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Britain and the Commonwealth: confronting the past - imagining the future

Murphy, P. (2011) Britain and the Commonwealth: confronting the past - imagining the future. Round Table: the Commonwealth Journal of Commonwealth International Affairs, 100 (414). pp. 267-283. ISSN 1474-029X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/00358533.2011.574901

Abstract/Summary

This is an extended version of Philip Murphy's inaugural lecture as director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, delivered on 23 February 2011. It traces the relationship of the UK with the wider Commonwealth over 40 years, paying particular attention to the rhetoric of governments and opposition parties from Wilson and Heath to Cameron. It examines the reasons for the Commonwealth being relegated to a peripheral role in British foreign policy, especially European preoccupations and the issues of Rhodesia and South Africa. It argues that the Commonwealth remains of considerable practical and enormous symbolic importance to the UK. The British government should engage with the Commonwealth more than it has done in the recent past and the Commonwealth should be both open to and critical of its imperial past.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > History
ID Code:31511
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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