Opinion Articles

H&P encourages historians to use their expertise to shed light on issues of the day. If you are interested in submitting an opinion piece for publication, please see our editorial guidelines. We currently have 293 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


Covid-19, mutual aid and the impact of history

Bernard Harris explores the perceived decline in mutual social obligation and civic bonds in the UK and suggests that, real or not, it may have shaped Covid-19 response planning. Perceptions of history can affect calculations where lives hang in the balance.

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Fixing loneliness – a pre-pandemic problem

Loneliness is discussed as a key effect of the pandemic, but David Vincent points out that the problem pre-dates Covid-19 and there is little evidence yet that the crisis has made things worse

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STEM subjects and the ‘market’ in education since the 1960s

Governments since the 1960s have tried to steer students towards the 'correct' educational choices to meet perceived national needs. Should they not just wait out the current trends?, asks Peter Mandler.

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Thucydides on epidemics and social norms

Thucydides' account of the Athenian plague and its social disruption has been heavily drawn upon during today's pandemic, as Neville Morley explains. Yet Thucydides was not offering immutable laws of human behaviour – and there are aspects of today's social norms around Covid-19 that he might have approved.

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After the statues fall: decolonising Hellenic studies

Professor Paul Cartledge, newly appointed President of the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies, reflects on recent protest movements and the need for decolonisation and renewal in the classics – and in the great museum collections.

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School meals and child welfare in times of crisis: the past and future of welfare policy

Marcus Rashford's intervention prompted a government u-turn on providing free school meals over the summer – Bernard Harris explores how previous crisis moments have led to the expansion of the school meal programme, and of welfare more generally.

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India’s worst affected: the socio-economic parallels between influenza (1918-19) and Covid-19 in Mumbai

Mrunmayee Satam shows that mortality rates in the influenza epidemic of 1918-19 differed startlingly by caste in Mumbai, and the same risks remain today in the city's most congested quarters, where social distancing and self-quarantine is all but impossible

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When affirmative action was white: the work of Ira Katznelson

Simon Szreter revisits a classic paper from 2005 authored by Professor Ira Katznelson, which set out a history of the public policy that fostered black economic disadvantage in the United States.

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When black lives really did not matter

Trevor Burnard explores the shift in consciousness around the acceptibility of slavery in the mid-eighteenth century, and suggests how Britain should undertake a serious reckoning with this history.

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Not business as usual: a feminist map for the post-Covid future

Lucy Delap, D-M Withers and Margaretta Jolly on the approaches feminist thought has taken to business and sustainability, and how we can use those lessons in a post-Covid future.

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H&P is an expanding Partnership based at King's College London and the University of Cambridge, and additionally supported by the University of Leeds, the University of Liverpool and the Open University.

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