Debating Human Rights and Decolonization

human rights logoFabian Klose
Leibniz Institute of European History, Mainz
Humanitarianism & Human Rights

What was the role that universal human rights played in the process of decolonization? What links can we identify between both phenomena as they gained real momentum after 1945?

For too long historical research has neglected this issue. Only a few books on the historiography of the human rights idea linked the dissolution of European colonial empires with the debates on universal fundamental rights. Particular mention should be made here of the work by Paul Gordon Lauren (The Evolution of International Human Rights. Visions Seen, Philadelphia 1998) and Brian Simpson (Human Rights and the End of Empire. Britain and Genesis of the European Convention, Oxford 2001), who both addressed for the first time the important connections between human rights discourse and the end of colonial rule. Continue reading “Debating Human Rights and Decolonization”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Marc-William Palen

There has been a great deal of imperial/global news this week:

Photo from a BBC News Night interview with Stuart Hall.
Photo from a BBC News Night interview with Stuart Hall.

*Jamaican-born scholar-activist Stuart Hall passed away at the age of 82. He was the ‘god-father of multiculturalism‘ and a leading cultural theorist. He was also founding editor of the New Left Review and, as the Guardian puts it, he insisted Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Exeter’s ‘The Rhetoric of Empire Conference’, 22-23 May

Martin Thomas 

Announcing a two-day conference hosted by Exeter University’s Centre for War, State and Society22 – 23 May 2014

RhetoricofEmpireConpicWhy did imperialist language become so pervasive in Britain, France and elsewhere in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries? What rhetorical devices did political and military leaders, administrators, investors and lobbyists use to justify colonial domination before domestic and foreign audiences? And how far did their colonial opponents mobilize a different rhetoric of rights and freedoms to challenge imperialist discourse? These are some of the questions that we hope to address during this two-day conference, which is funded under a three-year Leverhulme Trust research project led by Professors Martin Thomas and Richard Toye. Continue reading “Exeter’s ‘The Rhetoric of Empire Conference’, 22-23 May”

The Surprising Mr. Churchill

The Imperial & Global Forum is delighted to introduce a collaborative post from Exeter’s History undergraduate students. 

Authors: Jessica Elkington, Hannah Linton, Rachel Smith, William Griffiths, Alice Montague-Johnstone, Leo Springate, William Thomson, Edward Jones, James McCue, Thomas Lambert, Peter Dyson, Gillian Allen, Barnaby Bracher, Katrina Wolfe, Alex Manning, Justin Chan, Adam Collins

Churchill surprising
Winston Churchill. Reg Speller/Getty Images

Winston Churchill is one of history’s most famous figures. But most people’s image of him is derived from a short, if crucial, period of his long life: his campaign against appeasement in the 1930s and his subsequent leadership of Britain in the Second World War. As History students studying the module ‘Churchill and the British Empire’ at Exeter University, we have discovered that he was a figure of greater complexity than most people realise. Here are the most surprising things we have found out so far. Continue reading “The Surprising Mr. Churchill”

2 New History Lectureships Available at Exeter

Lecturer in East/South Asian History, pre-1950 (Education and Research)

University of Exeter -College of Humanities

Ref. P46095

The result of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise confirms Exeter’s position as one of the UK’s leading research-intensive universities. Almost 90% of our research is at internationally recognised levels and every single subject submitted included world-leading (4*) research. When adjusted for the 95% of staff submitted, Exeter ranks among the top 15 in the UK for research out of 159 higher education institutions. The Times Higher Education described Exeter as ‘a rising star among research-intensive institutions’. Continue reading “2 New History Lectureships Available at Exeter”

The Recall of the Legions: A New Perspective on the Anglo-German Naval Rivalry

 David Morgan-Owen
navalWWIVisiting Research Fellow, National Museum of the Royal Navy

British naval policy in the First World War era has become a topic of considerable debate in the last two decades. One of the key issues with which historians have grappled has been the question of the relative importance assigned to home and imperial defence by contemporary politicians and defence planners. Continue reading “The Recall of the Legions: A New Perspective on the Anglo-German Naval Rivalry”

CFP: Entangled Transitions: Between Eastern and Southern Europe 1960s-2014

James Mark

In under two decades, authoritarian political systems collapsed across Europe – in the south of the continent in the 1970s, and then in the east between 1989 and 1991. Although much work has been done on these processes in each region, and comparative work carried out on post-authoritarian transitions and memories, there has yet to be any sustained scholarship that examines the ‘entangledness’ of these processes in the context of broader European and global processes of the late Cold War and its aftermath. Taking a longue durée approach, this conference will explore these inter-relationships between the 1960s and the present day. 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of state socialism and the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the transition from dictatorship on the Iberian Peninsula and in Greece: an ideal time to consider the relationship between these processes that have been central to modern European history. Continue reading “CFP: Entangled Transitions: Between Eastern and Southern Europe 1960s-2014”