Strathclyde Telegraph

Strathclyde historian contributes to NATO

Ross Gallacher

 

A University of Strathclyde historian contributed to a NATO group stability plan this month.

Dr Mary Heimann, a History lecturer and a world authority on 20th-century Czechoslovakian political history, was invited to put forward proposals by the Consortium. The group brings non-member partner nations together with NATO to diminish threats to peace and build strengthened security relationships.

Dr Heimann said: “It was very exciting to take part in this exercise in Ukraine and to contribute historical insights to proposed solutions for ongoing conflicts in the South Caucasus.”

“The simulation exercise we conducted is the same sort I use in the classroom to encourage students studying Czechoslovak history at Strathclyde to understand the complexity of the past.”

“Construing one’s own nation as the blameless victim is the way that many small nations have sought to justify their very right to exist. Such simplified, selective and partial representations of the past are invariably incompatible with those of their neighbours, rivals and enemies and therefore contribute to tension and conflict.”

Dr Heimann drew on historic examples, notably the 1993 separation of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to set out approaches for resolving unstable government, regional unrest and cross-border tension in the Caucasus.

Dr Heimann made her recommendations at the PFP’s Regional Stability in the South Caucasus workshop, held in Kiev in March 2015.

 

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