In 1973, German historian Arno Peters unveiled the “Peters projection,” a map that challenged the Eurocentric Mercator style by redrawing the so-called “Third World” to appear more prominent on the global landscape. The projection sparked intense debate among cartographers about the overt use of ideology in mapping, while simultaneously championed by international groups (from the UN to church organizations) as a corrective against the marginalization of developing nations. This essay addresses how the Peters map became a rhetorical emblem for an internationalist identity within the contentious spatial conceptions constraining the Cold War. Ultimately, the Peters projection, despite its radicalism, constituted a “recolonization” that supported logics of Western liberal development in the Third World.

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Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis Ltd. Article first published online 09 JUN 2014.

The definitive version is available at:

DOI: 10.1080/17513057.2014.898359

Full citation: Barney, Timothy. "The Peters Projection and the Latitude and Longitude of Recolonization."Journal of International and Intercultural Communication 7, no. 2 (April 2014): 103-26. doi:10.1080/17513057.2014.898359.