Saturday, October 13, 2012

The European Union's Well-Deserved Nobel Peace Prize

The European Union was the surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize this week.  Yet, as I pondered this choice, I chided myself for not having thought of it before.  The Long Peace of Europe since the Second World War is so much a part of our taken-for-granted world that we have already forgotten what an achievement that peace is. 

The massive decline in violence in the world in the past two generations is due primarily to the strong system of inter-connected and law-abiding states. And the core of the system of peaceful states is a stable Europe and a stable North America.

Good job, Nobel committee.  The prize is long overdue.  I hope it helps the EU overcome its current financial difficulties.

8 comments:

Frank said...

I think America and Ronald Reagan deserve credit for the peace the eu has experienced. "They didn't build that", we helped...

gruntled said...

We did, indeed - NATO is, I think, the most important instrument of the world state system.

Still, the French and Germans haven't had a war with each other for 60 years. This is unprecedented. They get most of the credit for that particular achievement.

Mac said...
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Mac said...

Maybe in academia,the French and Germans get credit, but the fact of the matter is that they have been allowed to reduce their defense spending, an, hence, their military establishments because of the massive US presence in Europe. And NATO promised that the aggressor nation would get the D-Day smackdown for any rude behavior.

The "Long Peace of Europe" was actually a very real cold war, and it was the US, under the leadership and vision of Ronald Reagan, that ended that peacefully.

I know in academic circles it is looked at disapprovingly if the United States is praised, but to say the EU kept the peace is ludicrous. It may portend a future peace, but it can claim no real credit for the "Long Peace."

Thomas said...

You're looking at this way too black and white. The US deserves credit, as do the French and German. The one does not detract from the other. Life is not a zero sum game.

flinn said...

The French are whiny babies and are full of themselves, I know I am French.

KySocialist91 said...

With the Eurozone in crisis and austerity ruling the economic conversation while millions in Greece and Spain are set to lose so much in benefits, the Nobel Committee has clearly made a political move to save the EU.

gruntled said...

Agreed - the prize is both a political move and a long-overdue acknowledgement. And if the prize does help save the EU, then win-win.