te Velde examines Commonwealth identity through the lens of its membership criteria, its recent enlargement and its constant reincarnation. Far from being an old relic of the past, the Commonwealth is a growing, vibrant modern international organisation and despite its traditional image, Commonwealth membership is shown to be a rather fluid concept that evolves with the times. This book identifies and discusses the different theoretical approaches to analysing the Commonwealth. In so doing it exposes various shortcomings in current thinking about international relations and the Commonwealth. Furthermore, it reveals how a number of turning points in the Commonwealth's history have shaped its membership rules and illustrates how the official Commonwealth still has the potential to expand and develop to best reflect an organisation that represents a third of the world's population. In terms of further growth of the organisation, this book examines the cases of a number of eligible states to assess their likelihood of achieving membership. It also incorporates a handful of non-eligible states that, notwithstanding the new 'rules', are still bent on joining.
'Non- as well as inter-state Commonwealths display considerable resilience and renewal at the start of the second decade of the 21st century, symbolised by recent/imminent members like Rwanda and South Sudan, respectively. The Commonwealths play invaluable roles in terms of inter-racial/religious relations given their innumerable diasporas, codes of conduct for resource industries, promising relations between two of the five BRICS, myriad formal and informal cultural, educational and sporting networks etc, symbolised by its latest EPG report on norms for CHOGM in Perth before end-2011.' Timothy M. Shaw, University of the West Indies, Trinidad & Tobago 'At last we have an analysis of the issue of new membership in the Commonwealth. For the many people who remain puzzled that Mozambique and Rwanda, which were never British colonies, have been admitted into membership, Victoria te Velde provides detailed analysis and thoughtful answers and she sets them convincingly in the context of international relations theory.' W. David McIntyre, Macmillan Brown Centre for Pacific Studies, New Zealand