Recent Publications

Please see all OHM publications on the OUP website.


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Confession and Criminal Justice in Late Medieval Italy
Lidia Luisa Zanetti Domingues


In medieval Italy the practice of revenge as criminal justice was still popular amongst members of all social classes, yet crime also was increasingly perceived as a public matter that needed to be dealt with by the government rather than private citizens. Confession and Criminal Justice in Late Medieval Italy sheds light on this contradiction through an in-depth comparison of lay and religious sources produced in Siena between 1260 and 1330 on criminal justice, conflict, and violence.

Confession and Criminal Justice in Late Medieval Italy: argues that religious people were an effective pressure group with regards to criminal justice, thanks both to the literary works they produced and their direct intervention in political affairs, and that their contributions have not received the attention they deserve. It shows that the dichotomy between theories and practices of 'private' and of 'public' justice should be substituted by a framework in which three models, or discourses, of criminal justice are recognised as present in medieval Italian communes, with the addition of a specifically religious discourse based on penitential spirituality. Although the models of criminal justice were competing, they also influenced each other.

ISBN: 9780192844866
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Michael Young, Social Science, and the British Left, 1945-1970
Lise Butler


In post-war Britain, left-wing policy maker and sociologist Michael Young played a major role in shaping British intellectual, political, and cultural life, using his study of the social sciences to inform his political thought.

In the mid-twentieth century the social sciences significantly expanded, and played a major role in shaping British intellectual, political and cultural life. Central to this intellectual shift was the left-wing policy maker and sociologist Michael Young. As a Labour Party policy maker in the 1940s, Young was a key architect of the Party's 1945 election manifesto, 'Let Us Face the Future'. He became a sociologist in the 1950s, publishing a classic study of the East London working class, Family and Kinship in East London with Peter Willmott in 1957, which he followed up with a dystopian satire, The Rise of the Meritocracy, about a future society in which social status was determined entirely by intelligence. Young was also a prolific social innovator, founding or inspiring dozens of organisations, including the Institute of Community Studies, the Consumers' Association, Which?magazine, the Social Science Research Council and the Open University. Moving between politics, social science, and activism, Young believed that disciplines like sociology, psychology and anthropology could help policy makers and politicians understand human nature, which in turn could help them to build better political and social institutions.

This book examines the relationship between social science and public policy in left-wing politics between the end of the Second World War and the end of the first Wilson government through the figure of Michael Young. Drawing on Young's prolific writings, and his intellectual and political networks, it argues that he and other social scientists and policy makers drew on contemporary ideas from the social sciences to challenge key Labour values, like full employment and nationalisation, and to argue that the Labour Party should put more emphasis on relationships, family, and community. Showing that the social sciences were embedded in the project of social democratic governance in post-war Britain, it argues that historians and scholars should take their role in British politics and political thought seriously.

ISBN: 9780198862895

For more information, please visit the OUP website here

Classical Learning in Britain, France, and the Dutch Republic, 1690-1750: Beyond the Ancients and the Moderns
Floris Verhaart 


For much of western history, the achievements of classical antiquity were seen as unsurpassable, and works by Latin and Greek authors were viewed as treasure troves of information still useful for contemporary society. By the late seventeenth century, however, the progress of scientific discoveries and the new paradigms of rationalism and empiricism meant the authority of the ancients was called into question. Those working on the classical past and its literature debated new ways of defending their relevance for society. The different approaches to classical literature defended in these debates explain how the writings of ancient Greece and Rome could become a vital part of eighteenth-century culture and political thinking.

Floris Verhaart analyses these eighteenth-century debates about the value of classics, arguing that the Enlightenment, though often seen as an age of reason and modernity, in fact continuously sought inspiration from preceding traditions and ages such as Renaissance humanism and classical antiquity. The volume offers an interesting parallel with the modern day, in which the relationship between 'experts' and the general public has become the topic of debate and many academics, especially in the humanities, face pressure to explain how their work benefits society at large.

ISBN: 9780198861690

For more information, please visit the OUP website here

Educating Palestine: Teaching and Learning History under the Mandate
Yoni Furas


Educating Palestine, through the story of education and the teaching of history in Mandate Palestine, reframes our understanding of the Palestinian and Zionist national movements. It argues that Palestinian and Hebrew pedagogy could only be truly understood through an analysis of the conscious or unconscious dialogue between them. The conflict over Palestine, the study shows, shaped the way Arabs and Zionists thought, taught, and wrote about their past. British rule over Palestine promised the Jews a national home, but had no viable policy towards the Palestinians and established an education system that lacked a sustainable collective ethos. Nevertheless, Palestinian educators were able to produce a national pedagogy that knew how to work with the British and simultaneously promoted an ideology of progress and independence that challenged colonial rule.

ISBN: 9780198856429

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Great Britain, International Law, and the Evolution of Maritime Strategic Thought, 1856–1914
Gabriela A. Frei


Gabriela A. Frei addresses the interaction between international maritime law and maritime strategy in a historical context, arguing that both international law and maritime strategy are based on long-term state interests. Great Britain as the predominant sea power in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries shaped the relationship between international law and maritime strategy like no other power. This study explores how Great Britain used international maritime law as an instrument of foreign policy to protect its strategic and economic interests, and how maritime strategic thought evolved in parallel to the development of international legal norms.

Frei offers an analysis of British state practice as well as an examination of the efforts of the international community to codify international maritime law in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Great Britain as the predominant sea power as well as the world's largest carrier of goods had to balance its interests as both a belligerent and a neutral power. With the growing importance of international law in international politics, the volume examines the role of international lawyers, strategists, and government officials who shaped state practice. Great Britain's neutrality for most of the period between 1856 and 1914 influenced its state practice and its perceptions of a future maritime conflict. Yet, the codification of international maritime law at the Hague and London conferences at the beginning of the twentieth century demanded a reassessment of Great Britain's legal position.

ISBN: 9780198859932

For more information, please visit the OUP website here.


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Possessing the City: Property and Politics in Delhi, 1911-1947
Anish Vanaik


Possessing the City is a social history of the property market in late-colonial Delhi; a period of much turbulence and transformation. It argues that historians of South Asian cities must connect transformations in urban space with the economy of the city. Using new archival material, Anish Vanaik outlines the place of private property development in Delhi's economy from 1911 to 1947. Rather than large-scale state initiatives, like the Delhi Improvement Trust, it was profit-oriented, decentralised, and market-based initiatives of urban construction that created the Delhi cityscape.

This volume also serves to chart the emerging relationship between the state and urban space in this period. Rather than a narrow focus on urban planning ideas, it argues that the relationship be thought of in a triangular fashion: the intermediation of the property market was crucial to emerging statecraft and urban form in this period. Possessing the City examines struggles and conflicts over the commodification of land, particularly disputes over rents and prices of urban property. The question of commodification can also, however, be discerned in struggles that were not ostensibly about economic issues: clashes over religious sites in the city. Through careful attention to the historical interrelationships between state, space, and the economy in Delhi, this volume offers a novel intervention in the history of late-colonial Delhi.

ISBN: 9780198848752

For more information, please visit the OUP website here

Electric News in Colonial Algeria
Arthur Asseraf


How do the things which connect us also serve to divide us? Electric News in Colonial Algeria traces how news circulated in a particularly divided society: Algeria under French rule in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It tells a different history of globalization, one which puts the experience of everyday people at the centre. The years between 1881 and 1940 were those of maximum colonial power in North Africa; a period of intense technological revolution, global high imperialism, and the expansion of settler colonialism. Algerians became connected to international networks of news, and local people followed distant events with great interest. But once news reached Algeria, accounts of recent events often provoked conflict as they moved between different social groups. In a society split between its native majority and a substantial settler minority, distant wars led to riots. Circulation and polarisation were two sides of the same coin. 

Examining a range of sources in multiple languages across colonial society, Electric News in Colonial Algeria offers a new understanding of the spread of news. News was a whole ecosystem in which new technologies such as the printing press, telegraph, cinema, and radio interacted with older media like songs, rumours, letters, and manuscripts. The French government watched anxiously over these developments, monitoring Algerians' reactions to news through an extensive network of surveillance that often ended up spreading news rather than controlling its flow. By tracking what different people thought of as news, this history helps us reconsider the relationship between time, media, and historical change.

ISBN: 9780198844044

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Politics and the Urban Sector in Fifteenth-Century England
Eliza Hartrich


Since the mid-twentieth century, political histories of late medieval England have focused almost exclusively on the relationship between the Crown and aristocratic landholders. Such studies, however, neglect to consider that England after the Black Death was an urbanising society. Towns not only were the residence of a rising proportion of the population, but were also the stages on which power was asserted and the places where financial and military resources were concentrated. Outside London, however, most English towns were small compared to those found in contemporary Italy or Flanders, and it has been easy for historians to under-estimate their ability to influence English politics.

Politics and the Urban Sector in Fifteenth-Century England, 1413-1471 offers a new approach for evaluating the role of urban society in late medieval English politics. Rather than focusing on English towns individually, it creates a model for assessing the political might that could be exerted by towns collectively as an 'urban sector'. Based on primary sources from twenty-two towns (ranging from the metropolis of London to the tiny Kentish town of Lydd), Politics and the Urban Sector demonstrates how fluctuations in inter-urban relationships affected the content, pace, and language of English politics during the tumultuous fifteenth century. In particular, the volume presents a new interpretation of the Wars of the Roses, in which the relative strength of the 'urban sector' determined the success of kings and their challengers and moulded the content of the political programmes they advocated.

ISBN: 9780198844426

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Hunger in War and Peace: Women and Children in Germany, 1914-1924
Mary Elisabeth Cox


At the outbreak of the First World War, Great Britain quickly took steps to initiate a naval blockade against Germany. In addition to military goods and other contraband, foodstuffs and fertilizer were also added to the list of forbidden exports to Germany. As the grip of the Blockade strengthened, Germans complained that civilians-particularly women and children-were going hungry because of it. The impact of the blockade on non-combatants was especially fraught during the eight month period of the Armistice when the blockade remained in force. Even though fighting had stopped, German civilians wondered how they would go through another winter of hunger. The issue became internationalised as civic leaders across the country wrote books, pamphlets, and articles about their distress, and begged for someone to step in and relieve German women and children with food aid. Their pleas were answered with an outpouring of generosity from across the world. Some have argued, then and since, that these outcries were based on gross exaggerations based more on political need rather than actual want. This book examines what the actual nutritional statuses of women and children in Germany were during and following the War. Mary Cox uses detailed height and weight data for over 600,000 German children to show the true measure of overall deprivation, and to gauge infant recovery.

ISBN: 9780198820116

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God and Progress: Religion and History in British Intellectual Culture, 1845 - 1914
Joshua Bennett


Exploring the rich relationship between historical thought and religious debate in Victorian culture, God and Progress offers a unique and authoritative account of intellectual change in nineteenth-century Britain. The volume recovers a twofold process in which the growth of progressive ideas of history transformed British Protestant traditions, as religious debate, in turn, profoundly shaped Victorian ideas of history. It adopts a remarkably wide contextual perspective, embracing believers and unbelievers, Anglicans and nonconformists, and writers from different parts of the British Isles, fully situating British debates in relation to their European and especially German Idealist surroundings. The Victorian intellectual mainstream came to terms with religious diversity, changing ethical sensibilities, and new kinds of knowledge by encouraging providential, spiritualized, and developmental understandings of human time. A secular counter-culture simultaneously disturbed this complex consensus, grounding progress in appeals to scientific advances and the retreat of metaphysics. God and Progress thus explores the ways in which divisions within British liberalism were fundamentally related to differences over the past, present, and future of religion. It also demonstrates that religious debate powered the process by which historicism acquired cultural authority in Victorian national life, and later began to lose it. The study reconstructs the ways in which theological dynamics, often relegated to the margins of nineteenth-century British intellectual history, effectively forged its leading patterns.

ISBN: 9780198837725

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German Catholicism at War, 1939-1945
Thomas Brodie


German Catholicism at War explores the mentalities and experiences of German Catholics during the Second World War. Taking the German Home Front, and most specifically, the Rhineland and Westphalia, as its core focus German Catholicism at War examines Catholics' responses to developments in the war, their complex relationships with the Nazi regime, and their religious practices. Drawing on a wide range of source materials stretching from personal letters and diaries to pastoral letters and Gestapo reports, Thomas Brodie breaks new ground in our understanding of the Catholic community in Germany during the Second World War.

ISBN: 9780198827023

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Associative Political Culture in the Holy Roman Empire: Upper Germany, 1346-1521
Duncan Hardy


What was the Holy Roman Empire in the fourteenth to sixteenth centuries? At the turning point between the medieval and early modern periods, this vast Central European polity was the continent's most politically fragmented. The imperial monarchs were often weak and distant, while a diverse array of regional actors played an autonomous role in political life. The Empire's obvious differences compared with more centralized European kingdoms have stimulated negative historical judgements and fraught debates, which have found expression in recent decades in the concepts of fractured 'territorial states' and a disjointed 'imperial constitution'. Associative Political Culture in the Holy Roman Empirechallenges these interpretations through a wide-ranging case study of Upper Germany — the southern regions of modern-day Germany plus Alsace, Switzerland, and western Austria — between 1346 and 1521. By examining the interactions of princes, prelates, nobles, and towns comparatively, Associative Political Culture in the Holy Roman Empire demonstrates that a range of actors and authorities shared the same toolkit of technologies, rituals, judicial systems, and concepts and configurations of government. Crucially, Upper German elites all participated in leagues, alliances, and other treaty-based associations. As frameworks for collective activity, associations were a vital means of enabling and regulating warfare, justice and arbitration, and even lordship and administration.

On the basis of this evidence, Associative Political Culture in the Holy Roman Empire offers a new and more coherent depiction of the Holy Roman Empire as a sprawling community of interdependent elites who interacted within the framework of a shared political culture

ISBN: 9780198827252

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Political Community in Revolutionary Pennsylvania, 1774-1800
Kenneth Owen


Political Community in Revolutionary Pennsylvania challenges the ways we understand popular sovereignty in the American Revolution. Whereas previous histories place undue focus on elite political thought or analysis based on class, this study argues that it was ordinary citizens that cared most about the establishment of a proper, representative, publicly legitimate political process. Popular activism constrained the options available to leaders and created a system through which the actions of government were made more representative of the will of the community. Political Community in Revolutionary Pennsylvania analyzes political developments in Pennsylvania from 1774, when Americans united in opposition to Britain's Intolerable Acts, through to 1800 and the election of Thomas Jefferson. It looks at the animating philosophy of the Pennsylvania state constitution of 1776, a 'radical manifesto' which espoused a vision of popular sovereignty in which government was devolved from the people only where necessary. Even when governmental institutions were necessary, their legitimacy rested on being able to clearly demonstrate that they operated on popular consent, expressed in a variety of forms of popular mobilization.

ISBN: 9780198827979

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Christian Radicalism in the Church of England and the Invention of the British Sixties, 1957-1970: The Hope of a World Transformed
Sam Brewitt-Taylor

brewitt taylor

This study provides the first postsecular account of the moral revolution that Britain experienced in the 1960s. Beginning from the groundbreaking premise that secularity is not a mere absence, but an invented culture, it argues that a new form of British secularity achieved cultural dominance during an abrupt cultural revolution which occurred in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This moral revolution had little to do with affluence or technology, but was most centrally a cultural response to the terrors of the Cold War, which pitted Christian Britain against the secular Soviet Union. By exploring contemporary prophecies of the inevitable arrival of 'the secular society', Sam Brewitt-Taylor shows that, ironically, British secularity was given decisive initial momentum by theologically radical Christians, who destigmatized the idea of 'modern secularity' and made it available for appropriation by a wide range of Sixties actors. Further than this, radical Christians played a significant contributory role in deciding what kind of secularity Britain's Sixties would adopt, by narrating Britain's moral revolution as globalist, individualist, anti-authoritarian, sexually libertarian, and politically egalitarian. In all these ways, radical Christians played a highly significant role in the early stages of Britain's Sixties.

ISBN: 9780198827009

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The Age of the Efendiyya: Passages to Modernity in National-Colonial Egypt
Lucie Ryzova


In colonial-era Egypt, a new social category of "modern men" emerged, the efendiyya. Working as bureaucrats, teachers, journalists, free professionals, and public intellectuals, the efendiyya represented the new middle class elite. They were the experts who drafted and carried out the state's modernisation policies, and the makers as well as majority consumers of modern forms of politics and national culture. As simultaneously "authentic" and "modern", they assumed a key political role in the anti-colonial movement and in the building of a modern state both before and after the revolution of 1952. 

Lucie Ryzova explores where these self-consciously modern men came from, and how they came to be such major figures, by examining multiple social, cultural, and institutional contexts. These contexts include the social strategies pursued by "traditional" households responding to new opportunities for social mobility; modern schools as vehicles for new forms of knowledge dissemination, which had the potential to redefine social authority; but also include new forms of youth culture, student rituals, peer networks, and urban popular culture. The most common modes of self-expression among the effendiyya were through politics and writing (either literature or autobiography). This articulated an efendi culture imbued with a sense of mission, duty, and entitlement, and defined the ways in which their social experiences played into the making of modern Egyptian culture and politics.

ISBN: 9780198824398

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Royal Responsibility in Anglo-Norman Historical Writing
Emily A. Winkler


It has long been established that the crisis of 1066 generated a florescence of historical writing in the first half of the twelfth century. Emily A. Winkler presents a new perspective on previously unqueried matters, investigating how historians' individual motivations and assumptions produced changes in the kind of history written across the Conquest. She argues that responses to the Danish Conquest of 1016 and the Norman Conquest of 1066 changed dramatically within two generations of the latter conquest. Repeated conquest could signal repeated failures and sin across the orders of society, yet early twelfth-century historians in England not only extract English kings and people from a history of failure, but also establish English kingship as a worthy office on a European scale.

Royal Responsibility in Anglo-Norman Historical Writing illuminates the consistent historical agendas of four historians: William of Malmesbury, Henry of Huntingdon, John of Worcester, and Geffrei Gaimar. In their narratives of England's eleventh-century history, these twelfth-century historians expanded their approach to historical explanation to include individual responsibility and accountability within a framework of providential history. In this regard, they made substantial departures from their sources. These historians share a view of royal responsibility independent both of their sources (primarily the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle) and of any political agenda that placed English and Norman allegiances in opposition. Although the accounts diverge widely in the interpretation of character, all four are concerned more with the effectiveness of England's kings than with the legitimacy of their origins. Their new, shared view of royal responsibility represents a distinct phenomenon in England's twelfth-century historiography.

ISBN: 9780198812388

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Simon V of Montfort and Baronial Government, 1195-1218
G.E.M. Lippiat


Dissenter from the Fourth Crusade, disseised earl of Leicester, leader of the Albigensian Crusade, prince of southern France: Simon of Montfort led a remarkable career of ascent from mid-level French baron to semi-independent count before his violent death before the walls of Toulouse in 1218. Through the vehicle of the crusade, Simon cultivated autonomous power in the liminal space between competing royal lordships in southern France in order to build his own principality. This first English biographical study of his life examines the ways in which Simon succeeded and failed in developing this independence in France, England, the Midi, and on campaign to Jerusalem. Simon's familial, social, and intellectual connexions shaped his conceptions of political order, which he then implemented in his conquests. By analysing contemporary narrative, scholastic, and documentary evidence-including a wealth of archival material-this volume argues that Simon's career demonstrates the vitality of baronial independence in the High Middle Ages, despite the emergence of centralised royal bureaucracies. More importantly, Simon's experience shows that barons themselves adopted methods of government that reflected a concern for accountability, public order, and contemporary reform ideals. This study therefore marks an important entry in the debate about baronial responsibility in medieval political development, as well as providing the most complete modern account of the life of this important but oft-overlooked crusader.

ISBN: 9780198805137

For more information, please visit the OUP website here.

Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages - Prophets and their Critics from Scholasticism to Humanism
Brian FitzGerald


Inspiration and Authority in the Middle Ages rethinks the role of prophecy in the Middle Ages by examining how professional theologians responded to new assertions of divine inspiration. Drawing on fresh archival research and detailed study of unpublished manuscript sources from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, this volume argues that the task of defining prophetic authority became a crucial intellectual and cultural enterprise as university-trained theologians confronted prophetic claims from lay mystics, radical Franciscans, and other unprecedented visionaries. In the process, these theologians redescribed their own activities as prophetic by locating inspiration not in special predictions or ecstatic visions but in natural forms of understanding and in the daily work of ecclesiastical teaching and ministry. Instead of containing the spread of prophetic privilege, however, scholastic assessments of prophecy from Peter Lombard and Thomas Aquinas to Peter John Olivi and Nicholas Trevet opened space for claims of divine insight to proliferate beyond the control of theologians. By the turn of the fourteenth century, secular Italian humanists could lay claim to prophetic authority on the basis of their intellectual powers and literary practices. From Hugh of St Victor to Albertino Mussato, reflections on and debates over prophecy reveal medieval clerics, scholars, and reformers reshaping the contours of religious authority, the boundaries of sanctity and sacred texts, and the relationship of tradition to the new voices of the Late Middle Ages.

ISBN: 9780198808244

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The City of London and Social Democracy: The Political Economy of Finance in Britain, 1859-1979
Aled Davies


The City of London and Social Democracy examines the relationship between the financial sector and the state in post-war Britain.

The key argument made in Aled Davies's study is that changes to the financial sector during the 1960s and 1970s undermined the state's capacity to sustain and develop a modern industrial economy. Social democratic economic strategy was constrained by the institutionalization of investment in pension and insurance funds; the fragmentation of the nation's oligopolistic domestic banking system; the emergence of an unregulated international capital market based in London; and the breakdown of the Bretton Woods international monetary system. Novel attempts to reconfigure social democratic economic strategy in response to these changes ultimately proved unsuccessful. Meanwhile, the assumption that national prosperity could only be achieved through industrial growth was challenged by a reconceptualization of Britain as a fundamentally financial and commercial nation — an idea that was successfully promoted by the City itself. These findings assert the need to place the Thatcher governments' subsequent neoliberal economic revolution, which saw the acceleration of deindustrialization and the triumph of the City of London as a pre-eminent international financial centre, within a broader material, institutional, and cultural context previously underappreciated by historians.

ISBN: 9780198804116

For more information, please visit the OUP website here.


Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914: An Intellectual History
Emily Jones


Between 1830 and 1914 in Britain a dramatic modification of the reputation of Edmund Burke (1730-1797) occurred. Burke, an Irishman and Whig politician, is now most commonly known as the 'founder of modern conservatism' - an intellectual tradition which is also deeply connected to the identity of the British Conservative Party. The idea of 'Burkean conservatism' - a political philosophy which upholds 'the authority of tradition', the organic, historic conception of society, and the necessity of order, religion, and property - has been incredibly influential both in international academic analysis and in the wider political world. This is a highly significant intellectual construct, but its origins have not yet been understood. This volume demonstrates, for the first time, that the transformation of Burke into the 'founder of conservatism' was in fact part of wider developments in British political, intellectual, and cultural history in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. 

Drawing from a wide range of sources, including political texts, parliamentary speeches, histories, biographies, and educational curricula, Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism shows how and why Burke's reputation was transformed over a formative period of British history. In doing so, it bridges the significant gap between the history of political thought as conventionally understood and the history of the making of political traditions. The result is to demonstrate that, by 1914, Burke had been firmly established as a 'conservative' political philosopher and was admired and utilized by political Conservatives in Britain who identified themselves as his intellectual heirs. This was one essential component of a conscious re-working of Conservatism which is still at work today. 

ISBN: 9780198799429

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Royal Favouritism and the Governing Elite of the Spanish Monarchy, 1640-1665
Alistair Malcolm


Royal Favouritism and the Governing Elite of the Spanish Monarchy, 1640-1665 presents a study of the later years of the reign of Philip IV from the perspective of his favourite (valido), don Luis Méndez de Haro, and of the other ministers who helped govern the Spanish Habsburg Monarchy. It offers a positive vision of a period that is often seen as one of failure and decline. Unlike his predecessors, Haro exercised the favour that he enjoyed in a discreet way, acting as a perfect courtier and honest broker between the king and his aristocratic subjects. Nevertheless, Alistair Malcolm also argues that the presence of a royal favourite at the head of the government of Spain amounted to a major problem. The king’s delegation of his authority to a single nobleman was considered by many to have been incompatible with good kingship, and Philip IV was himself very uneasy about failing in his responsibilities as a ruler. Haro was thus in a highly insecure situation, and sought to justify his regime by organizing the management of a prestigious and expensive foreign policy. In this context, the eventual conclusion of the very honourable peace with France in 1659 is shown to have been as much the result of the independent actions of other ministers as it was of a royal favourite very reluctantly brought to the negotiating table at the Pyrenees. By conclusion, the quite sudden collapse of Spanish European hegemony after Haro’s death in 1661 is represented as a delayed reaction to the repercussions of a flawed system of government.

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Britain, China, and Colonial Australia
Benjamin Mountford


Towards the end of the nineteenth century the British Empire was confronted by two great Chinese questions. The first of these questions (often known as the ‘Far Eastern question’) related specifically to the maintenance of British interests on the China Coast and the broader implications for British foreign policy in East Asia.

While safeguarding British interests in the Far East presented British policymakers with a range of significant challenges, as they wrestled with this first Chinese question, another question kept knocking at the door. Since the eighteenth century, when plans for the establishment of a British colony at New South Wales had begun to materialize, Australia’s potential relations with China had attracted considerable interest. During the first sixty years of European settlement, China retained a prominent place in both metropolitan and colonial schemes for the development of British Australia. From the 1850s, however, when large numbers of Cantonese miners travelled to the Pacific gold rushes, these earlier visions began to appear hopelessly naive. By the late 1880s the coming of the Chinese to Australia, and the reaction to their arrival, had developed into one of the most difficult issues within British imperial affairs.

This book sets out to tell that story. Reaching back to the arrival of the British in the 1780s, it explores the early history of Australian engagement with China and traces the development of colonial Australia into an important point of contact between the British and Chinese Empires.

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The Building Society Promise. Access, Risk, and Efficiency 1880-1939
Antonius Samy


The permanent building societies of England grew from humble beginnings as a multitude of small and localized institutions in the nineteenth century to become the dominant players in the house mortgage market by the inter-war period. Throughout the nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the movement cultivated an image of being a champion of home ownership for the working classes, but housing historians have questioned whether building societies really lived up to this claim. This study fills a major gap in the historiography of the movement by investigating the class profile of building society members, and how the design of different building societies affected their accessibility, efficiency, and risk-taking practices between 1880 and 1939. These themes are explored using case studies of several building societies from this period and drawing upon extensive archival records.

The Building Society Promise shows that building societies did lend to working-class households before the First and Second World Wars, with some societies showing a greater commitment to working-class home ownership than others. What ultimately affected the outreach of individual societies was the quality of information they possessed, which in turn was largely determined by the types of agency networks they used to find and select borrowers. The phenomenal growth of some of these institutions in the inter-war period, however, and the ensuing competition which emerged between them, brought about profound changes in their firm structure which impaired their ability to reach out to lower-income households as efficiently as before. The findings of this research are relevant to both past and present debates about the optimal design of financial institutions in overcoming social exclusion in credit markets, and the deleterious effects that firm growth, market competition, and managerial self-interest can have on their performance and stability.

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Monsoon Revolution. Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976
Abdel Razzaq Takriti


The Dhufar revolution in Oman (1965-1976) was the longest running major armed struggle in the history of the Arabian Peninsula, Britain’s last classic colonial war in the region, and one of the highlights of the Cold War in the Middle East. Monsoon Revolution retrieves the political, social, and cultural history of that remarkable process. Relying upon a wide range of untapped Arab and British archival and oral sources, it revises the modern political history of Oman by revealing the centrality of popular movements in shaping events and outcomes. The ties that bound transnational anti-colonial networks are explored, and Dhufar is revealed to be an ideal vantage point from which to demonstrate the centrality of South-South connections in modern Arab history.

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Better Active than Radioactive! Anti-Nuclear Protest in 1970s France and West Germany
Andrew S. Tompkins


During the 1970s, hundreds of thousands of people across Western Europe protested against civil nuclear energy. Nowhere were they more visible than in France and Germany-two countries where environmentalism seems to have diverged greatly since. This volume recovers the shared, transnational history of the early anti-nuclear movement, showing how low-level interactions among diverse activists led to far-reaching changes in both countries.

Because nuclear energy was such a multivalent symbol, protest against it was simultaneously broad-based and highly fragmented. ‘Concerned citizens’ in communities near planned facilities felt that nuclear technology represented an outside intervention that potentially threatened their health, material existence, and way of life. In the decade after 1968, their concerns coalesced with more overtly ‘political’ criticisms of consumer society, the state, and militarism. Farmers, housewives, hippies, anarchists, and many more who defied categorization joined forces to oppose nuclear power, but the movement remained internally contradictory and outwardly unpredictable-not least with regard to violence at demonstrations.

By analyzing the transnational dimensions, diverse outcomes, and internal divisions of anti-nuclear protest, Better Active than Radioactive! provides an encompassing and nuanced understanding of one of the largest ‘New Social Movements’ in post-war Western Europe and situates it within a decade of upheaval and protest. Drawing extensively on oral history interviews as well as police, media, and activist sources, this volume tells the story of the people behind the protests, showing how individuals at the grassroots built up a movement that transcended national borders as well as political and social differences.

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The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe. René of Anjou in Italy
Oren Margolis


The poet-king without a throne appears here in an entirely new light. In The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe: René of Anjou in Italy, Oren Margolis explores how this French prince and exiled king of Naples (1409-1480) engaged his Italian network in a programme of cultural politics conducted with an eye towards a return to power in the peninsula. Built on a series of original interpretations of humanistic and artistic material (chiefly Latin orations and illuminated manuscripts of classical texts), this is also a case study for a ‘diplomatic approach’ to culture. It recasts its source base as a form of high-level communication for a hyper-literate elite of those who could read the works created by humanist and artistic agents for their constituent parts: the potent words or phrases and relevant classical allusions; the channels through which a given work was commissioned or transmitted; and then the nature of the network gathered around a political agenda.

This is a volume for all those interested in the politics and culture of later medieval Europe and Renaissance Italy: the kings of France and dukes of Burgundy, the Medici, the Sforza, the Venetians, and their armies, ambassadors, and adversaries all appear here; so do Giovanni Bellini, Andrea Mantegna, Guarino of Verona, and their respective intellectual and artistic circles. Emerging from it is a challenge to conventional interpretations of the politics of humanism, and a new vision of the Quattrocento: a century in which the Italian Renaissance began its takeover of Europe, but in which Renaissance culture was itself shaped by its European political, social, and diplomatic context.

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Bayle, Jurieu, and the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique
Mara van der Lugt

van der lugt

Bayle, Jurieu and the Dictionnaire Historique et Critique presents a new study of Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire Historique et Critique (1696), with special reference to Bayle’s polemical engagement with the theologian Pierre Jurieu. While recent years have seen a surge of interest in Bayle, there is as yet no consensus on how to interpret Bayle’s ambiguous stance on reason and religion, and how to make sense of the Dictionnaire: although specific parts of the Dictionnaire have received much scholarly attention, the work has hardly been studied as a whole, and little is known about how the Dictionnaire was influenced by Bayle’s polemic with Jurieu.

This volume aims to establish a new method for reading the Dictionnaire, under a dual premise: first, that the work can only be rightly understood when placed within the immediate context of its production in the 1690s; second, that it is only through an appreciation of the mechanics of the work as a whole, and of the role played by its structural and stylistic particularities, that we can attain an appropriate interpretation of its parts. Special attention is paid to the heated theological-political conflict between Bayle and Jurieu in the 1690s, which had a profound influence on the project of the dictionary and on several of its major themes, such as the tensions in the relationship between the intellectual sphere of the Republic of Letters and the political state, but also the danger of religious fanaticism spurring intolerance and war. The final chapters demonstrate that Bayle’s clash with Jurieu was also one of the driving forces behind Bayle’s reflection on the problem of evil; they expose the fundamentally problematic nature of both Bayle’s theological association with Jurieu, and his self-defence in the second edition of the Dictionnaire.

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First of the Small Nations. The Beginnings of Irish Foreign Policy in the Inter-War Years, 1919-1932
Gerard Keown


First of the Small Nations traces the ideas and aspirations of the revolutionary generation in Ireland from the 1890s to 1918 who dreamt of an independent Irish state and imagined how an Irish foreign policy might look. It follows attempts to put these ideas into practice during the campaign for independence and how they evolved into the first Irish foreign policy in the decade after independence. During these years, efforts were focused on asserting the young Irish state’s independence as it pushed out the boundaries of Commonwealth membership, made a contribution at the League of Nations, and forged ties in Europe and America.

Many of the ideas that continue to shape Irish foreign policy – small state and European country; honest broker and international good citizen; mother-country with a diaspora and bridge between Europe and America – have their roots in this period. There is a strong modern and internationalist vein running through Irish nationalism, including outside ideas on how the international order should be arranged – from the desire to pursue a policy based on values, to attempts to create an international rationale for independence, and an understanding of the influence of public opinion.

First of the Small Nations also shines a light on interwar European relations and how small states managed their affairs in a world system dominated by their larger neighbours. Drawing on a rich vein of archival sources and private papers, this study charts the beginnings of Irish foreign policy and the aspiration to be ‘first of the small nations’.

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Historians and the Church of England. Religion and Historical Scholarship, 1870-1920
James Kirby


Historians and the Church of England explores the vital relationship between the Church of England and the development of historical scholarship in the Victorian and Edwardian era. It draws upon a wide range of sources, from canonical works of history to unpublished letters, from sermons to periodical articles, to give a clear picture of the influence of religion upon the rich and flourishing world of English historical scholarship.

The result is a radically revised understanding of both historiography and the Church of England. It shows that the main historiographical topics at the time-the nation, the constitution, the Reformation, and (increasingly) socio-economic history-were all imprinted with the distinctively Anglican concerns of leading historians. It brings to life the ideas of time, progress, and divine providence which structured their understanding of the past. It also shows that the Church of England remained a ‘learned church’, concerned not just with narrowly religious functions but also scholarly and cultural ones, into the early twentieth century: intellectual secularization was a slower and more fragmented process than accounts focused on natural science (especially Darwinism) to the exclusion of the humanities have led us to believe.

This is not just the history of a coterie of scholars, but also of a wealth of texts and ideas that had a truly global circulation at a time when history was second only to the Bible (and perhaps the novel) in its cultural status and readership.

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Language and Enlightenment. The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century
Avi Lifschitz


What is the role of language in human cognition? Could we attain self-consciousness and construct our civilization without language? Such were the questions at the basis of eighteenth-century debates on the joint evolution of language, mind, and culture. Language and Enlightenment highlights the importance of language in the social theory, epistemology, and aesthetics of the Enlightenment. While focusing on the Berlin Academy under Frederick the Great, Avi Lifschitz situates the Berlin debates within a larger temporal and geographical framework. He argues that awareness of the historicity and linguistic rootedness of all forms of life was a mainstream Enlightenment notion rather than a feature of the so-called ‘Counter-Enlightenment’.

Enlightenment authors of different persuasions investigated whether speechless human beings could have developed their language and society on their own. Such inquiries usually pondered the difficult shift from natural signs like cries and gestures to the artificial, articulate words of human language. This transition from nature to artifice was mirrored in other domains of inquiry, such as the origins of social relations, inequality, the arts, and the sciences. By examining a wide variety of authors – Leibniz, Wolff, Condillac, Rousseau, Michaelis, and Herder, among others – Language and Enlightenment emphasises the open and malleable character of the eighteenth-century Republic of Letters. The language debates demonstrate that German theories of culture and language were not merely a rejection of French ideas. New notions of the genius of language and its role in cognition were constructed through a complex interaction with cross-European currents, especially via the prize contests at the Berlin Academy.

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