Cover: Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union, from Harvard University PressCover: Conquering Peace in HARDCOVER

Conquering Peace

From the Enlightenment to the European Union

Add to Cart

Product Details


$39.95 • £31.95 • €36.00

ISBN 9780674975262

Publication Date: 03/30/2021

Academic Trade

528 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

7 photos, 6 maps


At once an intellectual, political, and philosophical history, her erudite and unusually lucid book should appeal to policymakers, scholars and ordinary citizens alike. She examines five epoch-making episodes from the past 300 years in which different conceptions of peace proliferated, coalesced, crystallized and then were implemented, often imperfectly… Perhaps the first pan-European history of peace, inclusively encompassing territories and peoples from the Atlantic to the Black and Baltic seas.—Gabriel Paquette, Times Higher Education

Peace is not a natural state of affairs. As Ghervas shows in her elegant and stimulating book, it needs to be ‘engineered,’ and before that it has to be imagined. The past she brilliantly conjures is another country, to be sure, but the lessons it bears for our own troubled times are compellingly elaborated through an examination of the five major conflicts that have shaped modern Europe. Peace, she rightly concludes, is for the strong, while only the weak resort to war.—Brendan Simms, author of Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present

Once considered just a utopian idea, lasting peace has been a serious aspiration, as Ghervas documents in this elegant book. Her learned and artful account follows the major European international settlements from the early eighteenth century to the European Union, as well as the contemporary thinkers who articulated their premises. An original defense of the role of diplomacy.—Charles S. Maier, author of Once Within Borders: Territories of Power, Wealth, and Belonging since 1500

How has Europe achieved peace without becoming an empire? With amazing elegance of style and argument, Ghervas answers the question in an impressive work of intellectual, political, and diplomatic history.—Ivan Krastev, author of After Europe

By shedding new light on key historical episodes, political figures, and philosophical ideas, Ghervas tells the fascinating story of the engineering of peace in Europe. A lively, inspiring, and useful read for all those who are committed to a lasting peace in Europe—and beyond.—Michel Barnier, EU Head of Task Force for Relations with the United Kingdom

An ambitious, erudite, and engaging book on the search for an enduring peace in Europe. In this bracing narrative, Ghervas traces presiding ‘spirits’ which structure the politics of various epochs, a conceit which helps readers get inside the heads of policymakers and their critics in order to consider the possibilities and constraints in international politics from their point of view.—Christopher Brooke, author of Philosophic Pride: Stoicism and Political Thought from Lipsius to Rousseau

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

Jacket: An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns, by Bruno Latour, translated by Catherine Porter, from Harvard University Press

Honoring Latour

In awarding Bruno Latour the 2021 Kyoto Prize for Arts and Philosophy, the Inamori Foundation said he has “revolutionized the conventional view of science” and “his philosophy re-examines ‘modernity’ based on the dualism of nature and society.” Below is an excerpt from An Inquiry into Modes of Existence: An Anthropology of the Moderns. For more than twenty years, scientific and technological controversies have proliferated in number and scope, eventually reaching the climate itself. Since geologists are beginning to use the term “Anthropocene” to designate the era of Earth’s history that follows the Holocene