War in Our Time: Webinar series

Wednesday 1 February 2023
5:30pm - 7:00pm
Online event
Every other Wednesday
Wednesday 3 May 2023

A Zoom webinar series run by the University of Leeds, University of Birmingham and St Andrews.

Since the end of the Cold War, many Europeans began to believe that war between states was a thing of the past. Even eminent military historian John Keegan said in 1993: “You can forget about big wars.”

The time of war as a normal political tool seemed to be over, even more so because war had already become morally unacceptable since the end of the Second World War. Optimism dominated the interpretation of international politics: the time of war, at least of big wars in Europe, seemed to be over.

‘Zeitenwende’ and an uncertain future

The war in Ukraine seems to fundamentally challenge this view. German politicians speak about a fundamental historical turn (“Zeitenwende”). A number of questions arise which are of interest for all of us, and may change our perception of an uncertain future. Is a new era coming, is our belligerent past coming back? Are we indeed at a historical turning point, and if so, how does the future of war look? Was the optimistic belief that war was a phenomenon of the past a short-sighted and Eurocentric view, which worked only because it did not look at the rest of the world and excluded even the ongoing violence on the fringes of Europe itself?

Our webinar series wants to take stock and to hear what international experts have to say about war in our time.

We will focus mainly, but not exclusively, on events in Ukraine. We will discuss the experience of war on the battlefields of today and those of the future, and how modern societies cope with the fundamental challenges of war. We will also offer historical reflections and insights.

The webinars will be held on Wednesdays during term time, fortnightly, from 5.30pm to 7pm on Zoom. We will circulate Zoom invitations for each meeting in good time. Some sessions will be available to view after the event – see individual sessions for details.

Webinar organisers are Professor Holger Afflerbach (University of Leeds), Dr. Marc De Vore (University of St. Andrews) and Dr Daniel Whittingham (University of Birmingham).

Topics and presenters, Autumn 2022 / Spring 2023

Upcoming webinars

1 February 2023

How can we understand what is going on in Ukraine? A view on sources and intelligence

Colonel Markus Reisner, Militaerakademie Wiener Neustadt, Austria.

Join the event “How can we understand what is going on in Ukraine” on Zoom – Meeting ID: 872 2108 3016 – Passcode 54cu.Q

15 February 2023

End of Empire, Russian imperialism and the War in Ukraine

Professor Dominic Lieven (Cambridge).

1 March 2023

The historian’s and the economist’s view – the efficiency of economic warfare

Dr Jonathan Boff, (Birmingham).

15 March 2023

Round table 2: Comparing wars past and present: Parallels and differences.

Professor Alexander Watson, Goldsmith (WWI), Prof. Markus Poehlmann, Potsdam (WWII) and Dr. Dan Whittingham, Birmingham (wars after 1945).

Moderator: Holger Afflerbach.

3 May 2023

A global and extra-European view on wars in our time

Professor Neta Crawford (Oxford).

Past webinars

7 December 2022

Ukraine and the Russian menace – POSTPONED

Andrij Zagordnyuk, former Defense Minister of Ukraine.

23 November 2022

The Russian and Ukrainian Societies and the War in Ukraine

Dr. Sofya Anisimova and Dr. Taras Fedirko.

9 November 2022

Historical Reflections (Round table 1): ‘Wars and the dangers of escalation’.

Holger Afflerbach, Hew Strachan, Marc De Vore, Annika Mombauer.

26 October 2022

Lessons from Ukraine for the Wars and Battlefields of the Future

General Dr. Freuding, Chief of the Ukraine Center in the German MoD.

Watch a recording of Lessons from Ukraine on Zoom – Passcode: sCF@D4bu

12 October 2022

The maritime dimension of the war in Ukraine

Dr. Deborah Sanders, Reader, King’s College.

28 September 2022

Contemporary Conflicts: Lessons from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Ukraine

General David Petraeus.