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Stella Ghervas Shannon prize

Newcastle academic wins award for book about peace-making in Europe

Published on: 13 February 2023

Professor Stella Ghervas has won the prestigious 2023 Laura Shannon Prize in Contemporary European Studies for her book ‘Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union’.

In the book, Professor Ghervas, a historian of Europe and Russia in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, examines 300 years of political, diplomatic, military, legal and intellectual history and compares the ways in which European diplomats and politicians navigated the processes that concluded five major conflicts that each led to a renewed effort to bring about peace in Europe - the War of the Spanish Succession, the Napoleonic Wars, the first and second World Wars and the Cold War.

In doing so she explores how, since the 18th century, European thinkers and leaders have pursued lasting peace across the continent and fostered the idea of European unification.

The $10,000 Laura Shannon Prize, one of the preeminent prizes for European studies, is awarded each year to the best book that transcends a focus on any one country, state or people to stimulate new ways of thinking about contemporary Europe as a whole. This year’s cycle of the award considered books in History and the Social Sciences published in 2020 or 2021. 

The competition judges - composed of an accomplished group of scholars - praised the book as brilliantly conceived, superbly executed and timely, particularly noting its “highly original, analytically penetrating, magisterial narrative”.  They also remarked on its present-day relevance and expressed their hope that “all professional diplomats, as well as politicians engaged in international affairs, will read and learn from this wise book.

Professor Ghervas said: “I am thrilled and honoured to win this prestigious award and grateful to the distinguished jury members for this welcome recognition of the power of peace.”

The Laura Shannon Prize was established in 2010 and is recognised internationally as one of the leading book prizes in the field of European studies. It is awarded each year by the Nanovic Institute for European Studies at Notre Dame university. As prize-winner, Professor Ghervas will also give a major lecture about new thinking in the study of Europe on the Notre Dame campus later this year.

‘Conquering Peace: From the Enlightenment to the European Union’ by Professor Stella Ghervas is published by Harvard University Press and is available to order here.

Professor Stella Ghervas

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