Vol. 3 No. 4 (2015): CISS Insight Quarterly Journal, Dec 2015
Book Reviews

Flash Points: The Emerging Crisis in Europe

Mr. Sajid Aziz
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
Published December 30, 2015
How to Cite
Mr. Sajid Aziz. (2015). Flash Points: The Emerging Crisis in Europe. CISS Insight Journal, 3(4), P41-44. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/133


‘Has Europe really changed or is Europe fated to constantly be mocked by the ‘Ode to Joy’?’ This sentence by George Friedman sums up the theme of his book, Flash Points: Emerging Crisisin Europe, about a continent that, according to the author, experienced genocide, gory wars, purges and starvations between 1914 and 1945, resulting in the demise of nearly 100 million Europeans. This 250-page book consists of three parts, along with a preface that sets the tone for discussion in the subsequent chapters by raising three questions: ‘First, how was Europe the place in which world discovered and transformed itself? Second, given the magnificence of European civilization what flaw was there in Europe that led it to thirty-one years of war? Finally,… we can consider not only Europe’s future but its potential flashpoints.’

The notion of geographical basis of conflict and war recurrently courses through the book. George Friedman calls them borderlands. The paradoxical nature of the borderlands lies in their potential to be a tangent and a mingling place between different cultures and traditions, but they can also be potential flashpoints. There is the borderland of Ukraine between European Peninsula and Mainland Europe; then there is the borderland from North Sea to the Alps between Germany and France; Pyrenees between Iberian Peninsula and rest of Europe; English Channel, a water border, between UK and Continental Europe. As aptly put by the author, ‘no continent is as small and fragmented as Europe.’