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


Arming Ukraine: lessons from the European conflicts of the twentieth century

While it is tempting to read the Russian attack on Ukraine in terms of a revival of Cold War geopolitics, we need to go further back - to the failed appeasement of Nazi Germany and to the Spanish Civil War - to find more pointed lessons for how the West should respond to Putin's aggression.

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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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Historical messages emerging from Ukraine: autocrats, information, and the cost of freedom

Although the invasion of Ukraine will evoke memories of the suffering imposed on its people by the regime of Joseph Stalin, in an age of smartphones Vladimir Putin lacks Stalin's ability to control the flow of information. Members of the Russian military know they are likely to be held to account, and that their actions in Ukraine will haunt them for the rest of their lives.

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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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Mines: the original “autonomous weapons” and the failure of early 20th century arms control

Combat drones are a contentious topic, but these are not the first "autonomous weapon" in history. Richard Dunley on the early twentieth century precedent of mines, and the lessons for those seeking arms control today.

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Brexit and the case for a naval policy renaissance

Duncan Redford argues that Brexit is unlikely to lead to a resurgence of public support for increased naval power - the history of similar attempts to engage the public on this issue is not encouraging for the pro-naval lobby.

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GCHQ - a new authorised history

The first official history of GCHQ - Britain's most secretive secret service - will be published in 2019. Dan Lomas and Chris Murphy examine the context for the decision and the consequences for historiography.

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The problems of prohibition: chemical weapons and the Syrian conflict

If government and / or opposition forces are found to be responsible for using chemical agents in Syria, what might this mean for international efforts at preventing chemical warfare, particularly within intra-state conflicts? Caitriona McLeish, Alex Spelling and Brian Balmer discuss with reference to the historical context of chemical and biological weapons (CBW) prohibition.

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Defence Reviews: strategic and otherwise

Martin Farr offers a historical context to the Strategic Defence and Security Review.

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History & Defence: Need for long-term reflection at a time of great change

Linda Risso laments the lack of historians engaging in defence policy issues. 

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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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