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Date archive for: November 2016

60 years after Suez: a tale of two prime ministers

Written by Nigel Ashton.

Does history repeat itself? Never perfectly or precisely, but some of the parallels between Anthony Eden’s handling of the 1956 Suez Crisis and Tony Blair’s role in the 2003 invasion of Iraq are worth pondering. In both cases prime ministerial decision-making dictated the course of British policy and laid bare some of the weaknesses of the British political system.

First, take the conjuring of the threat. Both men framed their struggles in existential terms. For Eden, the nationalisation of the Suez Canal Company at the end of July 1956 by the Egyptian president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, represented a threat to national survival. Continue reading 60 years after Suez: a tale of two prime ministers

Decolonization, Then and Now: Contextualising a Research Agenda in the Philippines

Written by Elliot Newbold

“You’ve come at the right time.” These were the words of Dr. Ernesto Gonzalez (professor of economics at the University of the Philippines – Manila) upon meeting me at his office in the heart of Ermita. I’d heard this a lot since arriving in Manila, but it wasn’t until I’d chatted with a number of Filipino scholars that I really began to recognise the pertinence of studying decolonization in the context of the Philippines. As Dr. Gonzalez told me, “decolonization is still going on here; that story isn’t finished. We have ties to the United States that still resemble a colonial relationship.”

Three weeks in the Philippines taught me a lot about my research. My project maps American attitudes to Philippine independence through a comparative intellectual biography of Frank Murphy and Paul V. McNutt, two US administrators who played critical roles during the Philippines’ transition from US colony to commonwealth, and finally to independent state in 1946. In conversation with Filipino students and scholars, my research generated interesting questions, and even more interesting opinions. Yet, the issue that seemed to come up again and again was perhaps the most appropriate for the archipelago’s current political climate: has the Philippines truly decolonized? Continue reading Decolonization, Then and Now: Contextualising a Research Agenda in the Philippines