TROY professors collaborate with world leaders in a NATO-centered book

Two years after Troy University was selected to host the NATO 70th Anniversary Conference, three TROY Political Science Professors published a book describing NATO’s relationship with the United States and its impact on global security, with contributions from Heads of Government from around the world are described.

The conference, which took place in Montgomery from November 1st to 2nd, 2019, offered a strategic examination of the past, present and future of NATO and was made possible by the prestigious NATO Public Diplomacy Grant. TROY was the only US university to receive the scholarship to host the international conference of leading military, diplomatic, political and academic experts.

Dr. Doug Davis, Director of TROY’s Master of International Relations program, and Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff, associate professor and chairman of the Political science Department, wrote the successful scholarship and later published the book. Dr. Brandon Stewart, Assistant Professor of Political Science, contributed to the publication.

As part of the application process, the couple promised to write a book after the conference.

“That was actually promising,” said Davis. “Usually you have an idea that will produce a book, but this time you had a grant that produced a conference that produced a book.”

According to Stewart, her book illustrates the enduring role of NATO in the post-Cold War world. With the title “The Challenge for NATO: Global Security and the Atlantic Alliance”, The publication was officially released on November 1st, 2021 and for some time was the book that ranked highest among Amazon’s new releases in the international contracts category.

“The Challenge to NATO” was published exactly two years after the university hosted the 70th anniversary conference.

Several government officials inside and outside the United States either contributed a chapter or endorsed the work, and Slobodchikoff said approval from embassies around the world helped get things started.

“NATO is the main body that unites the West, and today the alliance is threatened by nationalism and the growing inability to distinguish fact from fiction. Through contributions from diplomats, military leaders and academics, this vital work focuses on NATO’s current operations and future threats and demonstrates the Alliance’s continued importance in the 21st century, ”said retired Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.

“The world is once again facing a series of critical and persistent crises with no clear solutions: The Middle East conflict, Syria, Ukraine and Nagorno-Karabakh are just some of the conflicts that will populate the news cycles in the years to come. This book clearly shows the role NATO has played in mitigating global hostilities over the past few decades, ”said Miomir Žužul, former Croatian Foreign Minister and former Croatian Ambassador to the United Nations and the United States. “More importantly, it should be thoughtful and persuasive about the issues – both internally and externally – that NATO must address in order to effectively meet the challenges of the coming era. I highly recommend it not only to policymakers and academics, but to anyone who wants to better understand the role of multilateralism in our changing world. “

The book is divided into five parts: the history of NATO; current NATO regional operations; hybrid and cyber warfare and the threat they pose to NATO; internal and external threats to the Alliance; and the future of NATO.

Davis, Slobodchikoff and Stewart worked together on the first part – the history of NATO – before splitting into their own areas of expertise. In Chapter 11, Stewart discusses how ethnic minorities with a focus on the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia should be part of the long-term strategy to consolidate NATO’s influence in Eastern Europe. In Chapter 12, Davis and Slobodchikoff argue that one of the greatest threats to NATO is an internal vulnerability that NATO has no control over and that affects all member states – a multi-faceted demographic shift with birth rates falling and populations aging.

The final chapter, again written by all three editors, discusses the overarching themes of the difficulties faced by the Atlantic Alliance in the 21st Century.

Founded in 1949 by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security against the Soviet Union, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was the first peacetime military alliance the United States formed outside of the Western Hemisphere.

Although formed in response to the needs of the nascent Cold War, NATO continued to exist beyond the end of that conflict, with membership even expanded to include some former Soviet states. It remains the largest peacetime military alliance in the world.

“NATO has redefined itself many times in the course of its existence and continues to do so,” said Slobodchikoff. “NATO is an important organization that is committed to the defense of all of its allies, so we brought all of these people together to share their experiences with NATO, what happened to NATO, what they believe are the threats to NATO Are NATO and what you think the future is. “NATO as a being.”

With the success of both the conference and book release, Davis hopes that the university’s undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science will gain more exposure and credibility that will better benefit their students.

“The book and conference work to build Troy University’s reputation and serve our students by enabling them to develop personal connections with those who have made contributions to NATO. It was a great honor and enabled the university to gain attention in North America and Europe, ”he said.

Professor of Political Science Dr.  Brandon Stewart.
Dr. Brandon Stewart, Professor of Political Science at the Phenix City Campus, also contributed a chapter and is co-author of the new publication.

“I agree,” added Slobodchikoff, “it really put TROY into the international spotlight. TROY is a very military friendly university and works all over the world with our members in uniform, and this (book) is just a continuation of that – our military, reaching out to our allies and building connections that is what makes TROY the international university. “

Further confirmations came from Leon Panetta, former Secretary of Defense, CIA director, White House chief of staff, director of the Office of Management and Budget and a US representative from California; Army remaining. General John Adams (retired), Former U.S. Military Deputy Representative, NATO Military Committee; Nicolae-Ionel Ciuca, current Prime Minister of Romania and former Minister of National Defense; Stanley Sloan, author and current leading NATO expert; and army rest. General Peter Zwack (retired), Wilson Center Global Fellow at the Kennan Institute.

Contributors include Robert Hunter, former US Ambassador to NATO; Lt. Col. Jeff Mrazik, Stephen R. Lorenz Fellow, Air University School of Advanced Air and Space Studies at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama; Dr. Mary Hampton, professor at Air Command and Staff College; Dr. Richard Ledet, Associate Professor of Political Science at TROY; Dr. Chris Rein, Associate Professor at Air University; Dr. Boris Havel, assistant professor at the University of Zagreb; General Wesley K. Clark (retired), former NATO Supreme Allied Commander; Tad Schnaufer II, University of Central Florida; Jānis Karlsbergs, State Secretary, Political Director in the Latvian Ministry of Defense; Robert Bell, Former Deputy Secretary General for Defense Investments for NATO; and George-Cristian Maior, Romanian Ambassador to the United States.

The Challenge to NATO can be purchased online and in stores.

About the authors

Dr. Doug Davis is Director of the Masters of Science in International Relations program at TROY, where he works as a regional expert on European security and the Middle East. In addition to his Masters and PhD degrees in Political Science from the University of Arizona, he has a European degree from the Pontificia Università Lateranense. He has published several scientific papers and previously worked with Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff wrote another book entitled “Cultural Imperialism and the Decline of the Liberal Order: Russian and Western Soft Power in Eastern Europe”. His scientific work has been translated and published in nine languages.

Davis has international development experience in the Middle East, where he has worked on projects funded by the European Union, the Italian Government and the World Bank, as well as international banking experience, where he worked on the international opening of financial institutions. In addition to his work at several Polish universities, Davis was a visiting researcher at the University of Zagreb in 2020.

Dr. Michael Slobodchikoff is Associate Professor of Political Science and Chairman of the Political Science Department at TROY. He specializes in relations between Russia and the former Soviet states, international conflicts and peace, security and comparative politics. He is a regular contributor to Russia Direct and has often served as an analyst on Russian relations with Ukraine for BBC World News and Voice of Russia Radio.

Slobodchikoff has published many peer-reviewed articles. His first book, “Strategic Cooperation: Overcoming the Barriers of Global Anarchy” was published in 2013. His next book “Building Hegemonic Order Russia’s Way: Rules, Stability and Predictability in the Post-Soviet Space” was published in 2014.

Dr. Brandon Stewart is Assistant Professor of Political Science at TROY’s Phenix City Campus. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of North Texas. His main research interests are ethnic politics, political violence, Eastern European politics and African politics. His research has been published in journals such as Nationalism and Ethnic Politics and Social Science Quarterly.

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