History graduate students present at America in the World Consortium organized by OHIO alumnus
Ohio University history doctoral candidates James Bohland and Cameron Dunbar presented their research at the America in the World Consortium Young Scholars Conference in February at the University of Texas at Austin.
The conference, “What Now? Updating Great Power Competition After the Russian Invasion of Ukraine,” focused on recent challenges to U.S. security in great power competition.
The conference was organized by recent OHIO graduate Kyle Balzer with his colleague Ayumi Teraoka. They are both postdoctoral scholars for the Clements Center for National Security.
Balzer earned a Ph.D. in history from the College of Arts and Sciences in 2022. His dissertation, “The Revivalists: James R. Schlesinger, the Nuclear Warfighting Strategists, and Competitive Strategies for Long-Term Competition,” explained the logic and benefits of strategic arms competition. In 2021, the Contemporary History Institute awarded Balzer the Baker Peace Fellowship to support his research on grand strategy and the maturation of net assessment during the Cold War.
In the panel on “Interdependence: Historical Lessons,” Dunbar presented his paper, “The Historical Antecedents of Brexit,” which examines the United Kingdom’s entry into the European Economic Community (EEC) during in the early 1970s.
“My paper attempted to place the 2016 ‘Brexit’ vote in historical perspective, as well as to give an insight into how British leaders and policymakers conceptualized their role in the world at different periods of its post-World War II history," Dunbar said.
Dunbar’s paper argued that the government of Prime Minister Ted Heath (Britain’s leader from 1970–1974) failed to demonstrate any tangible benefits of EEC membership, which set the course for the UK’s extended psychodrama with European institutions and ultimately culminated in the Brexit vote of 2016. His paper also examined how the UK’s external and foreign policies were affected by the Brexit vote, particularly within the framework of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
Bohland, who presented on the “Security and Intelligence” panel, discussed his analysis on the origins of western Europe’s dependence on Russian energy in the early 1980s. Drawing upon archival research he conducted in the UK this past summer, Bohland placed contemporary debates about European energy security in historical context.
“The conference was a highly rewarding experience,” he said, “and it was a terrific opportunity to network with other young scholars in my field.”