‘Conditions analogous to slavery’: Workers in the British West Indies after emancipation

Although the slave trade had been abolished throughout the British Empire in 1807, it would not be until 1833 that the Slavery Abolition Act would be passed, and on the 1st of August the following year slaves in the British West Indies would begin their lives as free men and women. The controversial ‘Apprenticeship’ system… Read More ‘Conditions analogous to slavery’: Workers in the British West Indies after emancipation

Winston Churchill and the Rise of Bolshevism 1917–1927

Winston Churchill and the Rise of Bolshevism 1917–1927 The period 1917 to 1927 was one of significant social and political upheaval and revolution across the world, but nowhere so much as in Russia, when on 7 November 1917, the Bolshevik Revolution took place. Power was transferred to the soviets across the country, ousting the Provisional… Read More Winston Churchill and the Rise of Bolshevism 1917–1927

Is Marxism too ‘eurocentric’? A critique of postcolonial IR theory

This is an essay originally written to discuss the charge of ‘western-centrism’ in international relations (IR) theory as a whole, though I have adapted it to address the charge against marxism in particular. I initially wrote this around October 2013. Postcolonialism is a post-positivist theory, or critique, meaning that it rejects the idea that knowledge is static and material, and… Read More Is Marxism too ‘eurocentric’? A critique of postcolonial IR theory

Why was masturbation such a medical concern in the 19th century? 

Before the 1700s, masturbation had been condemned on specifically religious grounds. It was considered sinful because it ‘denied the “natural” function of sexuality’, i.e. procreation. As A. N. Gilbert writes, ‘[a]s a sexual act, it meshed easily with the traditional Christian distrust of sensuality and bodily pleasure.’ But by the nineteenth century onwards, doctors had… Read More Why was masturbation such a medical concern in the 19th century?