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

Suez, Brexit, and the Future of the Special Relationship

Comparisons with the Suez Crisis of 1956 regularly appear in the press. Parallels have been drawn with Brexit as a foreign policy failure of similar or greater magnitude. Suez had major implications for Anglo-American relations. But the recent meeting between Joe Biden and Rishi Sunak suggests the transatlantic bond remains strong. So how does Suez help us understand the changing nature of this relationship?

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The elephant in the room: the benefits of a progressive alliance

Alastair J Reid asks why the main opposition parties are so against forming alliances with each other, and suggests that they look more deeply into their own party histories.

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Boris Becker’s prison revelations and the role of celebrities in prison reform

From Oscar Wilde to Boris Becker, Professor Rosalind Crone asks whether a celebrity prepared to share their lived experience of the prison system could play an important role in driving radical prison reform. 

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The deep past provides a context for King Charles’s coronation

With 6 May looming, David Pratt argues that more engagement is needed with the medieval roots of the modern coronation service. History might help to address some tricky modern problems.

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Lineker is following a long tradition of football sticking it to the authorities

The recent controversy around Gary Lineker's comments on the government's approach to immigration and asylum has seen calls for politics to be kept out of sport. But as Chris Lee argues, sport has always been political and Lineker is just the latest figure from the footballing world to stand up to the authorities.

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The self-reflective turn in historical writing and the demise of identity history

This paper briefly considers some of the issues addressed in Stefan Berger’s new book, History and Identity. How Historical Theory Shapes Historical Practice, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022.

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Taking Back Control of the Prosecution Process

Understandable frustration at a huge backlog in cases awaiting trial has led Chief Constables to demand that the charging process is taken back into the hands of police. History suggests, however, that this might not in itself provide solutions that ensure consistency and serve the public interest.

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Anger as Home Secretary ditches key review recommendations, failing Windrush scandal survivors and campaigners

Dr Eve Hayes de Kalaf argues that the recent announcement by the Home Office that it is dropping three of the 30 recommendations proposed by Wendy Williams in her government-commissioned review of the Windrush Scandal suggests a disregard for those whose lives were turned upside down by the actions of the authorities and an unwillingness to learn lessons from recent history.

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A Historical Model for Clean Renewable Energy? The Proto-Industrial Revolution of the 16th Century in the Veneto.

During the sixteenth century, the Venetian Republic encouraged technical innovations as a means of boosting economic growth. Hydraulic power was in widespread use across a range of industries, leaving material traces in the landscape. Can these early modern technologies show us how to harness water-power as clean renewable source of energy for manufacturing today?

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Is ‘Social Value 2032’ assured? Possible lessons from angry Edwardian shopkeepers for the Social Value Act’s future

2022 saw the 10th anniversary of the Public Services Act (sometimes referred to as the Social Value Act) which obliged public authorities to consider how they might improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of an area when awarding contracts. While the objective of enshrining 'social value' in law is commendable, the early twentieth-century experience of the British Co-operative Movement (the Co-op), which also sought to promote broader social benefits, suggests that the project might create unintended consequences including a politicised movement of opposition.

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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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