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 299 Opinion Articles listed by date and they are all freely searchable by theme, author or keyword.


Covid-19 is not a Black Swan: predictable shocks need fully-funded, resilient public services

In a globalised world, new pathogens made their way to Britain and killed thousands, while a social security system depleted for ideological motives failed to cope. Not today, but the 1830s and 1840s, says Simon Szreter.

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The need for a new National Food Policy: food supply problems during national emergencies

Supply chain inadequacies and agricultural worker shortages - the Covid crisis is highlighting the lack of a coherent and integrated national food policy, say John Martin and James P. Bowen

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Public Enemy number one: terrorism, security, and Covid-19

The terrorist threat metaphor acted as a wake-up call at the start of the crisis, says Chris Millington – but it may open the door to authoritarian measures in the name of public health security.

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Soldiering a pandemic: the threat of militarized rhetoric in addressing Covid-19

Christoph Laucht and Susan T. Jackson explore the language leaders deploy to map certainty onto an uncertain, frightening time - but at what cost to international co-operation, and to individual empowerment? 

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A matter of life and death: football, conflict and the coronavirus

Tosh Warwick on the precedents for dealing with sporting fixture postponement and cancellation, from smallpox outbreaks of previous eras.

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Hospital visiting in epidemics: an old debate reopened

Graham Mooney and Jonathan Reinarz on the history of access to infectious patients, and how hospitals are tackling emotional contact, support and grief in the current crisis.

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On infection parties, herd immunity and other half-truths

The history of smallpox's eradication shows how risky attempts at creating immunity can be, says Anita Guerrini.

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Does Coronavirus spell the end for neoliberalism?

Adrian Williamson asks what the government's stimulus plan of March might mean for the future.

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Covid-19 and the 1918 ‘Spanish ‘flu’: differences give us a measure of hope

Michael Bresalier shows that the backdrop of war to the 1918 pandemic, as well as the lack of global governance and the state of clinical knowledge, formed very different circumstances to those of today.

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Epidemic control in Chinese public health: past and present

Mary Augusta Brazelton relates the history of a public health approach that has incorporated coercion, persuasion, education – and most recently, "medical diplomacy"

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