Susan Penksa, Westmont political science professor and co-author of the book “The European Union in Global Security: The Politics of Impact” reacts to the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize being awarded to the EU. She says that European integration played an indispensable role in fostering peace and security in Western Europe.
“The rationale behind the EU was to make another war in Europe both ‘unthinkable and materially impossible,’” she says. “The Nobel Peace prize lauds six decades of remarkable successes by the EU in building ‘peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights.’ It also serves as a symbolic encouragement to Europe during a period of economic crisis, social upheaval, and xenophobic nationalism. The European idea of peace and security through integration is as salient and transformative today as it was in the aftermath of the Second World War. The solution to the problems facing Europe is more integration, not less. And, as our book details, when the EU speaks and acts as a coherent bloc in global affairs, the international community benefits.”
Penksa, senior associate at the IES in Brussels where she was a visiting research fellow in 2010, speaks at two upcoming events in Brussels. She will give a presentation and sign books on Nov. 6 at Waterstones Bookstore. She will also discuss the outcome of the U.S. presidential election and its implications for Europe and trans-Atlantic relations at an event sponsored by the Heinrich Boll Foundation on Nov. 7.
Penksa serves as a member of the research team on European foreign and security policy, led by Eva Gross, senior IES research fellow. The U.S. Department of State awarded Penksa a follow-on Fulbright grant in 2010, which allowed her to return to Bosnia and Herzegovina to build on the work of her 2007 fellowship. She is currently consulting for the U.S. Army Combat Studies Institute on post-conflict military and police reform.