Decolonisation: The British Experience since 1945, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover


The British Experience since 1945, 2nd Edition

By Nicholas White


222 pages

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This updated Seminar Study provides an overview of the process of British decolonisation. The eclipse of the British Empire has been one of the central features of post-war international history. At the end of the Second World War the empire still spanned the globe and yet by the mid-1960s most of Britain’s major dependencies had achieved independence.

Concisely and accessibly, the book introduces students to this often dramatic story of colonial wars and emergencies, and fraught international relations. Although a relatively recent phenomenon, the end of the British Empire continues to spawn a lively and voluminous historical debate.

Dr. White provides a synthesis of recent approaches, specially updated and expanded for this edition, by looking at the demise of British imperial power from three main perspectives the shifting emphases of British overseas policy the rise of populist, anti-colonial nationalism the international political, strategic, and economic environment dominated by the USA and the USSR.

The book also examines the British experience within the context of European decolonisation as a whole. Supporting the text are a range of useful tools, including maps, a chronology of independence, a guide to the main characters involved, and an extensive bibliography (specially expanded for the new edition. Decolonisation: the British Experience since 1945 is ideal for students and interested readers at all levels, providing a diverse range of primary sources and the tools to unlock them.

Table of Contents

PART ONE INTRODUCTION 1 The Setting and the Problem PART TWO IMPERIAL POLICY AND DECOLONISATION 2 Labour 3 Shifting Perspectives? The 1950s and the 1960s PART THREE NATIONALISM AND DECOLONISATION 4 Changing Colonial Societies PART FOUR INTERNATIONAL CHANGE AND DECOLONISATION 5 The British Empire in the New World Order PART FIVE ASSESSMENT 7 British Decolonisation in Comparative Perspective PART SIX DOCUMENTS

About the Author

Nicholas J. White is Professor of Imperial and Commonwealth History at Liverpool John Moores University. His previous books include Business, Government and the End of Empire: Malaya, 1942–57 (1996) and British Business in Post-Colonial Malaysia, 1957–70 (2004).

About the Series

Seminar Studies

Each book in the Seminar Studies series provides a concise and reliable introduction to a wide range of complex historical events and debates, covering topics in British, European, US and world history from the early modern period to the present day. Written by acknowledged experts and including supporting material such as extracts from historical documents, chronologies, glossaries, guides to key figures and further reading suggestions, Seminar Studies titles are essential reading for students of history.

Almost half a century after its launch, the series continues to introduce students to the problems involved in explaining the past, giving them the opportunity to grapple with historical documents and encouraging them to reach their own conclusions. To submit proposals for new books in the Seminar Studies series, please contact the series editors:

Clive.Emsley: clive.emsley @

Gordon Martel: Gordon.Martel @

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain
HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century