Historical Crisis

Crisis operates under a completely different format from regular Model UN committees, with delegates representing individuals organised into cabinets instead of states and simulating an historical event in real time. Crisis chairs will be chair-delegates, who act as Heads of Cabinets. The chair of a contemporary German cabinet in a Crisis simulation would play the role Angela Merkel, for example, whilst in said cabinet a delegate would play the role of a German minister, such as Olaf Scholz. The intensity and fluidity of Crisis make it one of the most challenging committees for both chairs and delegates. In addition to being the first university-level MUN conference in the UK, Cambridge has also established a high reputation for Crisis with some of the most original and pioneering takes on this dynamic format.

Taster: This year's CUIMUN will feature a four-cabinet Historical Crisis connected with this year's conference theme. Previous four-cabinet Crises at CUIMUN have included:

  • CUIMUN XX 2014: 1508 War of the League of Cambrai (Venice, Florence, Ferrara, Papal States)
  • CUIMUN XXI 2015: 1919-22 Graeco-Turkish War (Constantinople, Ankara, Athens, League of Nations)
  • CUIMUN XXII 2016: 1136 Wars of King Stephen (Stephen, Matilda, Louis VI, Innocent II)


The topic: Europe after the Great War, 1919

November 2018 will see the centenary commemorations of the end of the Great War, of the first elections in the UK to enjoy female suffrage (followed by the first open and democratic elections in Germany two months later), and of the beginnings of the grand system of peace conferences and treaties which set out a new world architecture to achieve and enshrine Europe's future peace.

It therefore seems fitting that, in looking back to the birth of the twentieth-century world in both its domestic and international politics, and in considering our own uneasy time, we should simulate the governments and key decision-makers in January 1919 who did so much to shape their own generation and those which followed. We will be simulating four concurrent committees:

  1. The Weimar Republic (Friedrich Ebert Chancellorship);
  2. The British Coalition Government (David Lloyd George Ministry);
  3. The Irish Dáil (Seán T. O'Kelly Chairmanship);
  4. The Paris Peace Conference.

We are excited to build and expand on CUIMUN's foundational tradition of Historical and Crisis Committees of the highest academic standard and rigour, and in particular on our previous simulations of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference (CUIMUN XVII 2011) and of the 1919-22 Graeco-Turkish War (CUIMUN XXI 2015). The latter was also innovatively the first conference on the UK circuit to integrate a standard diplomatic, deliberative, peace-making body (the League of Nations) within a wider directives-based, multi-cabinet historical Crisis: a standard which we look forward to taking further at this year's conference than has been done in the past.

Far from being the military Crisis that many simulations devolve into, our theme this year promises the full breadth and depth of domestic, electoral, and diplomatic high and low politics, within a transformative, multifaceted, and still-relevant era. We do so not only with the accumulated experience of our Crisis directors past and present but also of an exceptional backroom, with whose support we are sure we will outdo our previous simulations.

Finally, we are proud to announce the first CUIMUN Crisis to have two female Lead Co-ordinators on its team, as well as the first team for any conference's Crisis of this scale to have achieved a full gender balance in its backroom.*

(* CUIMUN Crisis XXII 2016 had achieved a gender balance in its backroom, until some unavoidable last-minute dropouts the week before the conference.)

Under-Secretaries General and Lead Co-ordinators for Crisis

Our Under-Secretaries General will serve as principal point of contact between the Secretariat and Directors in the overall co-ordination of the Crisis.

 Felicity Garvey

Lead Coordinator

Felicity Garvey

Felicity is a student of Human, Social and Political Sciences at the University of Cambridge, and the second of our appointed USGs for Historical Crisis at CUIMUN XXIV 2018. Born in Saudi Arabia, raised in France, resident in the United Kingdom, and now seeking an Irish passport to survive in the German-dominated post-Brexit world, Felicity has all the international, diplomatic, and multilingual awareness and expertise befitting of our four-cabinet 1919 Postwar Revolutions Crisis. Trained in the CUIMUN Crisis tradition by our past directors, and now both excited and humbled to be directing a CUIMUN Crisis for the first time, Felicity most memorably distinguished herself as an awarded delegate by successfully infiltrating the Republican Chinese cabinet (on behalf of the Communists) at CUIMUN XXIII 2017. Outside of MUN, Felicity is a Rugby and Krav Maga enthusiast, serves as Events Officer for the Cambridge UN Association, and has been active in student journalism. We wait to see how her Rugby loyalties will be affected by Brexit...

 Helen Kwong

Lead Coordinator

Helen Kwong

Helen is a student of History at the University of Cambridge, and our DSG Chairs and USG Historical Crisis on the Secretariat for CUIMUN XXIV 2018. Having directed four Historical Crisis committees in her native Canada and served on the Crisis team in Paris at PIMUN 2018, Helen was first won over to the Cambridge tradition of Crisis by working in internal weekend backroom simulations with its former Crisis directors, with whom she is thoroughly looking forward to working in the preparation of this year's Crisis. Outside of MUN, Helen enjoys travel (intercontinental and otherwise), playing piano (but not very well), good food, bad jokes – and nice pens. Hoping to bring a more active Canadian presence to this year's Crisis than her country did at the Paris peace-table in 1919 (where the Canadian delegation signed simply under 'British Empire'), expect a politely (but effectively) managed simulation.

Directors and Historical Crisis Consultants

 Gavin Lynch-Frahill

Historical Crisis Assistant Director

Gavin Lynch-Frahill

Gavin is a PhD student in Education at University College London, with a Masters in Education from the University of Cambridge and a B.A. in Sports Studies and Physical Education from University College Cork. A former officer in the Irish Naval Service ('an tSeirbhís Chabhlaigh'), he has most recently been a member of the teaching staff in history at the King Edward's School in Witley, Surrey. Having received Best Delegate awards for his performance on Crisis committees at Cambridge and Edinburgh, and further served as chair or director on Crisis teams in Cambridge, Cork, and London (LIMUN), Gavin was arguably the finest Crisis delegate ever to pass through Cambridge and gave what remains the most distinguished performance of any delegate at CUIMUN itself: pulling off multiple defections before winning the Crisis outright for the Ferrara cabinet at CUIMUN XX 2014. An expert in military history and in the Revolutions of 1917–1923, Gavin is delighted to come out of 'retireMUNt' to ensure that this latest installment for CUIMUN XXIV 2018 lives up to its past glories. Gavin's general interests include swimming, hockey, reading and travelling.

 Joe Dale

Historical Crisis Consultant

Joe Dale

Joe is a graduate of the University of Exeter with a B.A. in History and Economics, of Queen Mary (QMUL) with a Masters in British Politics Theory and Practice, and of the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Planning, Growth and Regeneration. He currently works for the British civil service. Joe has been almost continuously immersed in the CUIMUN Crisis tradition since 2012, having been involved in no fewer than four Cambridge Historical Crisis committees, and additionally having acted as chair and cabinet director at both London (LIMUN) and Oxford. Of especial note, he won the Crisis-wide award of Best Delegate at ÉireMUN 2015 on the topic of the 1919 Irish War of Independence: a period of immense personal interest to him, which, in addition to his aeronautical and electoral history expertise, makes him invaluable for this year's simulation. Like Gavin, Joe is similarly honoured to come out of his two-year 'retireMUNt' one time for CUIMUN XXIV 2018. Outside of MUN, Joe has interests in comedy, cycling, and reading about history, economics and politics.

 Dr. Jesse Harrington

External Crisis Consultant and Senior Advisor

Dr. Jesse Harrington

Three-time Director of Cambridge's Historical Crisis committees (2014-16), and once described by the online MUN magazine "Best Delegate" as "the very soul of CUIMUN" (2015), W̶e̶s̶t̶w̶o̶r̶l̶d̶'̶s̶ ̶D̶r̶.̶ ̶R̶o̶b̶e̶r̶t̶ ̶F̶o̶r̶d̶ Jesse is long-retired from MUN: his soul has departed to a higher academic and international plane. If you see him at the conference, it is but a ghost: but one item, clearly stated in his last will and testament, was that he should help guide his next CUIMUN successor from the beyond should they ever do another four-cabinet Historical Crisis. Uniquely on retainer to CUIMUN as consultant outside the Secretariat or directing team, and summoned via séance Po, we got him on the fine-print. Jesse is a graduate of University College Cork in History and Economics, and of the University of Cambridge with a Masters and Doctorate in History, currently researching all aspects of the Middle Ages. An experienced delegate and chair, who has held at one time or another virtually every position on the CUIMUN secretariat, he has additionally directed Crisis committees for conferences as diverse as Bonn, Cork, Istanbul, London, Milan, and York. His directorship of Crises on the 1919-22 Graeco-Turkish War (CUIMUN 2015) and the 1919 Irish War of Independence (ÉireMUN 2015) make him a welcome and indispensible advisor for our present topic. Outside of MUN, he enjoys mountain-climbing and cycling, has written and directed a number of successful dramatic productions, published works of poetry, history, and philosophy, and once ranked in the top 25 at the continent-wide European Universities Debating Championships.

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Cabinet 1: Government of the Weimar Republic

In the months which followed the November Revolution and the fall of the German Empire in 1918, Germany was governed by the revolutionary Council of the People's Deputies ("Rat der Volksbeauftragten"). Under the chairmanship of Chancellor Friedrich Ebert, this transitional government oversaw a revolution in German politics: including the organisation of the armistice with the Allies on 11th November 1918, the convocation of the first General Convention ("Reichsrätekongress") in December 1918, and the preparation for the elections for the National Assembly ("Nationalversammlung") on 19 January 1919, with reforms to the system of suffrage and the right to vote extended to women for the first time.

With the results of its January elections announced in 1919 and the Paris Peace Conference just begun in Versailles, Germany and its Government stood at a cross-roads: its agenda including the need to draft a constitution and hold a new presidential election, and to create the first permanent government of the nascent republic from among the rival elected parties which wished to dominate it.

 Sylvia de Serdio

Chair

Sylvia de Serdio

Sylvia is a student of Political Sciences at the University of York. An experienced member of any Crisis team, Sylvia has received awards as a Crisis delegate at conferences in Cambridge, Leeds and Nice, and been a member of such Crisis teams as DamMUN, LIMUN, LSEMUN, and PIMUN. Of Spanish and Peruvian background with a sprinkle of Dutch, Sylvia will bring an internationalism befitting of this year's Crisis.

 Saskia Millmann

Historical Crisis Director

Saskia Millmann

A PhD Candidate in International Law and History at the University of Glasgow, a Masters graduate in International Law from the University of Edinburgh and Law and History from Munich, and a Law graduate of the Gothenburg School of Business, Economics and Law, it is fair to say that collecting academic degrees has become something of a hobby for Saskia. With more than fifty MUN conferences (mainly) as a chair or secretariat member and a preference for international court or Crisis committees, Saskia first joined CUIMUN as a chair of the Empress Matilda cabinet in 2016. Having thus begun CUIMUN Crisis in her role as German Empress, it is thus only fitting that she should oversee the transition of the German Empire into the Weimar Republic in our simulation this year.

 Sasha Alexandra Sternik

Backroom

Sasha Alexandra Sternik

Sasha is a third-year student of International Relations and Development at the University of Westminster. Having quickly risen through a broad range of MUN committees in a little over a year, Sasha has experienced Crisis both as a CUIMUN delegate and a member of Crisis backrooms elsewhere, and additionally holds the distinction of holding the award for Best Language Committee Chairing at LIMUN 2018. With the claim to be able to "speak four languages and none properly", we are certain that Sasha will bring nothing but clarity to this year's conference.

 Alex Eaton

Backroom

Alex Eaton

Alex Eaton is an incoming PhD candidate at the University of Cambridge, and a Masters graduate in Physics from the University of Manchester. With experience of Crisis committees at conferences ranging from Manchester to Chicago, 2018 will be Alex's first time taking part in a CUIMUN Crisis

Cabinet 2: Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland

The British Government in January 1919 saw the continuation of the victorious War Cabinet of Prime Minister David Lloyd-George, following the landslide victory of the parliamentary coalition in the United Kingdom's first postwar General Election of December 1918. The Government itself was a broad coalition dominated by the minority Liberal Party of Lloyd-George, with the support of the larger Coalition Conservative Party and the smaller Coalition Labour Party, who had contested the election on a common platform. In opposition were members of the Opposition Liberal and Labour parties who had refused to run in support of the War Cabinet at the end of the Great War.

Lloyd-George's Government was elected chiefly on its war record and on its platform of postwar demobilisation and social reform – the promise of making the United Kingdom "a country fit for heroes to live in". It also had the mandate of the first British election in which women over the age of 30, and all men over the age of 21, could vote. At the same time, it faced the rising challenges of making peace with Germany and the Central Powers at the Paris Peace Conference, of the landslide election in Ireland of the separatist Sinn Féin party, and of its own status as a coalition made up by members of competing parties who could readily jostle for power in the new Britain.

 Daniel Page

Chair

Daniel Page

Daniel is a graduate in Liberal Arts of Kings College London. With around 20 Crises participated in from York to St. Gallen (and including memorably rising through the delegate ranks to the level of corrupt pope at CUIMUN 2016), Daniel is the perfect chair to represent David Lloyd-George on the British Cabinet. His personal fondness for maps and the government of Mssr. Clémenceau will likely stand him in good stead in negotiating with the Paris Peace Conference.

 Perth Ophaswongse

Director

Perth Ophaswongse

Perth is a third-year student of International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. Having done more than 20 Crises from SaintMUN in St. Andrews to LIMUN in London, and spent several years on the Secretariat of ScotMUN, Perth was a delegate at CUIMUN Crisis 2016 (as royal heir-apparent) and chair for CUIMUN Crisis 2017.

 Cyrus Azimy

Backroom

Cyrus Azimy

A student at Kings College London and transatlantic Crisis-er, Cyrus has previously been involved in Historical Crises from San Francisco and Berkley (in particular UCBMUN 2018, as Assistant Director at the biggest conference on the American West Coast, as Assistant Crisis Director) to CUIMUN. With his support in backroom, we expect an insightful take on the US-UK's "special relationship" for Cabinet 2 at CUIMUN 2018.

 Will Burrell

Backroom

Will Burrell

Will is a third-year student of Law at the University of Exeter. Having attended some 19 MUN conferences and been involved in over half a dozen Crises from ScotMUN to MedMUN, Will was additionally served as USG Finance at South-West MUN (SwMUN) as well as being the former Head of Conferences and current Treasurer at his MUN society of ExMUN. His hobbies in tennis, rugby, British and American politics make him a quintessential addition to Cabinet 2 at CUIMUN. We hope however that his continual winning of the "most likely to be a dictator" award at conferences isn't a harbinger of things to come on the CUIMUN Crisis.

 Lola Vidyasagar

Backroom

Lola Vidyasagar

Lola Vidyasagar is a student of Law at the University of Edinburgh. Having started Model UN in the United States and most notably participated in a range of alternative Crises, from the Ad-Hoc Intelligence Committee at SaintMUN 2017 to backrooming the Financial Crisis at PIMUN 2018, Lola can will bring the breadth and complexity of the issues facing the British Government (foreign and domestic) to this year's Crisis.

Cabinet 3: Revolutionary Government of the Irish Republic

January 1919 saw the simultaneous formation of the first parliament on the island of Ireland and the start of the Irish War of Independence. At the time of the 1918 General Election in the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Ireland were part of a common constitutional entity, which had shared a parliament in Westminster for over a century. The 1918 elections however faced a political landslide in Ireland for the revolutionary nationalist Sinn Féin party – which duly went from only half a dozen MPs to 73 of the 105 MPs for Ireland, including the first ever woman elected to Parliament. Sinn Féin had run on a platform of abstaining from the Parliament of Westminster and total independence from the United Kingdom in the form of an island-wide republic, and took the unprecedented election results as a national mandate to refuse the seats it had won in Westminster and instead form a de facto revolutionary parliament for Ireland, Dáil Éireann.

At its first meeting in January, with over half of those elected having been imprisoned in Great Britain, the task which lay before the self-declared Irish Government was a daunting one. On the agenda was the need to build new state institutions and domestic support, to secure funding from its diaspora and international recognition at the ongoing Paris Peace Conference, and above all, to wrest the military and civil institutions on the island of Ireland from Westminster control.

 Cecilia Jastrzembska

Chair

Cecilia Jastrzembska

Cecilia is a Parliamentary Assistant and a graduate in Philosophy, Politics and Literature, and Psychology of the University of Warwick. Her past MUN experience (admirably described as "Crisis forever") includes chairing at WarMUN in Warwick and appositely winning Best Delegate on an Irish War of Independence Crisis at ÉireMUN 2015 in Cork, Ireland's first ever university-level MUN conference. Other interests include competing in Ninja Warrior, karate and dodgeball; skiing, table-tennis, scuba-diving, sailing, reading far too many political articles, surfing, poetry, debating, attending events of Labour's think-tank the Fabians, and wildlife photography: just the diversity of skills that would make someone a good leader of a revolutionary Irish government. Every revolution has a silver lining. At this very moment she is travelling as usual, and by the time this MUN comes around, she'll have topped 50 countries in her past travels. And we guarantee, she still won't stop...

 Barry O'Gorman

Director

Barry O'Gorman

Barry is a practising actuary and a graduate with an M.Sc. in Financial Economics and a B.Sc. in Maths and Acturial Science from at University College Cork. He has been one of the best-known faces on the Irish MUN Circuit since his first MUN in 2010, with Best Delegate awards from CUIMUN, multiple times chairing at ÉireMUN, and most memorably chairing the Carnegie Cabinet as a member of the Crisis team for LIMUN 2016. Retired from MUN since 2016, Barry has returned to CUIMUN, and looks forward to a CUIMUN Crisis soaring higher than the transatlantic zeppelins of the many simulations set from the 1890s to 1920s in which he has been involved, and to an Irish Cabinet able to balance revolutionary rigour with 'having the craic'.

 Ana Harrington

Backroom

Ana Harrington

Ana is a student of Law at University College Cork, already holding a B.A. in History and Italian from the same university. Another regular on the Irish MUN circuit, Ana has served as Assistant Crisis Director at ÉireMUN 2017 and 2018, and again at TrinMUN 2018. Having been awarded Best Delegate after singlehandedly winning the Crisis at her first ever university MUN conference (ÉireMUN 2016), she is also no stranger to Crisis at Cambridge, with a memorably medieval performance as Matilda of Carinthia at CUIMUN XXII 2016.

 Ricky Harrington

Backroom

Ricky Harrington

Ricky is a graduate of University College Cork, holding a B.A. in History and Geography and an M.Sc. in Coastal and Marine Management. Having served as Assistant Crisis Director at ÉireMUN 2017 and 2018, going further back Ricky has also been a Crisis regular at Cambridge since CUIMUN XX 2014 with several awarded Crisis performances. Ricky looks forward to bringing a well-spring of knowledge of twentieth-century Irish history and geography (maritime and mountainous), along with an outdoorsmanship thoroughly unbecoming of Crisis to this conference.

 Laura Karam

Backroom

Laura Karam

Laura is a second-year student of Economics and Finance at the University of Edinburgh. When not perpetually tied up with other things, Laura has taken a broad range of experience across committees: she has notably been a delegate on Crises at SaintMUN, NottsMUN, and LSEMUN, and been a member of the team for the Financial Crisis Committee at PIMUN 2018. We are hopeful of the Celtic solidarity of having an EdMUN member for CUIMUN 2018's Irish Cabinet. We also rightly feel we're getting two for the price of one here, as we are reliably informed she is also Lola (Vidyasagar).

Cabinet 4: Paris Peace Conference

Our fourth cabinet for the Historical Crisis will be integrated into our Historical General Assembly, the Paris Peace Conference. The Paris Peace Conference, which met in Versailles in January 1919 to set the terms of the peace after World War I, hosted more than 27 nations (including the 'Big Four' of France, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States) and produced no fewer than five major peace treaties, having divided into 52 commissions to prepare international agreements on topics ranging from prisoners of war, to international aviation and undersea cables, to responsibility and reparations for the Great War. For further explanation of the unique functioning of this committee at CUIMUN XXIV 2018, see the Peace Conference page.