1st Edition

The Contemporary Commonwealth
An Assessment 1965-2009

Edited By

James Mayall

ISBN 9780415502528
Published February 3, 2012 by Routledge
240 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

This collection of essays has been assembled to mark the centenary of The Round Table. It provides an analysis of the modern Commonwealth since the establishment of the Secretariat in 1965.

Providing an overview of the contemporary Commonwealth, this book places the organization in its rich historical context while assessing its achievements, failures and prospects. The volume is divided into two parts:

• Part I concentrates on a series of themes, dealing with the structure and functioning of the Commonwealth and its major activities, including the work of the secretary general and secretariat, its championing of the interests of small states, human rights and the world economy.

• Part II adopts a regional perspective, identifying the impact of the Commonwealth on regional relations generally and particular problems that affect these relations. It also examines the ways in which the Commonwealth sometimes reinforces regional loyalties and interests but also the extent to which these have also reduced the importance of the Commonwealth in the foreign policy of its member states.

The Contemporary Commonwealth will be of interest to students and scholars of international politics and international organisations, practitioners ,journalists and those working in NGOs involved in Commonwealth affairs.

This collection of essays is intended as a companion volume to The Commonwealth and International Affairs, edited by Alex May, marking the centenary of The Round Table.

Table of Contents

Part 1  1. Introduction: The Modern Commonwealth: an overview James Mayall  2. The Commonwealth and the Law Peter Slinn  3.From Smith to Sharma: The Role of the Secretary General Stuart Mole  4.Principles and Practice: Human Rights, The Harare Declaration and the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) Krishnan Srinivasan  5. The Commonwealth as a Champion of Small States Ronald Sanders  6. Managing Globalization: The Commonwealth in the International Economy Nicholas Bayne  7. The Commonwealth and Civil Society Richard Bourne  Part 2  8. The Commonwealth and the European Union Paul Taylor  9. Canada & North America Jennifer Welsh 10. Commonwealth Oceana W. David McIntyre  11. Asia Syed Sarfuddin 12. Africa Sola Akinrinade

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James Mayall is the Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations and Director of the Centre of International Studies at the University of Cambridge, UK. He was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2001.


'The 60th anniversary celebrations of the modern Commonwealth offer as good an occasion as any for a stock-taking of this unique institution's strengths and weaknesses, achievements and failures. This volume takes a good stab at that task and comes up with some interesting insights [...] Of particular interest to readers of this journal will be an illuminating chapter on the Commonwealth and Law by Peter Slinn.' - The Commonwealth Lawyer: Journal of the Commonwealth Lawyers Association, Vol 19, No 1. April 2010