Category Archives: European History

The European Extreme Right Yesterday and Today

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Alban Bargain-Villéger Studies on the European ultra-nationalist right are not exactly rare. Over the last couple of decades, many a tree has been felled and much ink has been spilled on the extreme right in our day and age and its connections (or lack thereof) with the fascist movements and parties of old. But despite the abundance of works on… Read more »

History for Children? Watching “Once Upon a Time… Man” as an Adult in the 21st Century

By Alban Bargain-Villéger On a hot July night, while in the throes of insomnia, I found myself waxing nostalgic and decided to revisit my favourite childhood animated series. After watching a few episodes of Cobra and The Mysterious Cities of Gold (also fascinating animation series in their own right) I realized that Once Upon a Time… Man (Il était une… Read more »

Remote Silvertown Transforms Again

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By Jim Clifford Industrial Silvertown is not a standard tourist attraction in London, though in recent years thousands of people have peered down on the remaining factories from the Emirates Air Line cable cars as they descend toward Victoria Dock and the ExCel convention centre. It was nonetheless a really important region of heavy industrial development during the late nineteenth century and… Read more »

Literature and History: Michel Houellebecq’s Soumission and the Politics of Cultural Despair

By Alban Bargain–Villéger Even today, literary fiction can still provide an ideal entry point into historical studies. Although this might seem like stating the obvious, one has to recognise that the increasing overspecialization of history as a discipline has hindered the ability and/or willingness of many historians to explore universes outside of their respective fields. Nonetheless, it is clear that… Read more »

1847 and 2010: Ugly Manifestations of the Macroeconomic Trilemma

By David Zylberberg On January 25, 2015 Greece’s New Democracy government led by Antonis Samaras lost its bid for re-election. Meanwhile, its coalition partner, PASOK, received less than 5% of the vote, despite having been the largest party in recent decades and in government for over half of the last 40 years. They were voted out after presiding over the worst… Read more »

The king in a car park: Digging up Richard III

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By Daniel Ross “Bloody thou art; bloody will be thy end.” Duchess of York, Act IV, Scene IV, Richard III Shakespeare’s Richard III is one of fiction’s classic villains, a schemer who knocks off one family member after another on his way to the crown. Even his mother the Duchess would rather he was dead, and she gets her wish… Read more »

Charlie Hebdo in Historical Context

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By Geoff Read One of the courses I teach at Huron University College is called “Current Crises in Historical Context,” wherein we use the tools of historical analysis to try to shed light on the origins of some of the crises confronting the world. This year we are looking at topics such as the Russian annexation of the Crimea, the… Read more »

Who/What Really Is Charlie?

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By Alban Bargain-Villéger In the wake of the January 7-9 attacks in France, millions of tweets, millions of demonstrators, thousands of heads of state, intellectuals, and celebrities of all kinds not only condemned the murders of seventeen people (including four as a result of an anti-Semitic hostage taking linked to the other shootings), but also praised Charlie Hebdo’s courage in… Read more »

“We Are the People:” Nativism in Germany?

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By Aitana Guia On Mondays for the past 13 weeks, thousands of Germans have marched on Dresden declaring “Wir sind das Volk,” we are the people. Were it 1989 on the eve of the collapse of the Berlin Wall, these same protestors might have been those who delivered the message to the Communist government of the German Democratic Republic that… Read more »

Putin’s Lessons from History

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By Andriy Zayarnyuk Now that Vladimir Putin has acknowledged his responsibility for invading Ukraine in February 2013, finding out about his worldview is no longer a matter of mere curiosity. Putin’s statements of the last decade demonstrate that his thinking about Ukraine and Russia is deeply mired in history. Already in 2005, reminding the upper chamber of the Russian parliament… Read more »