Where's the (necessarily arbitrary) dividing line between Europe and Asia? Setting aside the obvious water boundaries, I understood that Europe included all the USSR west of the Ural Mountains, so the Eastern and Southeastern boundary was the Urals, the Caspian, plus the Soviet-Turkish border. But now it appears that Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan are being treated as Asian (see, for instance, this Slate piece, which suggests that it's odd that Georgia is outside Europe, though I've seen this elsewhere as well).

     Who decides these things? Is there some Official Europe-Asia Boundary Commission? Is it just a consensus of geographers? Or does such a consensus even exist, at least as to the Caucasus? Yes, it might be better to speak just of Eurasia, but the fact is that people do speak about Europe and Asia.

Posted by Eugene Volokh to The Volokh Conspiracy at 4/30/2004 02:01:53 PM
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