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Applied History Best Essay Diploma - Klara Strömberg

Klara Strömberg received a diploma for the best essay during the Applied History course in 2021. In the interview, Klara discusses her main findings and the impact the course had on her outlook, and shares her current pursuits in pursuing a master’s degree in economics and international economic policy.

What is your essay about?

The relevance of the Cold War analogy in the context of contemporary Russian intelligence policy and tactics. I chose to write about the Cold War analogy because it was a recurring theme of the Applied History course. As a gen Z, I was born a bit too late to experience the Cold War period myself, but I have often heard it being referenced in the media. My professors made me think carefully about the reconstructed narrative that I had grown up with, something which ultimately shifted my perspective on the Cold War.


What were your main findings?

That the Cold War never really stopped. The role of intelligence in contemporary statecraft of is twofold - historically, it has played both a stabilising and a destabilising role. Many of today’s big intelligence scandals fall well within the bounds of what a historian might class as “normal” state behaviour. It follows that deterrence by diplomatic means is quite useless in preventing future cyber breaches (it never worked in the past).


What did you think of the Applied History course?

It was fantastic, I am very grateful that I got the opportunity to participate in the course. The smaller class size made the course interactive, and our professors encouraged us to actively engage in the discussions. The course really changed my outlook on both historical events and current affairs, and how they’re all linked together.


What are you up to now?

I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in economics and international economic policy. My thesis focuses on environmental policy.


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