1st Edition

War in Europe? From Impossible War to Improbable Peace

By Thibault Muzergues Copyright 2022
    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    352 Pages
    by Routledge

    In this highly provocative and documented book, Thibault Muzergues describes how war in Europe is now more likely than it has been for at least the past 30 years, how it might come back to Europe and what Europeans can do to avoid getting drawn again in fratricide conflicts.

    Many consider Europe a continent of peace, with NATO guaranteeing its security and the EU providing the political glue for a Europe Whole and Free. But what if this was not the case anymore? What if, after a decade of crisis, today’s Europe was much more fragile than we thought? The author challenges our assumptions about peace in Europe and forces us to face the realities of a world that has become much more dangerous. Far from being apocalyptic, this book serves as an advance warning to the dangers, both internal and external that are now closing in on Europe – and suggests solutions to avoid them.

    This book will be key reading for those interested in European politics and history, the European Union, security, and strategic studies, and more broadly to current affairs and international relations.

    Foreword by Daniel Twining


    PART 1: War and Europe - It’s a Long Story

    1. Romance: War and Europe until 1914 

    2. Divorce: From the European Civil War to the Long Peace

    3. The Toxic Ex- Returns

    PART 2: The Present


    4. Division Bells

    5. Baby it’s a Wild World: Europe’s external challenges

    6. War Ain’t What it Used to Be

    PART 3: The Future

    7. Seven Scenarios

    8. What Europeans Can Do

    9. What’s in it for the Anglosphere?

    Conclusion: It ain’t over ‘til it’s over


    Thibault Muzergues is Resident Europe Program Director at the International Republican Institute (IRI).

    "Anyone who doubts the possibility of a return to war in Europe needs to read this book. Well-written, grounded in a deep and broad understanding of Europe's past and present, Thibault Muzergues' provocative argument should prompt some serious thinking about how best to prevent a dark future."

    Robert Kagan, Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, USA; author of The Jungle Grows Back and Of Paradise and Power

    "How far away are we from war on the European continent, even inside the European Union? How long will we be able to live with the illusion that peace is permanent? Thibault Muzergues puts those questions as a shocking warning and gives an answer that future of peace is not guaranteed. This answer comes with deep analysis and that makes warning especially strong. War in Europe? by Thibault Muzergues is a much-needed warning for us in Europe that if peace is to be preserved, it must be constantly worked on. Thibault Muzergues once more proves that he is a great analyst of modern global processes. After his recent powerful analysis of social and political processes in The Great Class Shift, now he offers us a powerful and shocking warning in War in Europe?."

    Andrius Kubilius, former Prime Minister of Lithuania, Member of the European Parliament and Standing Rapporteur on Russia in the EP.

    "The European Union is probably the most successful peace project in history. But that should not lead Europeans to assume that because of it, war in Europe has become impossible. In a book that draws on rich historical and sociological material, Thibault Muzergues provides a powerful argument that taking peace for granted can turn out to be Europeans’ most dangerous assumption." 

    Ivan Krastev, Chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies; author of After Europe, The Light that Failed, and Is it Tomorrow Yet?

    "This excellent book is a powerful reminder that when it comes to peace in Europe, there is no room for complacency. The European Union might be free from wars now, but Europe is already not. Europeans must read it to come to their senses and take the continent’s security seriously. The survival of the European project is at stake." 

    Nicu Popescu, Deputy Prime Minister of Moldova

    "In this fascinating and contrarian treatment of Europe’s past, present, and future, Muzergues argues that the project of European integration is as fragile as it is revolutionary. After offering a timely and arresting warning that the continent has not yet banished war, he provides wise counsel as to the how Europe and the West can revive liberty, democracy, and enduring peace." 

    Charles A. Kupchan, Professor at Georgetown University, USA, Senior Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations

    "War in Europe? is a creative and timely mediation on a theme as old as Europe itself, the possibility of war on the European continent. With skill and clarity, Thibault Muzergues cuts through the "grand illusions" of our times and through the political jargon that reduces European politics to technocratic platitudes. In the process, he explores the real fault lines of European security, from East to West and from North to South. Without ever descending into alarmism, Muzergues trains his readers’ attention on the preconditions for peace, which begin with the careful, sober consideration of where and how war might break out. War in Europe? is as much a work of imagination as it is of analysis. It deserves a wide readership within and outside of Europe."

    Michael C. Kimmage, Professor of History at the Catholic University of America; author of The Abandonment of the West

    "This book is a powerful warning to us all that peace is not a given, even in Europe. Thibault Muzergues makes a compelling argument about the state of the continent’s security architecture - and it hasn’t been as weak as it is now for decades. Muzergues does not fall into the post-Brexit blame game so many on the continent indulge in and makes a powerful argument that today's Europe is very much the one America made - a Europe that Britain has a vested interest in seeing it thrive. Brexiteers and Remainers should read this book, for the security of the continent still matters to us - and will in the coming years."

    Andrew Bowie, Member of Parliament for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, United Kingdom