Why Universal Credit is Like The Victorian Workhouse

Alannah Tomkins, Keele University The UK’s Universal Credit programme, which aims to roll six forms of state welfare including unemployment and housing benefits into one, was launched in 2010 with the aim of supporting people to work. So far it has resulted in real hardship for numerous claimants. In early January, the minister in charge…

The Prosecution of Pirates Was a Model For Today’s System of International Justice

Mark Chadwick, Nottingham Trent University The Nuremberg and Tokyo trials, convened in the aftermath of World War II, are usually identified as the start of modern international criminal law. Prosecutions of international crime today take place either at international courts such as the permanent International Criminal Court in The Hague or, increasingly, in domestic courts,…

The Myth of the American Frontier Still Shapes U.S. Racial Divides

J.M. Opal, McGill University When Americans study their 19th-century history, they tend to look at its great conflicts, especially the epic clash over slavery. They are less likely to recall its broad areas of agreement. But what if those agreements are still shaping the present? What if Americans are still coping with their effects? The…

Why There’s No Modern Guide To Surviving a Nuclear War

The risk of thermonuclear war has rarely been greater. But despite the growing threat, the general public are less prepared than they ever have been to cope with an attack. With Trump in the White house, Putin in the Kremlin, North Korea testing ballistic missiles and the perilous state of military security, nuclear war is…

World Politics Explainer: Pinochet’s Chile

General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, a career military officer, was appointed Commander in Chief of the Chilean army by President Salvador Allende on August 1973. Eighteen days later, with the connivance, if not the assistance, of the US, he authorised a coup against Allende’s Socialist government. To be clear, Pinochet’s rule was not the first, last…

Everyone Knows About Karl Marx, But What About Friedrich Engels?

Backgrounding Marx is hard to do, especially when 2018 is the 200th anniversary of his birth and a huge number of global events are focusing on the great man. This is his usual “leader of the orchestra” position, with his life-long friend, constant benefactor and sometime co-author Engels in his usual role as second fiddle….

Michael Foot Spy Allegations and Why MI6 Should Come Clean About The Past

According to The Times the late Michael Foot, the former leader of the Labour Party, was a Soviet “confidential contact” on the payroll of the KGB to the tune of £37,000 (in today’s money). This might come as something of a shock to followers of British espionage news, who have long assumed that such claims were nonsense – especially after this was found to be the case in the High Court in 1995.

Trump Is Just The Latest U.S. President To Push Palestine Around

U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton is at it again. He recently issued a blistering rebuke of the International Criminal Court (ICC): “We will let the ICC die on its own. After all, for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead to us.”

In Syria’s Ruined Relics Lies The History of Human Civilisation

What makes us human? Whatever it is, it can be found in Syria. When the earliest hominids first came from Africa they passed through Syria, and their remains, together with the tools they made, can still be found there. Humans first settled here and learned to farm. They built the first towns here in the…

The British Council’s Mandela Exhibition: History or Corporate Whitewash?

The “Mandela and Me” exhibition at the British Council in London marks the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth in 1918. The exhibition is sponsored by Anglo American, the mining giant that was the biggest corporation in South Africa during apartheid and has, since 1999, been headquartered in London.