Review of Political Science
                                           
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Issue ╣2, 2018

   Miroshnichenko I. V. Spatial image of Europe in Russian youth notions: on the results of empirical study
   The article discusses the results of the empirical study of Europeĺs spatial image in the perception of Russian young people. Spatial images are becoming important components of the symbolic space of modern world politics. Europe is a key player in the transforming institutional design and in the semantic space of international politics. The image of state/country as a multi-component part of the global symbolic space has several parameters that determine its content. In this paper, the image of Europe is viewed from the perspective of subjective parameters that transmit images in the "optics" of perceptual models of modern youth, and also spatial parameters that determine geographical boundaries of the image. Specificity of geographical parameters determines the content and configurative system of the spatial image, where secondary and supporting images "constructed" by political and social actors and oriented to certain geopolitical strategies and projects of the state / foreign policy construction are "strung" onto a "core" basis. Geographical notions of young people concerning the borders of Europe are reflected in the results of mapping. The links between spatial images and other attributive characteristics, reflected in the notions of the subjects of perception and in chorological relations, were obtained with focus group interviews, expert interviews and projective techniques (semantic differentialand projective pictures). The results of the empirical study showed that the geographical image of Europe has flexible borders, and there are three zones within them: the core of Europe, its periphery, and the "non-Europe" semantic zone. This zoning is confirmed by the content of chorological relations: many countries are united by common destiny, while the commonality of European culture and identity (sociocultural attributive characteristics), as well as the structure of the European Union (political and economic attributive characteristics) are "supportive", integrating grounds for different European states. In young people's notions, the degree of state belonging to the "semantic map" of Europe is determined by its "sequence number" in acquiring the status of the European Union member or by the desire to join it.
   Key words: spatial image; geographical image; Europe; perception models; mapping; attributive characteristics

   DOI: 10.17072/2218-1067-2018-2-31-44

Contents of issue ╣2, 2018