Monthly Archives: February 2019

Who Deserves Independence?

by Dr. Lydia Walker (Dartmouth College) Twentieth-century global decolonization changed the map. In the thirty years after the Second World War, sixty countries—mostly in Asia and Africa—became independent from colonial powers. During the high point of accelerated decolonization in 1960, the United Nations recognized seventeen independent states. At times it seemed that there was a new country every week. This narrative of progressive national liberation ignores two important implications. First, it overlooks the existence of people who claimed—yet did not receive—independence during this period of heightened possibility. Second, it elides the fact that international recognition required an external audience—sometimes the United Nations, or a former colonizer, or a great power backer—to determine which ‘people-territorial match’ was a nation deserving a state, or a minority requiring protections, or indeed, a group of humans needing rights. Recognition signifies seeing a people as a state, considering a people as a political unit that ‘deserves’ statehood, and therefore being willing to hear their claim in international politics. The unspoken presence of a silent, sometimes shifting entity that bestowed international recognition suggested that it was incumbent on the nationalist movement to demonstrate its legitimacy, and construed the granting of statehood as a moral rather than […]

Open Letter from History Journal Editors in Response to Consultation on Plan S

by the Past & Present editorial team We write as the editors of a number of academic journals in History and associated Humanities disciplines, based in the UK, continental Europe and North America, in collective response to the call for feedback about the proposals for the implementation of Science Europe’s Plan S. The overall aim of Plan S, to make publicly funded research freely accessible to all users, is a laudable one. As a group we are committed to the principle of Open Access (OA). We welcome initiatives that facilitate the dissemination of scholarship to the widest possible audience and that enable new developments in knowledge. We endorse the objective stated in the Guidance document of creating a culture that ensures that young scholars have opportunities to excel and advance their careers. A transparent, fair and efficient system of scholarly publishing that does not discriminate against researchers or institutions with no or limited ability to pay APCs is clearly in the interests of our discipline. We also share Plan S’s insistence on the need for robust and sustainable OA repositories that will preserve and curate scholarly publications for future generations. We are, however, concerned about some key aspects of Plan […]