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


The UK’s current ‘Chumocracy’ would have been all too familiar to our early modern forebears.

Current debates about cronyism and 'Chumocracy' suggest the world of the Reformation and Enlightenment - the Tudors and Stuarts - is more familiar than it might superficially appear.

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The Union Jack belongs to everyone, not just the government

An appropriate response to the government's recent updated guidance on the flying of the Union Jack would be for all of us to take control of the flag and not allow any political faction to set the agenda on its meaning and uses. 

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Back to the 1930s? After Brexit the UK arts sector is longing for links with countries in continental Europe.

The UK cultural sector’s experience of being cut off from continental Europe in terms of business opportunities and creative work as a result of Brexit, echoes discussions that took place in the 1930s.

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UK policy-makers need to understand the rhythm and rhyme of covert techniques

Recent history involving the use and management of covert intervention is highly relevant to current debates around defence and security.

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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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H&P is based at the Institute of Historical Research, Senate House, University of London.

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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