The Daily Telegraph's Peter Oborne joins launch panel for former Commonwealth Secretary-General Don Mckinnon’s memoirs.

Friday 15 February 2013

“Impossibly devious plots and characters - ambitious presidents and prime ministers from all corners of the world, some determined to hold onto power at any cost; a British government often with a misplaced sense of its own role in one of the world's oldest organisations; and an organisation of 300 people, externally working to help the world while inwardly struggling along racial and geo-political lines.”

In an evening which promises to offer a new and exciting insight into the inner workings of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (a member institute of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study) is delighted to be hosting the launch of former Secretary-General Don Mckinnon’s book, ‘In the Ring: A Commonwealth Memoir’.  Joined by the Daily Telegraph's chief political commentator Peter Oborne, McKinnon will present his book outlining his experiences of some of the most significant events in the history of the Commonwealth.

Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations from 2000 until 2008, Mckinnon was faced with such pivotal moments as George Speight's attempted coup in Fiji and key individuals such as Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe. Chaired by the Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies Professor Philip Murphy, the discussion will present those in attendance with the opportunity to put questions to one of the most important figures in the history of an organisation now spanning 54 nations, populated by over 2 billion people. 

“With fascinating background detail and his predictions for the future of the Commonwealth itself, In the Ring: A Commonwealth Memoir is a compelling account of the trials and tribulations of running an international organisation in a complex world.”


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1)The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, founded in 1949, is the only postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of the Commonwealth.  It is also home to the longest-running interdisciplinary and practice-oriented human rights MA program in the UK. The Institute is a national and international centre of excellence for policy-relevant research, research facilitation and teaching.  As a member of the School of Advanced Study, established in 1994, the Institute works with nine other prestigious postgraduate research institutes to offer academic opportunities across and between a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences.

2) The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the promotion and facilitation of research in the humanities and social sciences. The School brings together 10 research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Germanic & Romance Studies, Historical Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, Study of the Americas, and the Warburg Institute. The School also hosts a cross-disciplinary centre, the Human Rights Consortium, dedicated to the facilitation, promotion and dissemination of academic and policy work on human rights.