Tag Archives | UK

Empires of the Mind: A book that was supposed to stop Brexit – An Interview with Professor Robert Gildea

  Megan Ison is a PhD student funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership. Her research looks at Alsace and the politics of memory at the commemorative site of Oradour-sur-Glane, France.   Empires of the Mind: A book that was supposed to stop Brexit   An Interview with Professor Robert Gildea Is there any better way to cheer oneself up on a cold day in the depths of British winter, than with a trip to Oxford University to talk about Brexit? Quite frankly, I can think of many. This is because Brexit is as bleak a reality for us British Mug[gle]s as was the prospect of Lord Voldemort securing unmatched power in J.K. Rowling’s fictional world of Harry Potter. In fact, are you even British if visiting the Great Hall at Christ Church isn’t at the top of your list of sites to visit in Oxford? Indeed, Harry Potter is basically Britannica. Well, I haven’t read Harry Potter, or even watched the films. Maybe the Home Office will take my passport away for not assimilating into British culture. The same government department that a few years ago senselessly denied that the Windrush generation truly belonged after 70 years […]

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Why is the UK going to Mali?

In one of her last acts as British Defence Secretary, Penny Mordaunt announced 250 troops will be deployed to support the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, but for this to be effective it needs a more coherent strategy for engagement in the Sahel and Africa with clear objectives and resources. Amidst the flurry of a new British Prime Minister and Cabinet, it was easy to miss the Government’s announcement that they are deploying a long-range reconnaissance task group of 250 personnel to Mali in 2020. But it is important. Not only does it represent the most significant contribution of British forces to the frontline of a UN peacekeeping mission since Bosnia, it could also potentially be the most dangerous mission for British forces since Afghanistan – the French military has lost over 24 soldiers since it commenced Operation Barkhane in Mali in 2013. It also follows a continued commitment from the UK to tackle instability in the Sahel. As Mordaunt notes: “[t]he UK is committed to supporting the international community in combating instability in Mali, as well as strengthening our wider military engagement across the Sahel region.” In September 2018, the UK announced its support to Operation Barkhane with the much-lauded deployment of Royal Air Force Chinook […]

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