Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. The H&P office can help historians to publish Opinion Articles in the national media or on this website. We currently have 153 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


The poor still can’t cook

Initial responses to the recent All-Party Parliamentary report, Feeding Britain, reveal that the poorest in society face similar economic difficulties – and attitudes – to those found a century ago. Jennifer Doyle explores public debates about food and women during the First World War. 

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The legacy of GP attitudes to mentally ill older people

Historical evidence of doctors’ attitudes towards mentally ill older patients may help explain the current initiative to pay GPs for diagnosing dementia. The evidence also suggests alternative policies that would assist doctors and ultimately improve quality of life for patients, argues Dr Claire Hilton.  

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History and future of British trade identities

Dr David Thackeray, of Exeter University, argues that the history of British trade offers important insights for policy makers about major political issues today, from devolution and EU membership, to relations between Commonwealth nations and the growing role of ‘soft power.’

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The marrying kind? Marriage, freedom and the state in modern Britain

Love can bloom in myriad forms in 21st century Britain. In 2014 same-sex marriage was legalised and forced marriage criminalised. Is freedom of choice in marriage the touchstone of a tolerant society? Dr Julia Moses, of Sheffield University, explores the complex and often conflicting relationship between individual freedoms and state regulation of the family, revealing changing ideas and rules about marriage in Britain since the 16th century. 

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Could imperial history help US foreign policy makers?

As the UK considers joining America in bombing the terrorist group Islamic State (IS) in Iraq, Dr Marc-William Palen considers the light early-twentieth century theorists can throw on today’s state-sponsored militarism, democratic and despotic alike. 

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The imperial legacy of the Scottish independence referendum

 If the British Empire still existed, there would be no talk of Scottish independence, argues Dr Bryan Glass, of Texas State University, who examines the imperial legacy of today’s referendum.  

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The Health and Safety at Work Act, 40 years on

History shows that hackneyed rhetoric about 'health and safety gone mad' fails to understand the benefits of the 1974 Act, which has saved untold numbers of lives since it was passed 40 years ago this week. Dr Mike Esbester of Portsmouth University investigates. 

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‘From magic sponge to magic spray’: football and sports medicine

In the wake of the 2014 World Cup, Dr Neil Carter, of De Montfort University, examines the historical developments underpinning the relationship between sport, particularly football, and medicine. 

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How did he get away with so much for so long? The press and Jimmy Savile

It's not only the NHS and BBC that can learn lessons from the Savile investigations. Dr Adrian Bingham, of Sheffield University, argues in an new opinion piece co-published with Opendemocracy that press culture at the time contributed to Savile's ability to abuse.

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The UK khat ban: ‘protecting vulnerable communities’?

As khat is banned in the UK today, Dr Luke Gibbon, of Strathclyde University, considers past prohibitions of the herbal stimulant in colonial Aden and Kenya - which had unintended negative consequences and ended in failure. 

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H&P is a unique collaboration between the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London and the University of Cambridge.

We are the only project in the UK providing access to an international network of more than 500 historians with a broad range of expertise. H&P offers a range of resources for historians, policy makers and journalists.

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