International Relations

Relations across the UK, Europe and globally are frequently changing, and have done so across our history. How these relations are recorded, monitored and treated are discussed in the collection of articles and podcasts here. The very concept of international relations is explored as are when boundaries and discussions between states and groups started to matter. What are the procedures, protocols and outcomes of a world according to the history of international relations are all under scrutiny?

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  • 1914: The Coming of the First World War

    Article

    This pamphlet argues that the outbreak of the First World War represented not so much the culmination of a long process started by Bismarck and his successors, as the relatively sudden breakdown of a system that had in fact preserved the peace and contained the dangerous Eastern Question for over...

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  • Stalinism

    Article

    Stalin's remarkable career raises quite fundamental questions for anyone interested in history. Marxists, whose philosophy should cause them to downgrade the role of ‘great men' as an explanation of great events, have problems in fitting Stalin into the materialist interpretation of history: did not this man ride rough-shod over the...

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  • The War of American Independence

    Article

    In the two-hundredth year of American Independence, it is proper to ask: why did it occur? It need not have happened; it was the act of men, not immutable forces. But once the tensions became acute, the three thousand miles of ocean were a difficult chasm to bridge. The War...

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  • Nazism and Stalinism

    Article

    Is it legitimate to compare the Nazi and Stalinist regimes? There might seem little room for doubt. It is often taken as self-evident that the two regimes were variations of a common type. They are bracketed together in school and university courses, as well as text books, under labels such...

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  • The American Diplomatic Tradition

    Article

    Indisputably, the United States of America has been and continues to be the leading power of the twentieth century. No country or people, however large or small, has been immune from American influence. A succession of American presidents have become international celebrities whose personal strengths and weaknesses are discussed and disssected...

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  • Iconic Images of War: photographs that changed history

    Article

    The recent photographs taken of US troops apparently abusing Iraqi prisoners-of-war in Abu Ghraib Jail have attracted attention across the world. Although it is too early to say whether these images will come to represent the essential character of the current Iraq conflict, they have altered public perceptions, producing doubt...

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  • Brazil and the two World Wars

    Article

    Brazil and the outbreak of the First World War At the beginning of the twentieth century Brazil was on the periphery of a world order that revolved around decisions made by the great European powers. Although it was the largest and most populated nation in South America, Brazil possessed an...

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  • Bertrand Russell's Role in the Cuban Missile Crisis

    Article

    'An attack on the United States with 10,000 megatons would lead to the death of essentially all of the American people and to the destruction of the nation.’ ‘In 1960 President Kennedy mentioned 30,000 megatons as the size of the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.’1 In the autumn of 1962...

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  • Czech Uranium and Stalin's Bomb

    Article

    Z.A.B. Zeman uncovers a fateful link between Czechoslovakia’s brief monopoly of uranium in Europe and the country’s subordination to the USSR. The great uranium rush started in 1943 and lasted for about seven years. Unlike the gold rushes of the past, uranium did not promise untold riches to individuals but...

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  • Britain and the Formation of NATO

    Article

    Carl Watts outlines the shift in British security policy and examines the role played by the Foreign Office during the post-War period. April 1999 marks the 50th anniversary of the signature of the North Atlantic Treaty, which came into effect in August 1949. The Cold War is over, but NATO...

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  • War Plan Red: the American Plan for war with Britain

    Article

    John Major discusses an astonishing aspect of past Anglo-American history. All great powers have developed contingency plans for war with each other, and the United States in the early twentieth century was no exception. Each of Washington’s schemes was given a distinctive colour. Green mapped out intervention in neighbouring Mexico,...

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  • Stalin, Propaganda, and Soviet Society during the Great Terror

    Article

    Sarah Davies explores the evidence that even in the most repressive phases of Stalin’s rule, there existed a flourishing ‘shadow culture’, a lively and efficient unofficial network of information and ideas. 'Today a man only talks freely with his wife — at night, with the blankets pulled over his head.’...

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