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Kamen, Henry


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5 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.


El Mundo - Spain | 09/10/2008

Henry Kamen on the Europeans' enthusiasm for Obama

Writing in the Spanish paper El Mundo, British historian Henry Kamen expresses amazement that many European critics of the US are suddenly so enthusiastic about US Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama: "Just a month before the elections in the US we should ask why there is a tendency in certain elements of the European press to present the senator of Illinios, Barack Obama, as the new saviour of the West. The president of the Spanish government has said he hopes Obama wins. But it would be interesting to know why he - a dyed in the wool anti-American - all of a sudden gets excited about the candidates for the American elections. Why are so many Europeans who were previously anti-American now pinning their hopes on Obama? ... In his very brief political career, Obama has not achieved anything significant at all, and perhaps that is the reason people like him. ... This article - written from a state in which voting preferences are almost equal for the two major candidates - suggests that Obama probably is not the saviour he is made out to be in the European (and of course in the Spanish) press. In practice, there is virtually no difference between Obama and McCain."

El Mundo - Spain | 14/08/2008

Settlement of conflicts in court?

British historian Henry Kamen uses the case of the arrest of Radovan Karadžić, the former leader of the Bosnian Serbs, to examine the question of whether the sentencing of an alleged war criminal before the International Court of Justice can help to resolve a conflict. "The sentence against Karadžić, who is held responsible for the deaths of 20,000 people, was an important symbolic gesture. But will it resolve the causes for the bloody conflict in Bosnia? ... One suspects that the trial in The Hague is little more than a Roman Circus Maximus in which the persecutors isolate and destroy their prey. The judges who condemn him will demonstrate that they have defended civilisation against barbarism. We can sleep more peacefully and wait until the next regional leader in some remote corner of the world provides us with a new Banja Luka, a new Srebrenica. Once again a world power, perhaps this time under Obama's leadership, will march into a country. And when it's all over only the regional leader will be sentenced before the International Court of Justice. And once again we can sleep peacefully knowing that another war criminal has been caught."

El Mundo - Spain | 18/06/2007

Henry Kamen wonders whether Spain is really a nation

Henry Kamen, a British historian specialising in Spain, considers whether the Spanish national anthem should be given lyrics, adding to the current debate that is preoccupying the country. "What is clear is that the lyrics of an anthem should reflect an agreement on values both loved and hated. For the Spanish, who have never believed in patriotism and prefer to fight among themselves rather than against others, these shared values do not exist. Basically, there is no feeling of being a united nation and it is consequently impossible to agree on an anthem. ... Maybe the subject should first be submitted to a referendum. The Spanish should be asked if they think they are a nation and is if they should as a consequence have an anthem like in any other country. If they answer that they don't feel they are a nation, then the subject should be closed, since this would mean they have no desire to sing about an identity that doesn't exist."

El Mundo - Spain | 16/08/2006

Henry Kamen on the risks of multiculturalism

For British historian and essayist Henry Kamen "the terrorist threat observed in the recent days in the United Kingdom reveals the fragility of a society that calls itself multicultural. When one culture lives inside another, what identity do citizens have? To which culture should they pay allegiance ... When a society moves from being monocultural, as England was in the 1950s, to being multicultural huge problems are created and it is difficult to solve them. Coexistence between cultures always involves potential risk ... Society might indeed seem richer because diverse, but it also becomes poorer if it is unable to obtain a certain form of loyalty, a condition that is essential for a stable society."

El Mundo - Spain | 25/04/2006

Kamen welcomes Fukuyama's evolution

The British historian Henry Kamen welcomes the way in which his American colleague Francis Fukuyama has gone back over certain themes he developed in his 1992 book, 'The End of History and the Last Man'. "In lieu of his initial belief in neoconservatism, he now offers us an alternative that he nicknames Wilsonian realism, a reference to a president who became well-known for his commitment to global understanding. ... This evolution is important since it appears similar to that of American opinion. The Unites States is an extremely complex society and shifts in opinion only come about very slowly. The dissatisfaction created by the war in Iraq is yet to penetrate the fabric of daily American politics since Americans are still overcome by the traumatism of Islamic fundamentalism. And they will need more time to succeed, like Fukuyama, in reconsidering their views."

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