1st Edition

Liberal Ideals and the Politics of Decolonisation

Edited By H. Kumarasingham Copyright 2020
    238 Pages
    by Routledge

    Continue Shopping

    Liberal Ideals and the Politics of Decolonisation explores the subject of liberalism and its uses and contradictions across the late British Empire, especially in the context of imperial dissolution and subsequent state- building.

    The book covers multiple regions and issues concerning the British Empire and the Commonwealth, in particular the period ranging from the late-nineteenth century to the late- twentieth century. Original intellectual contributions are offered along with new arguments on critical issues in imperial history that will appeal to a wide range of scholars, including those outside of history. Liberal Ideals and the Politics of Decolonisation exposes commonalities, contradictions and contexts of different types of liberalism that animated the late British Empire and its rulers, radicals, subjects and citizens as they attempted to forge new states from its shadow and understand the impact of imperialism.

    This book examines the complexities of the idea and quest for self-government in the last stages of the British Empire. It also argues the importance of the political, intellectual and empirical aspects of liberalism to understand the process of decolonisation.

    The chapters in this book were originally published in a special issue of The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History.

    Introduction: Liberal Ideals and the Politics of Decolonisation

    H. Kumarasingham

    1. The Plural Society: Labour and the Commonwealth Idea 1900-1964

    Pippa Catterall

    2. Imperial Citizenship or Else: Liberal Ideals and the Indian Unmaking of Empire, 1890-1919

    Mark R. Frost

    3. Written Differently: A Survey of Commonwealth Constitutional History in the Age of Decolonisation

    H. Kumarasingham

    4. An Acutely Embarrassing Affair: Whitehall and the Indian-South African Dispute at the United Nations (1946)

    Lorna Lloyd

    5: A Liberal Ghost? The Left, Liberal Democracy and the Legacy of Harold Laski’s Teaching

    Brant Moscovitch

    6. The Post-Colonial Constitutional Order of the Commonwealth Caribbean: The Endurance of the Crown and the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council

    Derek O’Brien

    7. Primitive Liberals and Pirate Tribes: Black-Flag Radicalism and the Kibbo Kift

    Hana Qugana and Simon Layton

    8. Imperial Liberalism and Institution Building at the End of Empire in Africa

    Sarah Stockwell


    H. Kumarasingham is Senior Lecturer in British Politics and a Political Historian at the University of Edinburgh, UK. His research is especially concerned with the constitutional and political manifestations of decolonisation in multiple parts of the British Empire.