Turning Right, Talking Left: David Cameron’s ‘Four Nations’ Conference Speech and the Ghosts of Tory Leaders Past


Richard Toye
History Department, University of Exeter

Follow on Twitter @RichardToye

Cross-posted from Four Nations History blog

In a special post, the University of Exeter’s Professor Richard Toye reacts to David Cameron’s speech to the 2014 Conservative party conference and reflects on the Prime Minister’s vision of the United Kingdom. 

David Cameron’s speech to the Conservative party conference started with a line that will make it of direct interest to the readers of this blog:

‘I am so proud to stand here today as Prime Minister of four nations in one United Kingdom.’

Confessing that the Scottish referendum had given him sleepless nights, Cameron boasted that the British people have now been confirmed as ‘one people in one union’. The explicit Unionist message naturally places him in a long Conservative tradition. And whereas much of the instant reaction focussed on the promise of tax cuts, reading the full speech leads to interesting reflections on the extent to which today’s Conservative Party follows in the rhetorical footsteps of its past leaders. Continue reading “Turning Right, Talking Left: David Cameron’s ‘Four Nations’ Conference Speech and the Ghosts of Tory Leaders Past”

Introducing: The Global Humanitarianism Research Academy

Fabian Klose (IEG Mainz), Johannes Paulmann (IEG Mainz), and Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter)



We are happy to announce that, in cooperation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva), we are starting the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) in July 2015.

This international Research Academy will offer research training to a group of advanced international PhD candidates and early postdoctoral scholars selected by the steering committee. It will combine academic sessions at the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz and the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is open to early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism,humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th centuries. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

The official Call for Applications will be soon published here onhttp://hhr.hypotheses.org/ and on https://imperialglobalexeter.com/, so if you are interested in applying keep following our blogs!

Exchanging Notes: Colonialism and Medicine in India and South Africa

Image courtesy of Wellcome Trust.
Image courtesy of Wellcome Trust.

Nandini Chatterjee
History Department, University of Exeter

Review of Poonam Bala ed. Medicine and Colonialism: Historical Perspectives in India and South AfricaLondon: Pickering and Chatto, 2014. Empires in Perspective Series. 240 pp. £60 (hardback) ISBN 13: 9781848934658; £24 (e-book) 9781781440872.

medicine and colonialism bookThe recent surge of interest in imperial history has been cross-fertilised by work on a number of other themes, such as knowledge formation, law and governance and trans-national connections. This collected volume of essays very usefully brings together a number of these trends to bear upon the crucial area of colonial medicine. Self-consciously aiming to be a comparative work and taking material from India and South Africa, it takes its cue from earlier works that aimed to ‘de-centre’ the metropolis-periphery model of conceptualising empire and colonialism.[1] While re-asserting the centrality of medical knowledge and practices to colonial rule, and the importance of the bodies of the colonised as sites for the exercise of colonial power, the book aims to move beyond a model of hegemony, domination and control. Instead, as the introductory essay outlines, the book’s trans-national methodology is intended to highlight ‘policies of European adaptation and resistance to initiatives of the colonized’ and the ‘transfer of ideas and knowledge in mutual engagements.’

Continue reading “Exchanging Notes: Colonialism and Medicine in India and South Africa”