The war in Yemen is far away. But it is never far from significance. A British ally, Saudi Arabia, is leading an Arab coalition engaged in intervening in the country. This intervention is primarily directed against Houthi rebels, who have received material and moral support from Iran. British special forces are in the country; a supply of British arms plays an undeniable role. Continue reading
The Syrian war, as well as being a civil conflict, is also an imperial battlefield. But not in quite the way you might expect.
Syria has not been a playground for American imperial activities. Until recently it has seen far too little intervention from the United States. But two countries – at best regional powers – which have imperial ambitions of their own, have filled that gap. Continue reading
The formation of nations is not a concept which is too far from public consciousness in the West today; we are certainly aware of the challenges and opportunities associated with ‘nation building’, both in the immediate post-war situation in the 20th century and in the current century. In addition, the question of colonial powers creating nations – all too often portrayed as simply drawing lines on the map in the final rapid dash towards decolonisation – is something that cannot be avoided. Continue reading
Recently I have devoted a rather large amount of time to the study of Lord William Bentinck, whose career in diplomatic and military service during the Napoleonic Wars and afterwards was both dramatic and in many ways emblematic. He was a man who in some ways personified British imperialism; yet he also managed to transcend it – and some of his personal views and policies differed dramatically from what was considered orthodox in British governing circles at the time. Continue reading
This essay aims to explore one of the most attractive and oft-examined events in the history of Western Europe, namely the transition between the late Roman Republic and the early Empire, but from a wider perspective than that by which it is most frequently investigated. Rather than attempting to look at this period through the prism of military and political history exclusively, this essay will attempt to do so with reference to wider cultural indicators in addition to that previously mentioned. This piece concludes that this question is rather more complicated than conventional wisdom, and much earlier study, dictates, and that further and wider research is necessary in order for historians truly to appreciate the complexity of the issue at hand. Continue reading