Kosiče, Slovakia, September 27- October 1, 2021 - The PfP Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes held the 20th Annual Conference of the Conflict Studies Working Group. Organized by the Institute of Military History of the Slovak Ministry of Defense together with the Center of Military History and Social Sciences of the German Bundeswehr and supported by Pavel Jozef Šafárik University from Kosice, the conference addressed the topic: “From Peace to War, from War to Peace/Conflict Initiation and Termination: Implications for Policy Makers”.
Representatives of the co-organizing institutions underlined the need to learn about the past as it provides valuable insights and knowledge that that can expand the capacity to understand and interpret current and future events. Military history is not only about war but also about understating how to build peace and dialogue among countries and nations.
Dr. Raphael Perl, the Executive Director of the PfP Consortium referred to the need of building bridges between historians and policy makers as there is a gap between the two categories. The historians can play a more active role in guiding and providing expertize through ideas and experiences-sharing from the past bringing a more practical and valuable contribution to the political decision making process on specific areas of security and strategic interest.
The Conflict Studies Working Group gathered 33 military historians, researchers and specialists on strategic affairs from 17 countries for this conference, in order to present 22 academic research papers focused on various aspects regarding the issue of war and peace. The general topic allowed the participants to have an open and broad dialogue, relevant from both historical and contemporary perspective, on various historical dimensions that shaped the war typology and the dynamics of conflict as well as the strategies displayed to achieve and build peace after war.
The Conflict Studies Working Group was established in 1999 having its first annual conference held in Bucharest in 2001. This year conference marked 20 years of activity of the group, as one of the original working groups formed at the founding of the PfP Consortium.
The Conflict Studies Working Group has provided valuable historical inputs into PfPC/NATO reference curricula development, which are then used in the Defense Education Enhancement Program (DEEP).