First Advisor

David Kinsella

Date of Award


Document Type



Political Science


National security -- Europe -- History -- 20th century, European federation -- History -- 20th century, Europe -- Politics and government -- 20th century, European Union countries -- Defenses -- Law and legislation, Supranationalism -- European Union countries, Nationalism -- European Union countries




European defense integration is encumbered by historic disagreement over two questions--what integration model should be used to develop a common defense and who should be included? The outcome the European Union’s earliest and foremost influential security arrangements of the 1940s and 1950s instigated a complex legacy of fault lines and friction. This paper looks at the history of the 1947 Dunkirk Treaty, the 1948 Brussels Treaty, and the failed 1954 European Defense Community to illustrate the emergence of two sets of tensions, Atlanticism versus Europeanism and Supranationalism versus Intergovernmentalism. The tensions between these positions explain Europe’s inability to reach consensus and why defense integration is such a contested topic among European Union member states. Despite contemporary events that have the potential to galvanize increased harmony, the EU struggles to transcend the quixotic legacy of European defense integration.


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Political Science: International Development with departmental honors.

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