The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration

By Glyn Morgan | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 5

Security

PROPONENTS OF European integration often claim that European integration has ensured—and continues to ensure—that Europe remains peaceful. From this perspective, the European project finds its justification in Europe's own lamentable history of war and interstate conflict. If European integration can bring this history to an end, then the European project has all the justification it needs. Viewed more closely, however, this security-based argument for European integration (as it might be termed) tends to fall apart. Indeed, there are at least three problems with this line of argument.

The first problem with the security-based justification is that Europe is already stable and peaceful. Simply put, if Europe has been peaceful for the last fifty years or so, why is it now necessary for Europe to take the further step toward full political integration? Indeed, it might be argued—as some eurosceptics have done—that further political integration would only jeopardize important elements of the postwar international order, including NATO and the bipolar balance.1 There is a certain paradox here. The success of western Europe in avoiding war since 1945 makes it more, rather than less, difficult to invoke a security-based argument for European political integration. Perhaps the security-based justification would be more plausible if Russia were to develop imperial aspirations with respect to other European states. But this does not seem likely. Nor does this prospect seem to call for European political integration. Indeed, NATO probably remains the best means of dealing with Russia. There is no obvious reason why European political integration would provide the answer to a resurgent Russia.

A second problem with any security-based argument for European integration is that it begs the question of why the value of security should weigh so heavily in the scales. A eurosceptic might allow that the project of European integration makes violent conflict within Europe somewhat less likely, but nonetheless contend that the preservation of national sovereignty outweighs whatever gains to security that political integration might yield. In order to meet this objection, the proponent of European integration needs to explain why security—and what form of security—matters.

-89-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The Idea of a European Superstate: Public Justification and European Integration
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 212

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?