Making Europe Unconquerable

Making Europe Unconquerable
Making Europe Unconquerable: The Potential of Civilian-Based Deterrence and Defence  
(cover, 1985 Ballinger paperback)
Author(s) Gene Sharp
Country United States
Language English
Genre(s) European defense; Political science
Publisher Taylor & Francis; Harper & Row (Ballinger)
Publication date 1985
Pages 250
ISBN ISBN 9780850663365; ISBN 9780887300974; ISBN 9780850663297; ISBN 0850663369; ISBN 0887300979; ISBN 0850663296 (pbk.); ISBN 0850663369 (hard)

Making Europe Unconquerable is a book about how civilian-based defense can be incorporated into the foundations of European defense and collective security. Written by Gene Sharp, the book was originally published in the UK and US in 1985. Its subtitle was the potential of civilian-based deterrence and defense. The book was reviewed in major newspapers,[1][2] magazines,[3] and professional journals.[4][5][6] Although it advocated a significant departure from existing defense policies, it received a favorable review from George F. Kennan, widely perceived as one of the major architects of the US approach to the cold war. Later in the same year, the book was republished with a foreword from Kennan. It has also been published in Dutch and Italian editions.


Topics covered

In its opening pages, Making Europe Unconquerable states that

This book is mostly about... "civilian-based defence"... In this policy, the whole population and the society's institutions become the fighting forces. Their weaponry consists of a vast variety of forms of psychological, economic, social, and political resistance and counter-attack.... to deny the attackers their objectives and to make consolidation of political control impossible. These aims would be achieved by applying massive and selective noncooperation and defiance [and seeking] to create maximum international problems for the attackers and to subvert the reliability of their troops and functionaires. (pp. 2-3)

Making Europe Unconquerable contains 7 chapters entitled

1. Meeting Europe's defense needs
2. Civilian-based defense for Western Europe?
3. Transarmament
4. Preventing attack
6. In face of attack
6. Defeating attack
7. Assessing the potential

The book also contains a bibliography (12 pages) and an index (24 pages).

Reviews and influence

Reviews have appeared in the New York Review of Books,[1] the New York Times,[2] the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists,[3] Foreign Affairs,[4] International Affairs,[5] Journal of Peace Research,[6] and elsewhere.

In the New York Review of Books, George F. Kennan, widely viewed as a major architect of the of the US approach to the cold war, wrote that Sharp's "primary purpose in writing the book was... 'to make civilian-based deterrence and defense a thinkable policy which is recognized as meriting further research, policy studies, and an evaluation.' And for this, he makes a reasonably good case."[1] Kennan stated that "the view advanced in this book deserves consideration, if only because of the bankruptcy of all the visible alternatives to it." Kennan viewed Sharp's approach as requiring

a change in political philosophy. For it taps, as Mr. Sharp says in his final passages, "a crucial insight into the nature of power"—namely, that "all political power is rooted in and continually dependent upon the co-operation and obedience of the subjects and institutions of the society…. It is indeed possible for whole societies to apply that insight"[1]

Kennan wondered "whether, if this change in political philosophy were to take place, it might not have wider effects than just those that relate to the concepts of national security—whether many other things might not also change, and, in the main, usefully so,"[1] and advised that Sharp

must not expect... that the effort to win understanding for his views will be easy going.... It will arouse in many circles the same skepticism, and perhaps the same derision, that this reviewer brought down upon himself when he had the temerity to advance somewhat similar ideas in a widely publicized radio lecture delivered over the facilities of the BBC many years ago.[1]

In the New York Times, Karl E. Meyer described the book as "reflective," and stated that "there is considerable merit to [Sharp's] contention that 'all peoples can with effort make themselves politically indigestable to would-be tyrants.'"[2] Meyer also argued that Sharp's approach "has its flaws.... If the stakes are deemed sufficiently vital, civilian resistance seems unlikely to dissuade a determined aggressor."[2]

In Foreign Affairs, Andrew Pierre wrote that

The value of this thoughtful work is in the alternative it suggests: "civilian defense" through advance training for such actions against an intruder as mass public demonstrations, boycotts and strikes, demoralization of enemy troops, and the like. (pp. 872-873[4])

He added that "The author's proposals go against the grain of mainstream thinking, and to this reviewer leave many questions unanswered, but they are carefully put forward in a nonpolemical manner and clearly merit sustained attention and thought" (p. 873[4]).

Ted Taylor, himself a former designer of nuclear weapons, reviewed the book in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He quoted Einstein:

"The unleashed power of the atom has changed everything save our modes of thinking, and we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe." Although Albert Einstein's admonition has been quoted innumerable times, it has not, with few exceptions, led to deep and persistent thought about alternatives.... One of these exceptions is in the writings of Gene Sharp about what he calls "civilian-based defense".... Making Europe Unconquerable is especially timely. (p. 54[3])

He added that "The side effects of pursuing a civilian-based defense strategy are especially interesting, since they tend to be beneficial in peacetime. This is a book that should be read attentively by anyone seriously searching for new ways of thinking about how we can stop our "drift toward unparalleled catastrophe." (p. 56[3]).


English language editions:

Foreign (non-English) language editions:

  • Dutch: Gene Sharp (1988). Naar een onveroverbaar Europa: de kracht van civiele afschrikking en sociale verdediging (met een voorw. van George F. Kennan; vert. uit het Engels: Peter Kruijt et al). Antwerpen, Netherlands: Internationale Vredesinformatiedienst, 1988. ISBN 9789070316402 (ISBN 9070316404)
  • Italian: Gene Sharp (1989). Verso un'Europa inconquistabile (introduzione di G. Pasquino). Bergamo, Italy: Gruppo Abele, 1989. Edizione italiana a cura di Fulvio Cesare Manara. ISBN 9788876701238 (ISBN 8876701230)

See also

  • Gene Sharp (gives additional explanation of concepts)


  1. ^ a b c d e f George F. Kennan (1986). "A new philosophy of defense [review of Making Europe unconquerable, by Gene Sharp"]. New York Review of Books 33 (2): 3, 6. 
  2. ^ a b c d Karl E. Meyer (April 20, 1986). "People power and superpowers [review of Making Europe unconquerable, by Gene Sharp]". New York Times: pp. BR17. 
  3. ^ a b c d Theodore B. Taylor (1987). "Making europe unconquerable: The potential of civilian-based deterrence and defense by Gene Sharp [book review"]. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 43 (1): 54–56. 
  4. ^ a b c d Andrew J. Pierre (1986). "Making Europe unconquerable: The potential of civilian-based deterrence and defense [book review]". Foreign Affairs 64 (4): 872–873. 
  5. ^ a b Michael Harbottle (1986/1987). "Making Europe Unconquerable (book review)". International Affairs 63 (1): 110. 
  6. ^ a b Marek Thee (1986). "Untitled [review of Making Europe Unconquerable, by Gene Sharp]". Journal of Peace Research 23 (3): 301. JSTOR 423838. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно решить контрольную?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nonviolent resistance — See also: Nonviolent revolution Nonviolent resistance (or nonviolent action) is the practice of achieving goals through symbolic protests, civil disobedience, economic or political noncooperation, and other methods, without using violence. It is… …   Wikipedia

  • Nonviolence — For the bronze sculpture, see Non Violence. Nonviolence has two (closely related) meanings. (1) It can refer, first, to a general philosophy of abstention from violence because of moral or religious principle (e.g. She believes in nonviolence. )… …   Wikipedia

  • Civilian-based defense — Civilian based defense, according to Professor Gene Sharp, a scholar of non violent struggle, is a “policy [in which] the whole population and the society’s institutions become the fighting forces. Their weaponry consists of a vast variety of… …   Wikipedia

  • Gene Sharp — (* 21. Januar 1928) ist Politikwissenschaftler und Gründer der Albert Einstein Institution, die sich mit Studien zur und der Verbreitung von Gewaltfreier Aktion beschäftigt. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Wissenschaftliche Bedeutung 2 Wirkungsmacht 3 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Abolitionism — For other uses, see Abolitionism (disambiguation). Anti slavery redirects here. For the British NGO working for the eradication of slavery, see Anti Slavery International. Am I Not A Man And A Brother? Medallion as part of the anti slavery… …   Wikipedia

  • arts, East Asian — Introduction       music and visual and performing arts of China, Korea, and Japan. The literatures of these countries are covered in the articles Chinese literature, Korean literature, and Japanese literature.       Some studies of East Asia… …   Universalium

  • Racism — Part of a series on …   Wikipedia

  • Joseph Goebbels — Goebbels redirects here. For other people named Goebbels, see Goebbels (surname). Dr. Joseph Goebbels Chancellor of Germany In office 30 April …   Wikipedia

  • biblical literature — Introduction       four bodies of written works: the Old Testament writings according to the Hebrew canon; intertestamental works, including the Old Testament Apocrypha; the New Testament writings; and the New Testament Apocrypha.       The Old… …   Universalium

  • novel — novel1 novellike, adj. /nov euhl/, n. 1. a fictitious prose narrative of considerable length and complexity, portraying characters and usually presenting a sequential organization of action and scenes. 2. (formerly) novella (def. 1). [1560 70; …   Universalium

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”