On Oct. 17, Peter Rutland, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, had an op-ed published in The Moscow Times exploring whether the European Union deserves the recently awarded Nobel Peace Prize.
“Europe is certainly a more peaceful place today than at any time in its past, but does the E.U. deserve all the credit for this? Defenders of the committee’s decision argue that the E.U. has ended the centuries-old proclivity of European states to invade each other. It’s true that most of Europe has enjoyed six decades without war. But it was the Cold War, not the Brussels bureaucracy, that created and maintained the peace in Europe,” Rutland writes.
He goes on to argue that positive achievements in the E.U. must be balanced against the union’s failures in dealing with the bloody conflict in Yugoslavia during the late 1990s, and secessionist conflicts in Moldova, Azerbaijan and Georgia. He concludes, “The granting of the prize to the EU may be good politics, but it is bad history.”
Peter Rutland, professor of government, Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of Russian and Eastern European studies, writes in a Sept. 10 op-ed published in the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune about two recent symbolic events in the Caucasus region that threaten to ignite hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan.
Peter Rutland, the Colin and Nancy Campbell Chair of Government, gave a lecture on “Democracy and Capitalism” at the Urals State University in Yekaterinburg, Russia on May 31. He published an opinion piece about the region’s new governor in the Moscow Times on June 3.
On June 9, he attended a meeting of the International Advisory Committee of the St. Petersburg branch of the Russian President’s State Academy for Economics and Public Administration, to discuss the curriculum and select faculty for a new B.A. in Comparative Politics.
Peter Rutland, professor of government, authored an opinion piece in the Dec. 29 Moscow Times titled “A Cold War Could Turn Hot in the Korean Peninsula.”
Rutland writes: “Much of the commentary about North Korea after the death of Kim Jong Il has sidestepped the question of reunification. While the nations of Germany and Vietnam were united, Korea remains split into two. In this part of the world, the Cold War is not over, and there is a real danger that it might turn into a hot war.
North Korea is committed to unifying the nation by military means. Its pursuit of nuclear weapons is not solely for defensive purposes. South Korea does not have its own nuclear weapons, and thus a U.S. withdrawal would leave them vulnerable to a nuclear-armed North.
Various scenarios could play out if the leadership transition goes sour. The worst case would be chaos and civil war, possibly leading to Chinese intervention.”
Read the full story online here.
Rutland also blogs about nationalism at www.nationalismwatch.com.
Peter Rutland has mentioned in the past that many Americans know little about the European Union (E.U.), and what they know may be more based on myth than fact. With a major debt crisis threatening the E.U.’s very existence, 5 Questions thought it might be a good time to discuss some of these misconceptions with Professor Rutland who is Colin and Nancy Campbell Professor in Global Issues and Democratic Thought, professor of government and professor of Russian and Eastern European studies.
Q: What is one of the more significant myths many Americans believe is a “fact” about the E.U.?
A: That the European Union brought peace to Europe. Many liberals tend to idealize the European Union as an attractive alternative to the United States – a place which is peaceful rather than violent, communitarian rather than individualist, and with a strong social safety net. Many conservatives demonize the Europeans for the same reasons. When all is said and done, the bottom-line defense of the European Union is that it has ended the centuries old proclivity of European states for invading each other. It’s true that most of Europe has enjoyed six decades without war. But this was due to Uncle Sam and Uncle Joe (Stalin) physically occupying the continent and dismantling its armies in 1945. NATO and the Warsaw Pact were in place well before the emergence of European Community institutions. It was the Cold War, and not the Brussels bureaucracy, that preserved the peace in Europe.
There is also the problem of the wars in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This was a conflict for which Yugoslavia’s European neighbors share some responsibility, because of their precipitate recognition of the independence of Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina, followed by their inability to stop the fighting until the US intervened.
Q: What about the often-heard assertion that the European Union has transcended the nation-state?
A: Another myth. European federalists have been proclaiming the end of the nation-state for decades.
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