The fourth Belgrade Security Forum started today with the Academic Event. Professor Iver Neumann, Montague Burton Professor of International Relation at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, delivered the key note speech “I Remember When Russia was a Great Power”.
Professor Neumann assessed that Russia’s line of defense was shifted closer to Yalta and Donetsk. He argued that Georgia in 2008, and now Ukraine in 2014 have presented a great challenge to Russia’s Great Power status. This status has been achieved in recognition to the nuclear weapons and a huge sphere of influence it possessed. Its sphere of influence is now shrinking, and nuclear weapons on the other hand, now represent only a symbol, and cannot serve as the guarantee of the Great Power status.
This year’s Academic Event with the overall topic “Usable Past, Collective Memories and International Security”, seeks to understand how the past is used and misused in informing the present. More specifically, the conference will discuss how collective memories are implicated in the construction of contemporary security representations and practices.