Q&A: What Can Red Cross Records Say About History of Humanitarianism & Human Rights?

q&a

An Imperial & Global Forum Interview

Professor Richard Toye (RT) interviews Centre Director Andrew Thompson (AT). Professor Thompson recently returned from an archival visit to the ICRC and would like to thank Jean-Luc Blondel and his colleagues for their assistance and guidance.

RT: Andrew, you’ve recently come back from Geneva, where you’ve been doing some archival research. What were you looking at and why?

AT: I was looking at two sets of files in the archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross that have not yet been publicly released. The first on the Nigeria-Biafran War – a watershed in the history of the ICRC as well as a conflict that has been aptly described as the “crucible of modern humanitarianism”. Continue reading “Q&A: What Can Red Cross Records Say About History of Humanitarianism & Human Rights?”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Map of the “Panacot” shoal, today's Scarborough Shoal, 1770. Drawn by Britain's Royal Hydrographer. National Library of Australia
Map of the “Panacot” shoal, today’s Scarborough Shoal, 1770. Drawn by Britain’s Royal Hydrographer. National Library of Australia

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From using historical maps to thwart Chinese expansion, to the world’s retreat from globalization, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Decolonization, Revolution, and the EGO

decolonize

Fabian Klose
Cross-posted from Humanitarianism and Human Rights
Follow on Twitter @FabianMKlose

The age of decolonization is of crucial importance for our understanding of today’s world. By dissolving colonial rule around the world, this process led to the emergence of new sovereign states, thereby permanently changing international relations and international law.

The third phase of decolonization is the one most closely associated with the term “decolonization” today – and which refers to the end of European colonial rule after 1945. The process of the dissolution of the European overseas empires had a profound effect on the course of international history during the 20th century. This process occurred relatively quickly given that colonial rule had existed in some cases for a number of centuries. Only after just 30 years, from 1945 to 1975, all the colonial empires had disappeared from the global map.

Continue reading “Decolonization, Revolution, and the EGO”

This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History

Sultan Mahomet, in Paul Rycaut, Paul, The present state of the Ottoman Empire (1670). Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection.
Sultan Mahomet, in Paul Rycaut’s The present state of the Ottoman Empire (1670). Folger Shakespeare Library Digital Image Collection.

Marc-William Palen
History Department, University of Exeter
Follow on Twitter @MWPalen

From new free digital archives to a new round of history wars, here are this week’s top picks in imperial and global history. Continue reading “This Week’s Top Picks in Imperial & Global History”

Socialism Goes Global: Cold War Connections Between the ‘Second’ and ‘Third Worlds’ 1945-1991

Global-South-America-Brazil-and-Argentina

James Mark
History Department, University of Exeter

The University of Exeter, in collaboration with the Universities of Oxford, Columbia, Leipzig and Belgrade, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and University College London, has recently been awarded a major Arts and Humanities Research Council Grant (2014-18) to address the relationship between what were once called the ‘Second World’ (from the Soviet Union to the GDR) and the ‘Third World’ (from Latin America to Africa to Asia).

In the post-war period, as both decolonization and new forms of globalisation accelerated, new linkages opened up, and existing ties were remade, between these ‘worlds’. Contacts multiplied through, for instance, the development of political bonds; economic development and aid; health and cultural and academic projects; as well as military interventions.

Yet these important encounters, and their impacts on national, regional and global histories, have hitherto only played a marginal role in accounts of late 20th century globalization, which have mainly focused on links between the West and former colonies, or between the countries of the ‘Global South’. Continue reading “Socialism Goes Global: Cold War Connections Between the ‘Second’ and ‘Third Worlds’ 1945-1991”

Why do We Neglect Radio Sources When Studying #WW2?

World War Two. England. 1938. The family at home, tuning in to hear the news on the radio news. They have gas masks at the ready.

Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

It’s often struck me that historians of World War II don’t make nearly as much use as they might of radio sources.

By contrast, they draw on newspapers to a much greater extent. Of course, the print media was important, but in order to capture people’s lived experience of the conflict the significance of radio has to be appreciated. Continue reading “Why do We Neglect Radio Sources When Studying #WW2?”