a1 107A Barnard Hall, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 11549, USA. E-mail: email@example.com
May 9, 2010, marks the 60th anniversary of what is arguably the boldest and ostensibly the most successful experiment in the history of international politics. On that date, in 1950, the Schuman Declaration1 was issued, seeking to release Europe from its centuries of fratricidal war, those conflagrations having just previously reached near suicidal proportions. The process of European integration – culminating in today’s European Union – was launched by six states at the heart of the continent, for the purposes of making war ‘not only unthinkable, but materially impossible.’ There is today little empirical question of Europe’s success. War between former bitter enemies has never been even remotely near the horizon during the period that has now become known as ‘The Long Peace,’ and, looking forward, such militarized conflict remains all but inconceivable. But was it the process of European integration that produced this achievement? And if so, is the model exportable to other regions? This essay catalogues the factors that account for Europe’s success in ending the scourge of war on a continent where it had been a commonly employed extension of politics for centuries. I conclude that the integration process represents an important contribution, but is only one of a plethora of causal factors that massively over-determined Europe’s long peace of our time, and that the European experiment is mostly non-exportable to other parts of the world.