Blog: Talking History in Politics

Talking History in Politics is a space for constructive and respectful debate around conversations between the disciplines of history and politics. We encourage diversity of opinion through our open blog submission section which can be found on our ‘Submissions’ page and is monitored for selection by our editorial team. The articles featured present the views of the writer only; opinions expressed are not a reflection of the views and beliefs of the History in Politics Society.


Belarus: A Conflict of Histories

The summer of 2020 marked the beginning of the largest anti-government protests in Belarusian history. Fuelled by the clear rigging of the 2020 presidential election, these protests have rocked Alexander Lukashenko’s regime and terrified him with the possibility of his overthrow . And so, the President has cracked down heavily on these protestors, leading to … Continue reading Belarus: A Conflict of Histories

Is Russia’s Foreign Agent Law Destroying Russian Journalism?

Life as a journalist or within the media in Russia has historically been far from easy. With Putin’s highly centralised authoritarian regime, any formation of media outlets are strictly limited. Over 20 journalists are estimated to have been murdered since 2000 for reporting on events or topics that in any way cross the blurred line … Continue reading Is Russia’s Foreign Agent Law Destroying Russian Journalism?

When Bad History Leads to Bad Politics: ‘The Graveyard of Empires’

When a major political event happens, politicians and scholars usually cram desperately to fit the event into a simple framework: ideological, historical, or another type. Sometimes this is done to explain the events in a general pattern. Alternatively, it is done to fit the event into a set worldview (something often done by politicians). ‘The … Continue reading When Bad History Leads to Bad Politics: ‘The Graveyard of Empires’

Let the Games Begin: Olympics, Sports and Supremacy in the Prewar World

This summer’s Olympic Games were for many a much-needed respite from a pandemic of which we have  all grown weary. Tuning in to watch our athletes fighting it out has for many revived the sense of national pride  that had taken something of a battering from the political whirlwind of the last few years. For … Continue reading Let the Games Begin: Olympics, Sports and Supremacy in the Prewar World

Peace Lines, Borders, and Brexit: Northern Ireland’s Dilemma

The Shankill is one of the main roads leading through Belfast and home to the city’s predominantly Protestant and Loyalist supporters– citizens who are in favour of the country remaining under British control. On the other side is Falls Road– the Republican Catholic community who are in favour of a United Ireland out of British … Continue reading Peace Lines, Borders, and Brexit: Northern Ireland’s Dilemma

Sport as Conflict

Sport fulfils a number of roles in society: it unifies people and nations behind a team, it provides children with role models, and often brings the international community together through tournaments. It could be said that it has another role— a less violent alternative to war. Nuclear deterrents, increased globalisation, effective international organisations, and a … Continue reading Sport as Conflict

Temporal over Spiritual Power in the Medieval Church? Part II: The Avignon Papacy and the Great Papal Schism

Although the Catholic Church had asserted its dominance over Christian Europe in both spiritual and temporal matters during the thirteenth century, this was not a state that would last. Not all nations were content with papal supremacy in temporal affairs, with France in particular having long had a tempestuous relationship with the papacy, resenting its … Continue reading Temporal over Spiritual Power in the Medieval Church? Part II: The Avignon Papacy and the Great Papal Schism

Bauhaus: Redefining Modern Art and Design in Weimar Germany 

The Bauhaus art movement can be seen as defining not just a generation, but an entire century of modern art and design, influential since its formation and still pre-eminent today. Bauhaus style, of which has defining political roots, stemmed from the German art school of the same name, created in 1925 as a reactionary force … Continue reading Bauhaus: Redefining Modern Art and Design in Weimar Germany 

Olga Romanov – the One Who Could Have Saved Russia’s Royal Family?

On 17 July 1918, the Royal Family of Russia: Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia and Tsarevich Alexei were rounded up, led downstairs to the basement and brutally murdered one by one by members of the Bolshevik Party. Their death was tragic, brutal and unnecessary.  The Tsar’s abdication on 1 … Continue reading Olga Romanov – the One Who Could Have Saved Russia’s Royal Family?

​​Has the United States Fallen Victim to the Graveyard of Empires?

Recent events in Afghanistan have been tinged with a saddening inevitability. After twenty years, the United States are withdrawing from Afghanistan, and in concurrence the Afghan government they propped up has fallen to the Taliban. It seems that everything the US had set out to do in Afghanistan has been undone, and the US’ worldwide … Continue reading ​​Has the United States Fallen Victim to the Graveyard of Empires?

Disraeli’s Public Health Reforms: How to Improve Social Care Today.

The Coronavirus pandemic has laid bare the realities of a struggling care sector unable to cope with the demands of an ever-aging society. Despite Health Minister Sajid Javid’s full job title being the Secretary of State for Health and Social Services, a chronic imbalance between his two briefs has grown and has highlighted that action … Continue reading Disraeli’s Public Health Reforms: How to Improve Social Care Today.

Temporal over Spiritual Power in the Medieval Church? Part I: Pope Innocent III and the Politicisation of Crusading

The Catholic Church was one of the most powerful entities in Christian Europe in the mid-late medieval period. Commanding the fealty of the majority of Europe, the Church was able to muster vast swathes of men to partake in the religious wars known as ‘The Crusades’. Traditionally, these Crusades had been used to unite men … Continue reading Temporal over Spiritual Power in the Medieval Church? Part I: Pope Innocent III and the Politicisation of Crusading

Hong Kong issues: Brief summary of how the UK ruled Hong Kong during the early 20th century

Hong Kong was a British colony from 1841 to 1997. How it was actually run is rarely discussed, especially nowadays. Let’s look at four main features of the British administration in the early 20th century (1900 – 1941).  Executive-led government  During the period, the whole government was mainly led by the executive branch, i.e. the … Continue reading Hong Kong issues: Brief summary of how the UK ruled Hong Kong during the early 20th century

“It’s not the Virgin Mary. It’s a painting.” Whiteness’ politicised grip on Iconography explored around Ofili’s depiction of the Holy Virgin Mary.

16 December 1999. New York City. With his hands as his weapon of choice, Dennis Heiner waltzes into the Brooklyn museum with vengeance, walking purposefully to the corner of the Sensation exhibit in which his victim awaits. Dipped in white paint smuggled inside in a hand sanitizer bottle, Heiner’s hand meets its target, the “blasphemous’ … Continue reading “It’s not the Virgin Mary. It’s a painting.” Whiteness’ politicised grip on Iconography explored around Ofili’s depiction of the Holy Virgin Mary.

Is ‘Ever-Closer Union’ The Right Path for the EU’s Survival?

Depending on whether you supported the UK leaving or remaining in the European Union, you might presume that the EU is either an undemocratic mess destined to fail, or an international organisation bound to grow and strengthen in a world where cooperation is key. The problem is, in the long-run, it really is impossible to … Continue reading Is ‘Ever-Closer Union’ The Right Path for the EU’s Survival?

Book Review: The Great Imperial Hangover, Samir Puri

Samir Puri’s The Great Imperial Hangover provides a fresh assessment of the oft over-simplified historical phenomenon of empire. In it, Puri pulls apart the ‘intersecting imperial legacies’ that provide the undercurrent of modern politics, and demonstrates that those legacies continue to manifest in the greatest issues of our times – from Blair and Bush’s rehashing … Continue reading Book Review: The Great Imperial Hangover, Samir Puri

The Legacy of Tokyo 1964

Throughout history, the Olympic games have been an apt window for nations and host cities to parade their culture on an international stage. In 2016, over 3.6 billion people  from around the world tuned in to watch the games in Rio de Janeiro. The mass media frenzy which the games attract  means that hosts have … Continue reading The Legacy of Tokyo 1964

Work Environment and Culture

With workplace culture once again becoming important as people begin returning to the workplace, it is the perfect time to examine the differences between working in Asia and the UK. Despite inter-country disparities, work cultures in Asia share quite a few common traits. For one, employees in Asian countries such as India, China, Taiwan and … Continue reading Work Environment and Culture

South Africa and Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy

Apartheid, literally defined as ‘apartness’ or ‘separateness’ in Afrikaans, refers to the policy of enforced racial segregation that defines the history of modern South Africa. Spanning from 1948 to 1994, when the National Party was in power and put into practice the culture of ‘baasskap’ or white supremacy, the national programme of apartheid forced black … Continue reading South Africa and Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy

Recycling Political Establishments?

The announcement made by Abdelaziz Bouteflika in 2019 proclaiming his candidacy for a fifth presidential term ignited an ocean of furious Algerians opposing the monotonous and stagnant regime under his rule. Since Algeria’s independence in 1962, the nature of its political system under Bouteflika’s neo-patrimonial and authoritarian rule led to a disruption of the country’s … Continue reading Recycling Political Establishments?

How did the British rule Hong Kong?

Chan Stephanie Sheena explores the governance, tension, racism and reconciliation in Hong Kong in the years prior to the Japanese invasion of 1941

The Painful Struggle for Transparency in British Politics

Dominic Cummings’ breath-taking appearance at the joint session of the Health and Social Care Committee and the Technology Committee in the last week of May was one of the most revealing insights into the inner workings of Westminster on record. The combination of blunt personal remarks and detailed descriptions of the Government’s strategy posed a … Continue reading The Painful Struggle for Transparency in British Politics

The Yorkshire Ripper Investigation: a Total Disaster, from A Feminist Perspective

In memory of Wilma McCann, Emily Jackson, Irene Richardson, Patricia Atkinson, Jayne McDonald, Jean Jordan, Yvonne Pearson, Helen Rytka, Vera Millward, Josephine Whitaker, Barbara Leach, Marguerite Walls, Jacqueline Hill. Even if you did not live in the 1980s, you have certainly heard of the Yorkshire Ripper. He was a serial killer in the UK active … Continue reading The Yorkshire Ripper Investigation: a Total Disaster, from A Feminist Perspective

The Politics of the Past: How Divergent Interpretations of History Shape East Asian Diplomatic Relations in the Present

David Cameron’s refusal to remove his poppy for his 2010 visit to China was revealing of a stark contrast in the significance granted to history in politics between himself (and the British political establishment as a whole) and his hosts. Whilst history has often played the role of a footnote to contemporary politics in the … Continue reading The Politics of the Past: How Divergent Interpretations of History Shape East Asian Diplomatic Relations in the Present

10 Movies Showing the Evolution of Gender Equality in Hollywood

People say that films are sometimes depictions of the society and time in which they were made. This is especially applicable for society’s view of women. How particular films depict women really shows how people at that time embrace feminist ideas, and more generally, women. In this article, I am going to introduce 10 movies … Continue reading 10 Movies Showing the Evolution of Gender Equality in Hollywood

Merkel’s Immigration Policy: A Failure?

Many highlight Angela Merkel’s policy in relation to the 2015 migrant crisis as the beginning of her downfall. In that year, Germany’s net migration figure was 1.1 million, just under double the previous year’s total. As Europe struggled to cope with refugees, Merkel made her country the continent’s biggest destination, despite the Dublin Agreement mandating … Continue reading Merkel’s Immigration Policy: A Failure?

Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Power Not To The People

You might have heard of the unrest in Hong Kong last year, stemming from the Government’s attempt to introduce an extradition agreement with Mainland China and culminating in a full-blown humanitarian crisis with the enactment of the National Security Law (NSL). Why was the extradition agreement met with such vigour? The proposed Bill would have … Continue reading Hong Kong’s National Security Law: Power Not To The People

Judging the Past: Can We Really Afford Not To?

University of Edinburgh historian Donald Bloxham has provided much food for thought in his recent article for the March edition of BBC History Magazine, entitled ‘Why History Must Take a Stance’. In it, he challenges the dogmatic insistence on neutrality that pervades the historical profession. Instead of feigning an unattainable neutrality, he argues, historians should … Continue reading Judging the Past: Can We Really Afford Not To?

The Environment Has No Ideology: Debating Which System Works Best is Inherently Flawed

It is often assumed that we in the ‘West’ are the arbiters of environmental policy, that we simply ‘care more’ than the rest of the world. ‘China’, for many, evokes images of flat-pack cities and rapid industrialisation synonymous with the stain left by humanity on the natural world. It is lazily viewed as an outlying … Continue reading The Environment Has No Ideology: Debating Which System Works Best is Inherently Flawed

The Future Unlocked? 

What a strange year. April might seem like an even stranger time to reflect, one month after the anniversary of the first Coronavirus lockdown, but it also seems astute as the easing of lockdown starts to open up our futures. With pubs starting to open, vaccines being delivered, and being officially allowed back to university, … Continue reading The Future Unlocked? 

General Secretary Putin— the Use of History by Russia’s Regime

Putin’s propaganda machine was laid bare for all to see last month with the return of Russian dissident Alexey Navalny, after recovering from nerve agent poisoning. The Kremlin initially refrained from commenting on the activist, however as his video detailing Putin’s Black Sea palace was released and protests in support of him erupted across Russia, … Continue reading General Secretary Putin— the Use of History by Russia’s Regime

‘Men write history, but women live it.’: Essay Competition Winner

The arrangement and preservation of knowledge about the past is ultimately a question of power. History is a process that both legitimates and reflects gender relations. For most of human history this process has been controlled by men. The notion of ‘men write history, but women live it’ ascribes gender relations at both a literal … Continue reading ‘Men write history, but women live it.’: Essay Competition Winner

Mary I: The First Queen of England and the Legacy of Female Leadership

Whilst the first Queen of England’s reign is largely overshadowed in favour of the other Tudors, namely her father Henry VIII and half-sister Elizabeth I, the historiographical interpretations of Mary I illuminate interesting notions associated with female leadership. Mary I was the first woman to ascend to the throne of England, as the succession of … Continue reading Mary I: The First Queen of England and the Legacy of Female Leadership

Seeing like Cassandra: a New Role for Literature in Political Risk Analysis?

Political conflicts and situations of crises in a multitude of forms continue to mark our present. Indeed, early crisis prevention is a question so pertinent to our times that it has prompted researchers at the University of Tübingen in Germany to explore an unusual  method of conflict prediction: studying fictional literature of specific regions prone … Continue reading Seeing like Cassandra: a New Role for Literature in Political Risk Analysis?

The Colosseum: A Political Tool

Arguably the most iconic arena in the world, Il Colosseo still stands at the very centre of modern Rome as a testament to both the glory and the cruelty of the Roman Empire. Constructed almost two thousand years ago, around six million people still flock to Italy’s capital to explore the history and grandeur of … Continue reading The Colosseum: A Political Tool

Who Won the Good Friday Agreement?

The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, heralding a new era of peace after the decades of violence that characterised the Troubles. But who benefitted the most from the signing of the Agreement, and is the answer different today than it was twenty years ago? For unionists, represented most prominently by the Democratic Unionist … Continue reading Who Won the Good Friday Agreement?

Lord Byron, Celebrity

The idea of celebrity was conceived within the Romantic period, in part, through the prominent figure of Lord Byron. Following the French Revolution there was an increased focus on the individual and this was epitomized in the emerging figure of the celebrity. With the surge in publishing technology there was, according to historian Tom Mole, … Continue reading Lord Byron, Celebrity

The Painted Word – Political Allegory in Early Modern Royal Portraiture

Portraits of sovereigns were always conceived with a political function in mind. Monarchs used their official portraits to cultivate an image of majesty, prestige, and royal authority, a key component in the broader construction of an inherently politicised royal public image. Whilst there is a discourse within the existing art-historical scholarship that seeks to depoliticise … Continue reading The Painted Word – Political Allegory in Early Modern Royal Portraiture

Margaret Thatcher: A Feminism Icon?

Thatcher’s lasting impact on twenty-first century feminism is widely debated. Whilst her actions have inspired future generations of ambitious young women in all professions, Thatcher was undoubtedly not a feminist. In fact, she actively disliked and directly discouraged feminist movements. Thus, Margaret Thatcher works as an apt example that a successful woman does not always … Continue reading Margaret Thatcher: A Feminism Icon?

Does the Electoral College Serve the Democratic Process?

“It’s got to go,” asserted Democratic presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, when speaking of the electoral college in 2019 – reflecting a growing opposition to the constitutional process, which has been only heightened by the chaotic events of the past weeks. Rather than simply reiterating the same, prosaic arguments for the institution’s removal – the potential … Continue reading Does the Electoral College Serve the Democratic Process?

Debates Take On a Different Meaning in the “Worst Year Ever”

The Trump-Biden debates are wrapped up, and for the “Worst Year Ever” they didn’t disappoint. The first debate was widely condemned as the “Worst Debate Ever”. Both candidates talked over each other, and it was near-impossible to understand them. Biden faced calls to boycott the other debates. Trump made this decision for him, falling ill … Continue reading Debates Take On a Different Meaning in the “Worst Year Ever”

Why Does History Help Explain Geo-Political Conflicts?

The construction of historical narratives and the pedagogic authority they hold has been vital in cultivating a sense of legitimacy with those engaged in violent practices in a geo-political conflict. In fact, these narratives are part of violence itself. Although media and education systems usually hold a significant grip on the dissemination of the teaching … Continue reading Why Does History Help Explain Geo-Political Conflicts?

Anne Boleyn: A Forgotten Victim of ‘Fake News’?

Anne Boleyn is an enigma. Contemporaries and historians alike have painted this infamous ‘beheaded’ second wife of Henry VIII as a ‘noble lady,’ ‘a whore,’ ‘an innocent victim,’ ‘a scandal of Christendom,’ and whilst the list of juxtaposing descriptions about the woman with ‘a long neck,’ ‘middling stature’ and ‘black and beautiful’ eyes could go … Continue reading Anne Boleyn: A Forgotten Victim of ‘Fake News’?

‘You Can Get Rid of the Mines, But You Can’t Get Rid of the Miners’: Industrial Legacy and Contemporary Identity in Durham

Durham’s coal mines closed throughout the 1980s, despite dissent from local communities and mining unions. This was not an anomaly – under Conservative rule, mines were shut throughout the nation, yet these were largely concentrated in the North. As a result, a significant regional divide in unemployment, poverty, and general desolation was created. And yet, … Continue reading ‘You Can Get Rid of the Mines, But You Can’t Get Rid of the Miners’: Industrial Legacy and Contemporary Identity in Durham

Housing Reform: Not the Solution to a Prominent Problem

The government’s slogan of “Build, Build, Build”, coupled with radical reforms to the planning system, promises a utopia it will struggle to deliver.  The reforms centre around deregulation, with the aim being to make it easier to build homes where people want to live. Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick wrote in the Telegraph of the reforms … Continue reading Housing Reform: Not the Solution to a Prominent Problem

Gorillas, Galleries and Cage Fighting: How Visual Culture and Media Are Still Significant in Modern Politics

If a history student were to be asked about how visual culture and media can influence politics, they would surely think of examples such as British propaganda in the world wars, or the striking posters used in Nazi Germany. There is widespread agreement on the significant impact of this visual culture and media on people’s … Continue reading Gorillas, Galleries and Cage Fighting: How Visual Culture and Media Are Still Significant in Modern Politics

Will Britain’s History Ever Transcend Empire?

In recent months, racism in Britain has been widely discussed in the light of the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless other people worldwide. The Black Lives Matter movement has gained poignancy, with many supporters risking their lives to protest against systemic racism during the Covid-19 pandemic.  When discussing this issue with peers, … Continue reading Will Britain’s History Ever Transcend Empire?

Do the US Presidential Candidates Meet the ‘American Dream’?

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’ Declaration of Independence, 1776 The American Dream. It is a belief professed in America’s culture, literature, advertising and schools; the … Continue reading Do the US Presidential Candidates Meet the ‘American Dream’?

Historical Narratives: The Glorified and the Silenced Narratives of Spanish History

The bare, granite landscape of the Sierra de Guadarrama in Spain gives way to a 3,000-acre woodland that is home to the country’s most controversial monument. Soaring an impressive 150-metres high is a granite cross, raised dramatically above the basilica and valley. Beneath the Valle de los Caídos, or the Valley of the Fallen, are … Continue reading Historical Narratives: The Glorified and the Silenced Narratives of Spanish History

Does History Link to Geography?

Although separate disciplines, history and geography are tightly intertwined. While history attempts to examine human society, culture and experience through a temporal lense, geography does so through a spatial one. Physical geography and natural phenomena have undoubtedly influenced the course of history: the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, which caused massive global cooling, attests to … Continue reading Does History Link to Geography?

Why Events in the Gulf Still Matter: Implications of Peace Between Israel and the UAE

There’s a joke that goes as follows: ‘…and on the eighth day, God created the Middle East, and said “let there be breaking news”’. In this constant stream of events it can be hard to distinguish between the important and irrelevant – but make no mistake, mutual recognition between Israel and the United Arab Emirates … Continue reading Why Events in the Gulf Still Matter: Implications of Peace Between Israel and the UAE

The Politics of Food: Modern Sumptuary Law?

The politicisation of food by Boris Johnson’s government has proved to be a highly controversial issue. Whilst the necessity of what has been described as an “obesity crackdown” has been supported by Public Health England, there has been backlash surrounding the government’s strategy. In particular, the lack of meaningful support for the most financially-disadvantaged have … Continue reading The Politics of Food: Modern Sumptuary Law?

Do Belarus’ Protests Suggest a Chance for Change, like the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe?

This article will use Russian spellings of Belarusian names for the sake of consistency. When comparing the situation in Belarus today to the revolutions of 1989, we have to note that each country experienced a different revolution. Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians in the Baltics were trying to reverse the fifty-year long annexation of their nations … Continue reading Do Belarus’ Protests Suggest a Chance for Change, like the 1989 Revolutions in Eastern Europe?

Europe’s Hidden War: How Ukraine Struggles With Post-Soviet Nationalisms

13,000 fatalities. 3,300 dead civilians. These are the casualty numbers of a European war that seems like it could have taken place in the nineteenth century; nevertheless, it is de facto a war of the twenty-first century, and the numbers date from 2019. The war in Eastern Ukraine, sparked in 2014, continues to this day. … Continue reading Europe’s Hidden War: How Ukraine Struggles With Post-Soviet Nationalisms

Book Review: ‘The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence’ (2013) by Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros

This book has blown my mind. Honestly and truly, this is not an overstatement. The title itself encapsulates the purpose of the book, one which evidently drives every chapter. Gary Haugen, the book’s main author, is the founder of the International Justice Mission; a mass organisation that seeks to end the global injustice of human … Continue reading Book Review: ‘The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence’ (2013) by Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros

The Decolonisation of Mauritius Is Incomplete, It Must Now Come at All Costs

In March 1968, the Republic of Mauritius gained its independence from the United Kingdom. Despite the jubilation which ensued in the small Indian Ocean island nation, the coming of independence brought with it the territorial dismemberment of what was once Mauritius, a moral and legal injustice which still stands today. The decolonisation of Mauritius remains … Continue reading The Decolonisation of Mauritius Is Incomplete, It Must Now Come at All Costs

Orcadian Identity

Having recently returned from the Orkney Isles, one thing that struck me was the strength and uniqueness of Orcadian identity. The people on the island do not identify as Scottish, but rather relate their belonging to ‘the Mainland’. This is not the Scottish mainland, which is a mere fourteen miles away, but the most populated … Continue reading Orcadian Identity

Through the Lens of Stolypin: Understanding Vladimir Putin’s Personal Politics through his Historical Idol

Few pictures hang on the walls of President Putin’s office, but the portrait of the third Prime Minister of Russia, Pyotr Stolypin is more prominent than the rest. Putin has publicly praised Stolypin on multiple occasions and he has become commonly known as the President’s idol.  Following recent constitutional reform to keep Putin in power … Continue reading Through the Lens of Stolypin: Understanding Vladimir Putin’s Personal Politics through his Historical Idol

‘Accepting Violence and Violent Language Against Women:’ How Language is Used to Belittle Female Politicians

On Thursday the 23rd American Congresswoman for New York Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez came before congress to call for a point of personal privilege. Ms. Cortez sought to address her recent confrontation with Republican Congressman Ted Yoho who was overheard by a member of the press as calling her a ‘f***ing b***h.’ Mr. Yoho has denied using … Continue reading ‘Accepting Violence and Violent Language Against Women:’ How Language is Used to Belittle Female Politicians

Defining Peace: Re-evaluating the Assumptions Behind the Term

When we planned the third episode of the first series of History in Politics’ podcast Dead Current about peacebuilding and memory politics, we decided to begin by asking a broad question about peace in the world today versus peace in the world historically. And whilst we knew this question was challenging in that it is … Continue reading Defining Peace: Re-evaluating the Assumptions Behind the Term

Anti-Denial Laws: The Politics of Remembering

In many countries it is criminal to deny the Holocaust; yet, many historians have argued heavily against this concept. Do laws like these, which are passed by parliaments, unjustifiably limit the freedom of expression? Or are they necessary in the remembrance of genocides, such as the Holocaust, or the Armenian genocide? Holocaust deniers either state … Continue reading Anti-Denial Laws: The Politics of Remembering

The Floating Jew: Manifestations of Migration in Chagall’s Art

Although there are many distinct features of a Marc Chagall painting, it is the floating figures that are the artist’s most curious motif. In amongst the rich pastel colours and two-dimensional composition are people suspended in mid-air – an idea that features in some of his major works across his career, from 1915’s Birthday to … Continue reading The Floating Jew: Manifestations of Migration in Chagall’s Art

Deconstructing a Homage to Secularity: A Reflection of Turkey’s Changing Political Identity

After 85 years as a secular museum, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decreed the 1,500 year old Hagia Sophia will return to its former use as a Mosque. Hagia Sophia represents Turkey’s varied history; for a thousand years, the dome covered the largest indoor space in the world and remains a focal point of the … Continue reading Deconstructing a Homage to Secularity: A Reflection of Turkey’s Changing Political Identity

“Strong people don’t need strong leaders” – The Continual Impact of Women in the Black Freedom Struggle

With the ongoing global protests against police brutality and systemic racism sparked by the murder of George Floyd, it is now more important than ever to look back at the history of the civil rights and black liberation movements. When we look at these movements, the work and contributions of women are often overlooked, although … Continue reading “Strong people don’t need strong leaders” – The Continual Impact of Women in the Black Freedom Struggle

Decolonising the Curriculum

Whilst the #RhodesMustFall protests began over 5 years ago in South Africa and in the United Kingdom, misunderstanding has continued over movements to ‘decolonise the curriculum’. To ‘decolonise the curriculum’ means to question well established biases and gaps within teaching that limit our understanding of the world around us. Thus, the movement campaigns to give … Continue reading Decolonising the Curriculum

A Knock in the Dark: Venezuela’s Human Rights Violations

In a country ravaged by authoritarian socialism under dictator Nicolás Maduro, voicing opposition can be a death sentence. Freedom of speech and the right of expression are taken for granted where they exist, and it’s difficult for many in the West to envision a country whereby expressing a political opinion would endanger your own life … Continue reading A Knock in the Dark: Venezuela’s Human Rights Violations

A ‘Rooseveltian’ New Deal?

Speaking in the West Midlands on Tuesday, Boris Johnson unveiled the broad outlines of his strategy to tackle the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The Government’s unwillingness to issue an earlier lockdown at the end of March suggested their fear of the economic reverberations that a forced closure of retail, restaurants, and offices would … Continue reading A ‘Rooseveltian’ New Deal?

The War That Never Ends

It has now been 75 years since the Second World War ended, and yet it remains an inescapable presence in today’s politics. Numerous anachronistic comparisons plagued both sides of the debate during the Brexit campaign. Those voting Leave celebrated the ‘Dunkirk spirit’ of Britain, while those voting Remain rendered the referendum another ‘Eden moment’. There … Continue reading The War That Never Ends

Ireland’s New Government Shows the Limits to History in Politics

It has been a historic week for Ireland. After nearly 100 years, the Civil War divide appears to be coming to an end. Four months after a stunning election result, the newly formed government sees the two traditional parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, enter formal coalition with each other for the very first time. … Continue reading Ireland’s New Government Shows the Limits to History in Politics

Scotland and England: The Irrevocable Divide

The First Minister for Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party (SNP), is currently substantially ahead of Boris Johnson in Scottish opinion polls, largely due to her comparatively steady-handed and rational approach to the coronavirus crisis. Despite recent developments, however, I am not won over by the argument for Scottish independence. This discourse is … Continue reading Scotland and England: The Irrevocable Divide

Is our obsession with Great Men helpful? And other questions…

The tearing down of Edward Colston’s statue, and the defacing of many others, is not new. Love them or hate them, statues of gods, saints, heroes, and prominent individuals have always littered our streets. For as long as they have been in public locations, we have also challenged them; from melting down old Roman emperors, … Continue reading Is our obsession with Great Men helpful? And other questions…

George Floyd

History does not look kindly on bystanders but we must not allow our fear of this to determine our reaction to injustice. The killing of George Floyd has emblazoned social media with messages of protest in solidarity with movements such as Black Lives Matter. Unlike those who came before us, we are able to broadcast … Continue reading George Floyd


Follow Us

Get new content delivered directly to your inbox. Simply enter your email address below.

Become a Contributor

Interested in contributing to our blog? Check out the Contact Us page for more information.