter that is needed in the Europe article. The same would seem to apply to the rise and fall of Bismark, Napoleon and Hitler, and of Communism and Fascism. To include that sort of thing is not just unnecessary itself - it is apt to distract the reader's attention from the matter in hand. The current history paragraph and its supporting timelines reflect those conclusions. Nick Gardner 08:34, 9 January 2011 (UTC)

Endangered?

In the Addendum subpage (no separate talk page?), Cornish, Manx and Welsh are listed as endangered. In fact

  1. there have been no native speakers of Cornish for centuries
  2. Ned Madrell, the last native Manx speaker, died in 1969
  3. Welsh is the native language of a fifth of the population of Wales

If this sample is any indication of the reliability of the source(s) used, maybe the whole lot should be deleted. (While I'm about it, why are there 2 lists of countries, in the Catalogs and Addendum subpages?) Peter Jackson 11:27, 13 January 2011 (UTC)

If no-one objects, I will delete the text on the catalogs subpage. I do not consider myself qualified to make judgements about the interpretation of the term "endangered", nor about proposed amendments to the other material on languages. Nick Gardner 11:53, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
These languages are objectively "endangered" according to a sociolinguistic point of view. You can check this in many surveys, for example in the book mentioned in a note (BADIA I CAPDEVILA Ignasi (2002) Diccionari de les llengües d’Europa, coll. Diccionaris temàtics, Barcelona: Enciclopèdia Catalana)
  1. The loss of native speakers in Cornish and Manx doesn't impede the fact that these languages have still speakers nowadays, even if non native (in fact, there are now new native speakers of Cornish in some families); these languages are spoken by a few speakers, thus they are endangered.
  2. Since Welsh is the native language of only a fifth of the population of Wales, this means logically that Welsh is endangered due to the advance of English.--Domergue Sumien 00:30, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
OK, then how about including Latin? There are certainly Latin speakers in Europe, as there have been for millennia. There may even be some native ones, as there are of Esperanto. Peter Jackson 10:43, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

(unindent) I agree that Welsh counts as an endangered language, despite the advancement of the tongue in the last few years (it was recently made an official language, too). But fewer than a million speakers, in global terms, is not just endangered, but almost dead, especially given the advancing years of many speakers. As for Cornish and Manx: yes, they died out, and what is spoken now is certainly not Cornish or Manx as spoken in the past - they have been revived using other Celtic languages, texts and so on, and in linguistic rather than socio-linguistic terms are really new languages, spoken by very few people. But in both cases, socially something is there and endangered. So, if we mention 'Cornish' or 'Manx' as an endangered language, then their statuses needs to be clarified at the same time. Latin: although it's still spoken and new words are coined for it, it's really a historical rather than modern language which split into various varieties which became the modern Romance languages, whose speech communities behave more like the Latin speakers of millennia ago than the Latin speakers of today. Effectively, counting Latin among Europe's languages would entail counting it twice - once as Latin, and once as its modern manifestation, the Romance varieties. So Latin is 'represented' by those Romance languages today, and so need not be counted as an endangered modern language. John Stephenson 14:24, 31 January 2011 (UTC)

Well, it certainly was the case that Welsh looked on the way out - my father spoke Welsh as his first language, but my mother spoke lttle although her grandfather spoke no English at all. But Welsh was actively repressed in the early 20th century, and when I was a child my school was English speaking (although most of my friends spoke Welsh out of school). Now in that part of Wales all children are taught solely in Welsh until the age of 11 and many beyond that. Going back to that part of Wales, you seldom hear English spoken these days except to and by visitors - it certainly doesn't feel endangered there, and most jobs require a knowledge of Welsh - and the young are speaking it. Yes there may be only as few as 250,000 people who speak Welsh as a first language - but that's about as many as speak Icelandic (and they seem all to speak English too). I don't object to calling it endangered, but it's demise doesn't look imminent.Gareth Leng 21:26, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
"Endangered" shouldn't be just a matter of absolute numbers. If the whole of an ethnic group speaks a language then it's only endangered if the group is. Is that defined by numbers? Peter Jackson 12:12, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

John doesn't seem to have answered my point about Latin. Let me try to generalize. What exactly is the criterion for inclusion in this list? It says "current, autochthonous languages of Europe". What exactly does that mean? What exactly is "current"? What exactly is "autochthonous"? For that matter, what exactly is "Europe"? And of course what exactly is a "language"? Peter Jackson 12:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Specifically, then, why are Cornish and Manx "current, autochthonous languages", but not Latin? For that matter, what about Hebrew? There've been speakers in Europe for millennia, though not native ones. Peter Jackson 12:20, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

How long does a language have to be around to count? Kalmyk (Mongolian) has been in Europe about 4 centuries and is listed. Chinese has been in Europe for about 2 centuries and isn't. Does the threshold come between? What about Norwegian, which was a dialect, not a language, before 1905? Peter Jackson 12:22, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Clemenceau's definition was that a language is a dialect with an army. There may be the beginning of truth in that, not specifically an army, although that does apply to Hebrew. A good test for including, but not excluding, a given language may be "is it used in governance, literature, or anything outside language preservation?" Howard C. Berkowitz 12:44, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Endangered 2

Peter Jackson has asked many questions. Some of these questions are certainly very interesting, but they may be excessively basic and their place may not fit in this talk page. When you test a linguist by asking him: "what is a language?" or "why Latin is not counted among the current living languages of Europe?", it's like if, in the 'Periodic table of elements' talk page, you tried to test a chemist by asking him something like: "what is an atom?" or "why fire (or phlogiston) is not counted among chemical elements?". So, now, as a linguist, and in accordance with my dear colleague John Stephenson, let me give some basic answers:

  • One of the best solutions concerning the delimitation of a "language", in a sociolinguistic view, is the response of linguist Heinz Kloss: "Abstand language" and "Ausbau language".
  • Manx and Cornish are recognized as the common inheritances of Manx people and Cornish people. On the contrary, Latin is no longer a living, autochthonous language in Europe since no population recognizes Latin as its own, particular language (additionally, but less decisively, there are Manx-speaking and Cornish-speaking families; there are no Latin-speaking families). Latin still works as a specialized working code among certain specialists, in certain fields (the naming of species in biology, some circles of the Catholic Church, some networks of Latin teachers), but this has nothing to see with what is considered as the autochthonous language of a population. As the language of a population, Latin has been replaced by (or has evolved to) its dauhgter languages: the current Romance languages.
  • The last native speaker of Manx died in 1974 but there has been a continuity (a transmission) between that speaker and the current non native speakers. Thus Manx has never been a dead language.
  • Cornish was almost dead between the 18th century and its revival in the beginning of the 20th century, however, some residual knowledge of Cornish (songs, proverbs) survived hardly in the popular memory of Cornish people during the so-called period of death. The current revival of Cornish is based on a quite good, historical documentation concerning basic grammar and basic lexicon. Other Celtic languages are used by Cornish revivalists in order to reinforce, confirm or complete this knowledge. But the core of the genuine Cornish language remains well documented and, thus, is revived on a solid basis.
  • Chinese has never been the particular language of any autochthonous population in Europe. On the contrary, Kalmyk is the traditional language of Kalmyk people, who are the sole autochthonous (or at least the sole massively present) population of Kalmykia.
  • The status of Norwegian as a "language" is absolutely unquestioned in linguistics. See the works of linguists Heinz Kloss and Einar Haugen about Norwegian.

--Domergue Sumien 19:15, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

You haven't given a consistent explanation as far as I can see. You haven't explained what you mean by autochthonous. Basically, why are Kalmyks and Romany autochthonous, but Chinese and Jews not?
More generally, CZ should make sure its meaning is clear. If the listing is based on a clear definition, that should be either explained here or referenced elsewhere. If it's a concept that requires expert judgment to apply, that should be stated. Peter Jackson 10:36, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
My explanation is consistent and I've given you solid references (books, researchers, and concepts) taken from a science called (socio)linguistics. I've been very patient and very kind with you. Since CZ is based on expertise, I suggest you to trust me as a linguist. I can't write here, only for you, a complete lesson about language attrition and language shift in this very talk page just because you don't trust the concepts and references I've cited in my answers. You have the right to think differently, you have the right to be annoyed (maybe?) by the simple evocation of endangered languages in the UK, but as far as (socio)linguistics is concerned, I suggest you to learn and listen, before criticizing.--Domergue Sumien 14:53, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Let me add that Jews are not excluded at all in the table, since Yiddish is listed as a European language.--Domergue Sumien 15:00, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I was talking about Hebrew, not Yiddish, but let me get back to my general point.
It's obviously quite correct for CZ to use words in the senses the experts use them. It is after all supposed to be expert-led. In addition, however, when those senses are or may be different from those in which some/many readers may understand them, it should warn the readers of that. Peter Jackson 10:43, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

As regards experts, here are the languages of Europe as listed by one, Professor Glanvile Price, in 1000 Languages, ed Peter K. Austin, Thames & Hudson, 2008, pp 38f:

  • Indo-European 47:
    • Slavic 12: Belorussian, Bulgarian, Cassubian, Czech, Macedonian, Polish, Russain, Serbo-Croat, Slovak, Slovene, Sorbian, Ukrainian
    • Romance 11: Catalan, Corsican, French, Galician, Italian, Occitan, Portuguese, raeto-Romance, Romanian, Sardinian, Spanish
    • Germanic 10: Danish, Dutch, English, Faroese, Frisian, German, Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Yiddish
    • Celtic 4: Breton, Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh
    • Iranian 4: Kurdish, Ossetic, Talishi, Tat
    • Baltic 3: Latvian, Lithuanian
    • other: Albanian, Armenian, Greek, Romani
  • Uralic: Estonian, Finnish, Hungarian & 9 others
  • Turkic: Azeri, Turkish & 10 others
  • Caucasian: Georgian & 30 others
  • Semitic: Assyrian, Maltese
  • others: Basque, Kalmyk, Nenets

This seems to have a number of differences. So do you want to tell me this author is an exception to a general consensus? Or should the list be labelled as for illustrative purposes only? Peter Jackson 11:06, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

What exactly is "Europe?

  1. The article's definition
    1. includes parts of Russia and Turkey
    2. may or may not include Malta
    3. on a natural reading excludes Cyprus and Transcaucasia
  2. the list of European states in the addendum has an unexplained category called Edge of Europe, comprising
    1. Russia
    2. Turkey
    3. Kazakhstan
    4. Cyprus
    5. Malta
    6. Transcaucasia
  3. the list of languages
    1. includes Transcaucasia
    2. includes Malta
    3. seems to include Asiatic areas of Turkey (subject to correction, I think Arabic, Syriac/Aramaic and Kurdish are found only there)
    4. seems to exclude Asiatic areas of Russia (e.g. Chukchi)

Peter Jackson 10:55, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Does it have to be "exactly" something? If so, what do you suggest? Nick Gardner 14:45, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
That's a matter for geography experts to decide. If there's an expert consensus, that should be followed in all three places. If not, that should be stated. Peter Jackson 18:12, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
I wouldn't be at all surprised if there is not a consensus, as there frequently is not one amongst area studies scholars in very many areas.
  • What is Latin America? Does it include the Caribbean? What is the Caribbean? Does Florida count? What about New Orleans?
  • What is Africa? North Africa seems to be a different area than sub-Saharan Africa. Maybe North Africa should be dealt with as part of the Mideast. What's that? Maybe North Africa is better dealt with in terms of the Mediterranean. Can you really deal with the Mediterranean as a coherent area? Sometimes water connects people more than it separates them.
And so on. Social and cultural connections always complicate natural geography. The fact that Europe isn't very well distinguished from Asia within Eurasia makes matters all the more obscure. I'd think the best approach to the article is to explicitly problematize the question of what Europe is. --Joe Quick 19:10, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Since the article takes pains to indicate a lack of consensus, it is simply time-wasting to suggest that we should adopt one. If Peter Jackson thinks there is one, he should quote it. Otherwise, at least as far as I am concerned, the subject is closed. Nick Gardner 22:37, 3 February 2011 (UTC).
I apologize for not reading the article carefully. It does indeed discuss these issues, as you say. I must say I find its main definition surprising. I'd never heard that Turkey was now regarded as in Europe. Certainly that wasn't so in the reference books I grew up with a few decades ago, but I'll assume the article has got current opinion right. Peter Jackson 10:06, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Trolling?

CZ is based on expertise and seriousness. In CZ, extended talks should be caused by real issues, not by flat, repetitious and tedious questions. This excellent introduction of the article Internet troll, in CZ, may enlighten us:

"An Internet troll is a person who takes pleasure in sowing discord on the Internet. Trolls usually use pseudonyms, and their aim is to provoke biased others to take up their cause. The overarching goal is to damage people, entities, or ideas with which the Internet troll disagrees, or to provoke controversy. Internet trolls are a perennial problem wherever they can find an immediate Internet audience: discussion boards (forums), USENET groups, blogs, wikis, and other Internet venues that allow open access."

If my hypothesis is right, then, a solution would be: "don't feed the troll". If the problem goes on, a constable may find relevant to moderate it. --Domergue Sumien 18:49, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't see any evidence of trolling here. I only see that well-meaning people are having trouble understanding each other. --Joe Quick 19:15, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
Nevertheless there has to be a limit to the amount of time that contributors should devote to replying to people who are unwilling to make constructive suggestions. Nick Gardner 22:48, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

Ready for approval?

The concluding paragraph of the economics paragraph will need updating from time to time. In any case, I plan to update it when the approval process is started. Nick Gardner 12:26, 18 April 2012 (UTC)


Approval Process: Approval certified

Call for review: Nick Gardner 05:52, 25 April 2012 (UTC)

Call for Approval: Anthony.Sebastian 23:07, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Approval Notice: Anthony.Sebastian 22:28, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

http://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Europe&oldid=100806528, Revision as of 13:08, 3 August 2012
Anthony.Sebastian 22:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Certification of Approval: http://en.citizendium.org/wiki?title=Europe&oldid=100806832, Revision as of 16:14, 11 August 2012


Please discuss the article below, Europe/Approval is for brief official referees only!

Comments

05-may-2012 to 12-may-2012

I think that this article is very well written and informative. I have revised all of the references to follow periods, commas and colons rather than preceding them.

My only "negative" comment concerns the workgroup categories listed on the metadata page: Geography, History and Earth Sciences. I think that Politics or perhaps Sociology should replace Earth Sciences. In my opinion, this article does not fit into the Earth Sciences workgroup category. Milton Beychok 17:26, 5 May 2012 (UTC)

The current text includes: "There is not any correlation between ethnic groups (defined with cultural criteria) and physical types." This is nonsense. There is certainly not a perfect correlation, but equally certainly there is some.
For example, I was recently involved in a discussion of what things from back home foreigners miss in China. One suggestion was "Two-meter tall Nordic beauties with cleavage you could ski down." That is a bit over-the-top, but it points to some real differences of physical type that correlate fairly strongly with cultural things like Romance vs Germanic language. Sandy Harris 03:15, 6 May 2012 (UTC)
The Extent subsection starts out by giving area and population figures and then goes on to detail disagreements on what is actually in Europe without ever explaining which interpretation(s) of "Europe" is/are used for these figures. Peter Jackson 09:40, 12 May 2012 (UTC)


Since no one responded to my comment above, I have replaced the "Earth Sciences" category with the "Politics" category in the Metadata page. Milton Beychok 19:07, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

30-may-2012 to 31-may-2012

In regard to the pre-lede textbox: "In addition to the text below, this article comprises..." I would make it clear that reference is to the article's subpages. Something like: "In addition to the text below, the Timelines and Addendum subpages contain..."

Regarding: "27 European countries are members of the European Union..." Not standard to begin sentence with a numeral. 'Twenty-seven'. Same for "17 of its members are also members of the eurozone..." [Minor point] Anthony.Sebastian 23:35, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Re: "Its eastern boundary with Asia is sometimes considered to be defined by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caucasus Mountains and Turkey's eastern frontier." It might help the reader if you exemplified this with a few examples of countries.

Re: "See the relevant columns of the states of Europe table..." Consider adding, "on the Addendum subpage". Similarly specify for "See the languages of Europe - a tabular summary of the main characteristics of each of Europe's languages."

Re: "There is not any correlation between ethnic groups (defined with cultural criteria) and physical types." Could you explain further what you mean, esp. re 'physical types'.

Re: "According to cultural criteria, there are many ethnic groups which often match (but not always) with the languages of Europe." Again, examples would help.

Also examples for "Non dominant groups form ethnic minorities with various statuses, ranging from a broad autonomy (especially in the states of Spain, Denmark, the United Kingdom and Russia) to a total lack of recognition (and even to some forms of cultural intolerance, especially in France, Turkey, Greece and Slovakia)."

The acronym 'MEP' has not been defined. Anthony.Sebastian 03:18, 31 May 2012 (UTC)


Milton: I agree with your changes (the original was not my doing) Nick Gardner 21:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Peter: re The Extent subsection starts out by giving area and population figures and then goes on to detail disagreements on what is actually in Europe without ever explaining which interpretation(s) of "Europe" is/are used for these figures., I am inclined to assume that the use of the words approximate and at least (and the very round numbers used) makes elaboration unnecessary, but I am open to textual suggestions. - Nick Gardner 21:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
Anthony: The passages on ethnicity and linguistics are the work of Domergue Sumien - an expert in those disciplines. I have emailed him, drawing his attention to your questions. I have tried to meet your other points by editing the text. - Nick Gardner 21:28, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

14-jul-2012 to 17-jul-2012

Nick, did you want to respond to Sandy Harris's comment of May 6? —Anthony.Sebastian 02:04, 14 July 2012 (UTC) '

I did not respond because the passage in question was the work of Domergue Sumien. I have drawn Sumien's attention to it, and I have taken the liberty of replacing the passage that read There is not any correlation ... with There is no consistent correlation..., which would seem to meet Sandy's point without departing seriously from Sumien's intention. In the absence of anything further from them, I assume that both are content with that.Nick Gardner 10:32, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

+++++

Nick, regarding your revised section on ‘Economy’:

Pgraph-2: How do those stats compare with those of U.S., China. Reader needs reference point.

Pgraph-4: For sentences 1 & 2 that paragraph, can you give comparisons U.S./China? Reader needs reference point. —Anthony.Sebastian 22:21, 17 July 2012 (UTC)

19-jul-2012 to 29-jul-2012

While I have read the comment above on "The Treatment of History" and the paragraph in the article on history, and can fully appreciate the nature of the challenge, it would be a serious error to include history among the approving workgroups for this article in its current form. If there is reason to approve this article in its present form, it should be made clear that the European history will be treated in a separate article in the future, and history should not be included in the approval of the present article - which is very good, but purely contemporaneous.

This is not one but TWO serious issues:

1) The current historical paragraph is not at all helpful and should be revised/removed. The complete absence of what Nick accurately summarizes as "2000 years of history". Actually, a fully sufficient coverage would cover a lot more than that - including the migration of tribes and groups to the European corner of Eurasia as part of the "Out of Africa" movement.

2) Just as importantly is the serious skewing built into the article (notably in the Timeline) suggesting a rather mid-Victorian view that "Europe" evolved single handedly out of ancient Greece and Rome.

So, the question right now should be: Approve the article with a revised history paragraph but w/o the history imprimatur or postpone approval until the historical perspectives can be handled in at least a minimally adequate way. Roger A. Lohmann 21:57, 19 July 2012 (UTC)

Actually, the solution to these issues may already be present on the comment present on the Timelines page. Why not remove the history paragraph and the History workgroup as part of the approval matrix, and re-title the whole article something like "Present Day Europe", "Europe, Present Day", "Contemporary Europe" or something like that. In the interim, a link could also be set up so that "Europe" forwards directly to this article and revised later.
My concerns here are not a mere technicality. Wikipedia has a huge complex of articles on European history topics and many of them (e.g., the ones on historical tribes of Europe) are really very good and very much at the level of our target audience. Roger A. Lohmann 22:12, 19 July 2012 (UTC)


Roger's comments refer to an issue that I raised at the outset of my work on this article - see "The treatment of history" of 9 January 2011, at the top of this page. I argued then that to attempt a comprehensive coverage of the history of Europe would be a mistake because it would burden the reader with matter that does not contribute to an understanding of Europe as it is now. I cited several examples of events that are of historical importance that I proposed to omit on those grounds. I took it for granted, however, that an article on Europe that gave no account of the creation and coming together of its nation states would be unacceptably lacking. There was no response from the history workgroup, and I started drafting on the assumption that there was no objection to that approach. I put a paragraph in the main article that was headed - not "History" - but "Historical background" - which the reader was intended to interpret as "historical facts that will be helpful to an understanding of what follows". I added a timelines page with a heading that emphasised its deliberately restricted scope by the statement that if was " The historical background to present-day Europe (covering only developments that are deemed relevant to the present character of Europe)"
I am willing to consider a reasoned criticism of the above approach, or specific proposals concerning the scope of the historical background that I have adopted, but I cannot accept Roger's proposal to delete the historical background paragraph. I consider it to be essential, and I should resist any proposal to approve an article that lacked it. Nick Gardner 09:07, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I thought I made clear that I was aware that Nick had raised this issue above and that my suggestions were quite specific. I will leave whether or not they were reasoned to others to judge, but none of the comments immediately above responds directly to the issues I raised. Raising an issue, as was done above, is not the same as resolving it, and this one continues unabated. Let me make it clear now. I have no problem with the article as a review of contemporary Europe, and if the other workgroups wish to approve it as is, you'll get no quarrel from me. But it would be absurd to include the History workgroup among the approvers; quite as absurd as including the Biology or Chemistry workgroups as approving, since it has little or nothing to do with either of those topics either.
If the switch were made from "History" auspices to "Sociology" sponsorship, I would even be willing to sign on with others to the approval as an approving editor in Sociology and Politics, provided only that the first sentence or first paragraph be tweaked slightly to strengthen the "contemporary Europe" slant which might also be phrased as "Europe, in the present, Europe following WWII, or some other delimiter which might take care of that. This emphasis may be clear in the author's mind, and it certainly makes sense, but it isn't clear enough initially in the actual article. Even adding the word "today" as the second word of the first sentence might be enough. That might also set the context for the present "historical context" paragraph. Since this emphasis is already clearly noted over on the Timeline page, I can't see why the author should resist making it clearer here.
One other small point, in the discussion of Homer and the naming of Europe, shouldn't the directional reference be northwest, rather than north, since Greece seems to be in the far southeastern corner of what is currently considered Europe? Roger A. Lohmann 13:19, 20 July 2012 (UTC)

I have made some changes to the lede to indicate that the focus of the article is on contemporary Europe. I have deleted the etymology paragraph since it is out of character with a strictly contemporary approach (and I can't vouch for its content: it's not my doing}. And I have altered the heading of the historical background paragraph. I should be grateful for guidance concerning necessary amendments to that paragraph. Nick Gardner 06:06, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

I like it. I've made a couple of additional small, editorial changes I hope you can concur with. And, when I clicked the European Heritage link and wound up at the timeline, it occurred to me: Should there be mention there of the invention of the nation-state as a European idea?
Give me a few days to do a complete read-through again, and then let's see if there are any other editors willing to join in approving this. It seems like a particularly good contribution for CZ. (Also, has anyone combed through the current contents to see if there are any other articles that might begin to form the matrix of an article covering the European Heritage. Roger A. Lohmann 20:45, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
I did a Google Custom Search on "European Heritage". Nothing useful except possibly this:
Republicanism - Bibliography - Citizendium, Mar 30, 2008 ... Gelderen, Martin van and Quentin Skinner, eds., Republicanism: A Shared European Heritage, v 1: Republicanism and Constitutionalism in ...
en.citizendium.org/wiki/Republicanism/Bibliography &mdashAnthony.Sebastian 21:55, 22 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Not a very promising term, it would appear.Roger A. Lohmann 10:15, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
More Questions

BTW, the definition says Europe is the sixth largest continent. Is that still the generally accepted view of geographers? It looks like the NW extension of the biggest continent - the Eurasian land mass - to me, and I've frequently heard it described as such. Roger A. Lohmann 21:10, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

I don't know what the geographers view is, but I have tried googling "continents of the world" and have found no view other than that Europe is the sixth largest continent.Nick Gardner 05:45, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Okay. Thanks for checking. Roger A. Lohmann 10:15, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

- I suggest adding CERN to the Related Pages listings somewhere, given the news this summer of the boson particle research and Tim Berners-Lee's invention of HTTP. A current search of CZ turns up 17 interesting links but no article on the organization (yet), but clearly one is needed.

- Also, given the post-1989 developments, Civil Society, Market economy and nongovernmental organizations have been very powerful and influential ideas in Europe, and we have extensive pages on those topics. Links on Related Pages might be indicated as well. This may be special pleading, since I wrote most of it, but it strikes me that Civil Society is (was) largely a European invention (Adam Ferguson, Georg Hegel, etc.) and even many of the major critiques (Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, etc.) have been European. Maybe they also belongs on the Tmetable?

- Perhaps this has been discussed, but the three links in the blue box at the top strike me as a breech of CZ editorial standards. Don't they belong on the Related Articles page? Given the examples already available and approved, they don't really lose prominence with such a move. And why are the first two covered in a single page marked Addendum while the third links to Timelines? That States of Europe table is impressive and the sheer volume of blue links suggests it deserves to be its own page with a Related Articles link. Should be a simple cut-and-paste.

- Europe also may be suitable for the little used Debate Guide page where some of the controversial questions can be listed. E.g. Is Turkey in Europe? Russia? Britain? How durable is the EU? Can the Euro last? Are Mitteleuropa, eastern and western Europe still relevant ideas? Some of the questions discussed above - Like "What Exactly is Europe?" may be appropriate to list there. The general advantage of the debate page would be that open-ended, debatable questions can be listed without the need to settle (or even discuss) the issues.

- Is it worth adding to the Ethnicities section that the Vatican state has no indigenous population, but is composed entirely of members of the church hierarchy from around the world (assuming this is correct)?

- The timelines mention Michaelangelo and Bernini but not the Renaissance. That is an oversight that should be corrected.

Sorry if these are already covered somewhere. This is a lot to digest and its easy to overlook things. However, the general article and all its links grows in importance the more you work with it. Well Done!! Roger A. Lohmann 10:15, 23 July 2012 (UTC)

Geographers generally do not take the concept of a continent very seriously, considering it has little scientific value. They have a variety of lists. I can give you a reference for this, from a dictionary of human geography, but I haven't got it with me right now. Peter Jackson 14:45, 23 July 2012 (UTC)
Roger - You have given me some valuable food for thought, most of which I plan to digest and put into action in the course of the next few days. But I would like to respond now to two of your points
(a) "the three links in the blue box at the top strike me as a breech of CZ editorial standards." - this refers to a methodology that I have used widely in other articles and that I have explained here. Successive Managing Editors, and numerous members of the EC, have been aware of my use of this practice but no-one has expressed an opinion about it, and no-one, as far as I am aware has followed suit. I am conscious that this is the first CZ article with this format to be considered for approval, and I am willing to offer a further defence of the practice.
I can see no advantage in the suggestion that the States of Europe table should "have its own page". To make it into a stand-alone article (which is what I take you to mean) would violate the principle that articles should be readable (and it might be criticised for incompleteness}.
The blue box and its contents don't really trouble me except as a possible violation of editorial standards. I haven't paid much attention recently, so perhaps Anthony could take a look at this and some of your other examples and give us some editorial guidance?Roger A. Lohmann 00:33, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
(b) I am greatly intrigued by the possibility of using the Debate Guide subpage as you suggest. Please let me know of its use by other authors.Nick Gardner 08:02, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I've got one I did several years ago at Civil_society/Debate_Guide but I wouldn't hold it up as anything other than an early exemplar of the type. Also, see Dokdo/Debate_Guide, Adoption/Debate_Guide looks like a particularly good example. Josef_Mengele/Debate_Guide is a very focused and well organized one. To see others just search "Debate Guide".Roger A. Lohmann 00:33, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
Peter - Please don't trouble to look it up. I believe that most readers will recognise the term "continent" as an arbitrary categorisation and would attach no importance to the possibility (or otherwise) of its having scientific value.Nick Gardner 08:02, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Agreed. Roger A. Lohmann 00:33, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
It would be good to have a paragraph on European civil society, but I can't see how to handle it. With thousands of national, European and global organisations including charities, pressure groups, think tanks and whatever, concerned with law, politics, medicine, the environment etcetera, I just don't know where to begin. So I am putting that aside until I can think of away forward.Nick Gardner 15:33, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
That's my area. I'll see if I can whip something up for you to look at. Roger A. Lohmann 00:33, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The second paragraph of Extent cries out for mention of Russia but I'm not certain how to word it from the European perspective/tone of the piece. Something like: Russia has sometimes been divided from European perspectives into European and Asian regions.Roger A. Lohmann 01:09, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Domergue's drafting. I'll wait to see what he has to say. Nick Gardner 07:12, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
I've now added a tentative reference to the paradoxical treatment of European Russia. Nick Gardner 16:17, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

The climate section is altogether too brief, but I don't know that you (or I) are in a position to expand it. Perhaps we can recruit someone to beef it up, or if necessary approve the article as is and get someone to beef it up for a later revision. I'm putting this comment in mostly in the hope of attracting the attention of someone who might want to take this on. Roger A. Lohmann 01:58, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The culture section should probably also include some brief, introductory comments on the current state of arts and architecture, music and literature in Europe. (E.g., Italy and the some countries have major national literatures while others --e.g. Spain -- have multiple literary traditions, (Catalonian, etc. I was going to start it, but my knowledge runs thin too quickly and i don't want to sacrifice my editorial status on this article....Roger A. Lohmann 02:39, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

The phrase a natural experiment in federalism that has been added to the second paragraph is too controversial. There are many, especially in Britain, who would strongly reject the suggestion that membership of the EU involves some degree of submission to a supranational authority (which is a common perception of federalism). They see the EU only as an association of sovereign states who have agreed among themselves to abide by certain rules - which is a radically different concept. I propose to remove the phrase. Nick Gardner 05:42, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Okay. That makes sense. Roger A. Lohmann 12:55, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

30-jul-2012 to 15-aug-2012

The climate comments add an additional bit of meat to the article. Where do we stand now? For an introductory article, this strikes me as fairly complete. Should we lock it down as Approved? Roger A. Lohmann 01:39, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

I consider it so, Roger. Crediting the extensive, substantive, productive, and cordial dialogue you and Nick have undertaken, the changes to the article made by Nick, and the positive edits you made, I consider Europe ready for the Approval notice. I have no objection to the textbox preceding the lede; the concept has passed muster in the case of other articles. I added category Sociology. I will do one more top-to-bottom read through.
Nick and Roger: Will you each put a brief comment on the Approval subpage, where I will put my final comments.
Milton, Sandy and Peter Jackson also made helpful comments. Anthony.Sebastian 04:36, 3 August 2012 (UTC)

Title?
The topic "Europe" can never be treated in a single article. I suggest to choose a title that fits the focus of the text: "Present-day Europa. An overview" or "Contemporary Europe (introduction)", or similar. --Peter Schmitt 00:44, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

The title Europe was intended as a signpost, not a definition of what follows. The lede was intended to indicate the scope of the article, and I should have thought that sufficient. Nevertheless I have no objection to any of Peter's proposals. Nick Gardner 06:28, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

Stop press

Just noticed this: "The Economist Intelligence Unit's Democracy Index[1] does not categorise any European country as "authoritarian" "

In fact the source cited lists Belarus under authoritarian. Peter Jackson 09:52, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

Thank you Peter, a serious oversight. Nick Gardner 16:18, 11 August 2012 (UTC)
  1. Democracy Index, Economist Intelligence Unit, 2010
You guys, winners. Anthony.Sebastian 04:03, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Update? The source cited is the 2010 version. There have certainly been revisions since then, but I haven't yet managed to access any. According to Wikipedia they've now downgraded Russia to authoritarian. Peter Jackson (talk) 11:45, 22 January 2015 (UTC)