Jean-Pierre Bois: The art of making peace

Bois 2Lectures at the Institute of History

10.02. 2012.

Jean-Pierre Bois, professor emeritus at Université de Nantes, researcher of military history and international relations of early modern Europe, was the guest of the Institute and gave a lecture about the topic of his latest book “La paix ; histoire politique et militaire” (Perrin, 2011).

He outlined the long historical course during which the system of making peace gradually transformed in Europe from the 15th century until the 19th, changing from being the “private matter” of monarchs into a complicated process that required the cooperation of several European powers and the emergence of a “ius gentium”. He demonstrated the different notions raised as possible models to reach and maintain (that is, to guarantee) peace in Europe: the idea of the “universal monarch” (roughly in the 15-16th centuries), then the concept of the “territorial balance” (17-18th centuries), and after 1815 the image of the “cooperation of nations”. Professor Bois also mentioned different types of early modern theories concerning a kind of European “integration”, which remained theories, but, nonetheless, can be seen as historical “predecessors” of European integration aspirations.