Histories of the Present

Non-Returners: Forced Repatriation of Soviet Citizens and the Development of Refugee Protections

The international community is facing numerous migration crises, much like those that drove the development of international refugee rights and protections in the twentieth century. But instead of embracing and strengthening legal mechanisms to protect these people, we are seeing them undermined by nationalist and anti-democratic forces. With that in mind, the historical context in which international rights for asylum seekers developed offers important perspective on what makes them valuable.

Abortion and the Conservative Party

On Sunday 9June 2019, the foreign secretary and Conservative leadership candidate Jeremy Hunt told Sky News’ Sophie Ridge that he maintains his personal support for lowering the abortion ban in Great Britain from 24- to 12-weeks and that he would vote for a private member’s bill to this effect if one were brought forth while he was leader.  While he later clarified that he would not bring forward government legislation to change the country’s abortion law, his statements raised alarm bells with many pro-choice advocates.

Remembering Red Clydeside: whose memory is it anyway?

On Sunday 5th May 2019, Glasgow’s annual May Day demonstration marked the final and largest centenary event commemorating the events of 1919. Commemoration of the Battle of George Square has interested diverse groups of researchers, activists and institutions. Its politics are negotiated between conflicting claims grounded in assertions of authenticity, familial connection and intellectual authority. Respect for tradition meets the desire to create a ‘usable past’ fit for the second decade of the 21st century. How do these conflicting ideologies wrestle to find meaning and relevance in the city’s radical past?