Schilde Quoted in Article on EU Defense Policy

Kaija Schilde, Associate Professor of International Relations at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, was quoted in a Center for American Progress article discussing defense policy in the European Union (EU).

In the article, titled “The Case for EU Defense,” authors Max Bergmann, James Lamond, and Siena Cicarelli argue that the EU – in forming a trans-national union – has weakened its collective military power. They go on to discuss how EU citizens cite increases in national defense spending as unnecessary for two reasons: the citizenships that needs protecting is that of the EU, not their individual nations; and, it should fall on the EU to protect Europeans. To that end, the article continues to discuss how European citizens support increased defense spending at an EU level.

The authors cite Schilde’s research on the matter – “A more martial Europe? Public opinion, permissive consensus, and EU defense policy” – which argues the “slow progress of integration in [defense] is due to the reluctance of elites rather than to the reticence of Europe’s citizens.” As the research shows, the European public strongly supports defense policy, but EU leaders have elected instead to rely on the United States for de facto subsidize its defense. 

An excerpt:

As Schilde, Anderson, and Garner explain, ‘The European public supports EU defence policy, it has for decades, and citizens hold consistent and well-developed attitudes on the topic.’ Furthermore, they note that ‘[i]n fact, no other policy domain is as popular and robust as the idea of pooling national sovereignty over defence.’ The authors also argue that European support for EU defense is also not soft or the result of indifference or uninformed views, as is commonly portrayed. They argue that, in general, respondents understand what it means to have greater EU involvement and therefore have a clear sense of what they are preferring.

The full article can be read on the Center for American Progress‘ website. Schilde’s article can be read online.

Kaija E. Schilde is an Associate Professor at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies. Her primary research interests involve the political economy of security and transatlantic security. Her book, The Political Economy of European Security (Cambridge University Press, 2017) investigates the state-society relations between the EU and interest groups, with a particular focus on security and defense institutions, industries, and markets. To learn more about Schilde, read her faculty bio