The Commonwealth and International Affairs
The Round Table Centennial Selection
The Round Table journal (now subtitled The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs) first appeared in 1910. The journal carried a number of articles recognised both by contemporaries and by historians as highly influential in the making of Commonwealth policy, including constitutional reform in India, the independence of southern Ireland, the League of Nations mandates system and the United Nations trusteeship system, British policy in East Asia, the building of the Anglo-American alliance, appeasement, decolonisation, and the transition to a new, multipolar Commonwealth.
This book brings together excerpts from some of the key articles published over the last one hundred years and features leading figures including;
- Lionel Curtis and John Dove on Ireland, leading to the Anglo-Irish Treaty and the creation of the Irish Free State,
- T.E. Lawrence on the Middle East, a key influence on post-1919 state creation in the Arab Middle East,
- Philip Kerr on India, galvanizing attempts at constitutional reform in British India.
This selection provides a unique commentary on imperial/Commonwealth and international affairs and makes available to a new generation of scholars and students some of the articles now acknowledged as key influences in the evolution of British and Commonwealth policies.
This collection of essays is intended as a companion volume to The Contemporary Commonwealth: An assessment 1965 - 2009, edited by James Mayall, marking the centenary of The Round Table.
Table of Contents
Foreword. Introduction Part 1: The Prewar Empire (1910-14) Part 2: The First World War and its Aftermath (1914-21) Part 3: The Interwar Empire/Commonwealth (1921-39) Part 4: The Second World War and its Aftermath (1939-49) Part 5: The Era of Decolonization (1949-65) Part 6: The Modern Commonwealth. Index of Articles. Notes on Authors. Bibliography. Index
Alex May is Research Editor, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, a project of the University of Oxford, and has been Honorary Secretary/Treasurer of the Round Table since 1997. He is the author of Britain and Europe Since 1945 (1999), and the editor of The Round Table, the Empire/Commonwealth and British Foreign Policy (with Andrea Bosco, 1997), and Britain, the Commonwealth and Europe (2001). The text of his Oxford D.Phil. thesis of 1995, 'The Round Table, 1910-66', will shortly be available from the Round Table's website, http://www.moot.org.uk.
‘Alex May, who is both the Secretary of The Round Table and its historian, is to be congratulated on assembling this selection of the best articles published in the journal over the past century. Both the anthology and his own incisive and informative Introduction provide a fascinating insight into the evolution of the Commonwealth idea, from its genesis in Milner’s kindergarten to current preoccupations with civil society, multiculturalism, multilateralism, and democratic governance.’ - James Mayall, Emeritus Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations, University of Cambridge
‘This fascinating selection from the work of one of the earliest think-tanks is not only a valuable historical document but contains much useful advice for today.’ - Margaret Macmillan, Warden, St Antony’s College, Oxford
‘For consistent, well-informed, high quality, and perceptive commentary on Commonwealth affairs and Britain’s role in the world there is nothing to beat The Round Table. From its warnings of danger posed by German naval expansion prior to 1914 and the need to give the Dominions a say in policy-making if their military support was to be harnessed; through to understanding the aspirations of Egyptian, Arab, Indian and African nationalists; appreciating the changing nature of Commonwealth relations as Dominion sovereignty was conceded, republican status accepted, and an inter-governmental Secretariat and other organs created, The Round Table has usually been ahead of popular opinion. This amazingly interesting collection of articles selected from a century’s worth of lumpy bound volumes, with an introduction by the current secretary of the editorial moot, catches both the flavour of the fast-changing Commonwealth and the quality of the journal.’ - David McIntyre, Emeritus Professor, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand