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


The Rwanda scheme and the uses and abuses of the Commonwealth

The British government's scheme to deport asylum seekers to Rwanda has been widely critised. But an element that has attracted surprisingly little attention is the Commonwealth context of the plan. Having only recently urged Rwanda to improve its human rights record in line with the Commonwealth Charter, the Johnson administration is now citing the fact that Rwanda is about to host the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting as evidence that the country is a safe destination for deportees.

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At “tipping point”: New report signals limited drive within the Home Office properly to address the Windrush scandal

 A much anticipated independent review published on the Windrush scandal last week found that the Home Office was still failing to learn properly from its past mistakes. This article argues that the government needs to overcome its selective amnesia and not only learn from but apologise for its treatment of the victims of the scandal and engage in a genuine process of reconciliation.

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When affirmative action was white: the work of Ira Katznelson

Simon Szreter revisits a classic paper from 2005 authored by Professor Ira Katznelson, which set out a history of the public policy that fostered black economic disadvantage in the United States.

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When black lives really did not matter

Trevor Burnard explores the shift in consciousness around the acceptibility of slavery in the mid-eighteenth century, and suggests how Britain should undertake a serious reckoning with this history.

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The fall of slavery: statues, symbols and social contention

Nick Draper recounts the inertia and resistance to change that led to the fall of the Colston statue. Historians now have a complex job to do in the new terms of debate.

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Restrictions on British colonial migrants in an era of free movement: the case of Cyprus

Evan Smith and Andrekos Varnava trace the roots of today's "hostile environment" to Britain's treatment of Cypriots between the wars - British citizens targeted with access controls a generation before Windrush.

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After the Windrush scandal: are other groups a target?

Mike Slaven and Christina Boswell trace the Windrush scandal to institutionalised "symbolic policy-making" at the Home Office and point up the implications for EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit.

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The integration of Muslims in Britain - a historical perspective

Professor Philip Wood looks at early Muslim traditions and the implications for integration of Muslims in Britain today

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Britain and Europe: An Uneasy History?

Prof. Robert Tombs offers an historical explanation of Britain's uneasy relationship with European integration. 

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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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