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Visiting professor of politics gives Masaryk Lecture in London

June 4, 2013

Kieran Williams, visiting assistant professor of politics at Drake University, was invited to give the annual Masaryk Lecture in London, U.K. on May 23, 2013. The lecture was created in honor of the first president of Czechoslovakia, Tomas Masaryk, and is typically delivered by historians. Williams was the first political scientist invited to give the lecture.

The Masaryk Lecture aims to make connections between the U.K. and the former Czechoslovakia. Williams’ lecture discussed the relatively smooth way in which Czechoslovakia was divided 20 years ago, but cautioned against assuming that Scotland could separate from the U.K. in the same way.

“While Scotland’s independence could be successfully negotiated, it would have to resolve a number of challenging questions,” says Williams. “Especially regarding currency, the division of liabilities (such as the U.K. debt), the future of defense forces in Scotland, and Scotland's membership in the European Union, which were not problematic for the division of Czechoslovakia.”

Williams was invited to give the lecture by the Forum for British, Czech and Slovak Historians, the sponsoring organization. He was also invited to speak on May 25, 2013 at a major conference at the University College London (UCL). At UCL, his presentation commemorated the late Czech president Vaclav Havel and discussed the meaning of his legacy for dissent today.

For more information, contact Kieran Williams at 515-271-2185 or kieran.williams@drake.edu.