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Written by a senior Indian diplomat who has until recently also served as Commonwealth Deputy Secretary-General, this book provides a unique and far-reaching exploration of the British Commonwealth, and its impact since the second World War on the process of Britain adjusting to a world without Empire. Whither the Commonwealth now? What is its record of achievement; what are the benefits of membership to countries in terms of collective political influence, trade, investment, aid, travel and education? Can any practical good be envisaged for this nearly moribund post-colonial organization? Britain, which brought the association into being and is central to it, would have to play a key part in determining its future. But in coming to such decisions, the British Government faces great problems of perception, both from the Monarchy and the British public.
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KRISHNAN SRINIVASAN is a former senior Indian diplomat (Foreign Secretary, i.e., permanent secretary), and former Commonwealth deputy Secretary-General, a Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge, Visiting Fellow at the Centre for International Studies, Cambridge, and a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, London University, UK.
PETER LYON is Reader Emeritus in International Relations and Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. He is Editor of The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs.
'A masterly and properly controversial assessment of the contemporary Commonwealth...This wide-ranging, unsentimental and sometimes provocative analysis of the post 1945 Commonwealth will be essential reading for students of the decline and fall of the British and other European empires, and the post colonial order, and also for all those interested in the contemporary Commonwealth's attempt to define a role for itself in world politics.' - James Mayall, Professor of International Relations, (Emeritus) University of Cambridge and Fellow of Sidney Sussex College
'Kris Srinivasan's views on the Commonwealth are sometimes controversial and uncomfortable, but he has produced an extremely well informed, well written and well judged book.' - Bill Kirkman, former Commonwealth Staff and Africa Correspondent of The Times
Srinivasan's book is..an important contribution to a never-ending debate. Commonwealth devotees will not like it but they will not be able to ignore it. - Stephen Ashton, Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
Short but provocative...an accessible interpretive account of the Commonwealth, which, beyond its name, has been a largely unknown association in recent decades. The book should be of interest to all who study British foreign policy since 1945 and the end of Empire in particular. - Marc Frey, H-Soz-u-Kult
This quietly passionate, sometimes acerbic book should make us all ask: what does the Commonwealth mean to us today? - Ged Martin, Overseas magazine
The Rise, Decline and Future of the British Commonwealth is the first serious book-length treatment of the history and prospects of the Commonwealth for many years, and as such deserves both congratulation and close analysis. It is an elegant, informative, and thought-provoking - indeed provocative - book, and as a contribution to the debate over the future of the Commonwealth it is to be welcomed. - Alex May, The Round Table
...this is a well informed book that can be appreciated at different levels. - W. David McIntyre, The Round Table
...Srinivasan writes elegantly and there is a wealth of useful material about the contemporary Commonwealth and the 'other Commonwealths' of French, Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch connection. - Stuart Mole, The Round Table
...it will be welcomed for being one of only a few titles that take the Commonwealth seriously as a post Second World War International organization. - Lucian M. Ashworth, The Round Table
'Offers a revealing cocktail of compelling information about the evolution of the modern Commonwealth. It should qualify as indispensable reading for any student or researcher of Commonwealth history [and] be considered compulsory reading for every official appointed by any Commonwealth country to represent it in another country' - Richard Nzerem, Commonwealth Law Bulletin
'Extremely useful..often doubting, sometimes even destructive, but it is a healthy antidote to the cant which in the Commonwealth comes in plentiful supply.' - Africa Today
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