Balancing Ideology with Pragmatism: Spain, Syria and returned ‘Foreign Fighters’

James Matthews was recently charged with terrorism offences for his participation in the Syrian Civil War. It itself this would seem unremarkable, except for the fact that he had not fought for the ‘Islamic State’ but for the Kurds, nominally one of the UK’s allies in the region. The controversial decision to charge Matthews for … Continue reading Balancing Ideology with Pragmatism: Spain, Syria and returned ‘Foreign Fighters’

Remembrance Day and (Not) Wearing the Poppy as an Historian

This was originally published on 11 November 2015 for Pubs and Publications. It was written in conjunction with Laura Harrison| November 11 is one of the few days of the year where history is placed at the centre of public discourse, as Britain stops to commemorate the victims of war. Two of our resident historians, Laura … Continue reading Remembrance Day and (Not) Wearing the Poppy as an Historian

Four-and-Twenty Nations? Writing about British participation in the Spanish Civil War

This was originally published on 21 September 2015 for Four Nations History | Unlike the vast majority of contributors to this blog, before writing this piece I needed to surreptitiously check what the working definition of ‘Four Nations History’ actually was. By training and inclination my roots lie in European history, and I have been inflicted … Continue reading Four-and-Twenty Nations? Writing about British participation in the Spanish Civil War