Opinion

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 pieces in the national media or on this website. You can view a full list of over 120 opinion pieces on the website, listed by date.

If you are a historian interested in writing an opinion piece, please click here.

Latest H&P opinion pieces

The forgotten Benn

Professor Steven Fielding considers Benn's challenge to the Labour Party to respond to the transformations of the 1960s and galvanise a grassroots progressive politics.

Published: 18 March 2014

Tony Benn and the radical socialist tradition

Jad Adams explores the radical socialist tradition in which Tony Benn was firmly rooted.

Published: 18 March 2014

Visiting the Pope: the monarch's private visit

It is a mistake to see Queen's visit to the Pope this April as just another overseas royal visit, says Dr Matthew Glencross, of the Institute of Contemporary British History at King's College London. In many ways the complex protocol make such visits tricky - as the history of British monarchs meeting the Pontiff reveals.

Published: 14 February 2014

War commemorations and politics: Lessons from the nineteenth century

A recent row over how the First World War should be remembered has raised questions about the politicisation of war memory. Karine Varley considers the Franco-Prussian war, and how 'light-touch' commemoration by the French state allowed memories of war deaths to be kept alive in meaningful ways.

Published: 13 January 2013

'Children' and the nanny state: shifting the boundaries of adolescence

The Conservatives and Labour are developing policies on jobs and benefits that would remove certain rights from under-25-year-olds, building on a trend that has existed since adolescence was first defined in the nineteenth century, according to Laura Tisdall in a new H&P opinion piece.

Published: 4 December 2013

Edward VII: a role model for Charles?

Prince Charles marked his 65th birthday at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo last week. During a nine-day visit to India beforehand, he spoke about an earlier royal tour, in 1873, by his great great grandfather, King Edward VII, then Prince of Wales. Matthew Glencross, of King's College London, considers the previous longest serving heir as a role model for Prince Charles.

Published: 19 November 2013

The Commonwealth Heads of Government: a question of leadership

As the Commonwealth Heads of Government meet in Colombo - a meeting boycotted by India and Canada in protest at Sri Lanka's human rights record - Sue Onslow considers how the Commonwealth's handling of contentious issues in the past can help the organisation today.

Published: 14 November 2013

Historical method and international crises: weapons of mass destruction in Syria

As UN weapons inspectors prepare to destroy Syria's means of producing chemical weapons, Dr Ibrahim al-Marashi, of California State University San Marcos, explains how a historian's methods and tools of analysis can help policy makers in international crises.

Published: 29 October 2013

Everything is history

In surveillance almost everything is history. Professor David Vincent, of the Open University, argues the seeds for current concerns about the privacy of our communications were sown in the nineteenth century.

Published: 16 October 2013

Debating the 'good death':a long view

What earlier generations knew as 'the King of Terrors' has become a twenty-first century taboo. Developments in law and medicine, increasingly diverse religious views, and the rise of secularism have changed our thinking about death. Dr Carl Watkins, of Cambridge University, suggests that examining fifteenth to nineteenth century beliefs and rituals around death might encourage us to break the silence today and consider how we manage the end of life.

Published: 15 October 2013

Britain and the formation of modern Yemen

50 years ago today, a revolt began in the Radfan region of South Arabia, now Yemen, catalysing a national liberation struggle with far reaching consequences for Yemen, Britain and international security today. Dr Aaron Edwards, of the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, looks back to 14 October 1963.

Published: 14 October 2013

No glass ceiling for female officers?

'There are no glass ceilings for female officers,' Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said in response to the promotion of Elaine West, the first woman in the RAF to attain 2-star rank. If that is true today, it was not so for earlier generations argues Kathleen Sherit, who considers the overt and covert barriers to the career development of women in the RAF.

Published: 29 August 2013

Why Thatcher's attempt to boycott the 1980 Moscow Olympics failed

In 1980 an Olympic boycott offered a viable means of 'fighting' the Cold War but as Dr Paul Corthorn, of Queen's University Belfast, explains, this attempt at using 'soft power' failed because of mishandling by the Thatcher Government.

Published: 6 August 2013

The Strasbourg court is anti-democratic, just as its founders intended

Uproar and calls to curtail the powers of the European Court of Human Rights frequently follow rulings from Strasbourg - particularly on the right of the political spectrum. Dr Marco Duranti, of Sydney University, points out that the Tories have only themselves to blame.

Published: 31 July 2013

Baby George is named, but beware the christening

George has been the most frequently adopted name for British monarchs over the last 300 years. Dr Andrew C. Thompson, of Cambridge University, considers their respective characters, abilities and reputations to understand the politics of naming baby Cambridge, George.

Published: 26 July 2013

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