ICWS@70: Is the Commonwealth really 70?

ICWS@70: Is the Commonwealth really 70?
20 May 2019, 5.30pm - 7.30pm
The Court Room, First Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU

Lorna Lloyd (University of Keele)
Harshan Kumarasingham (University of Edinburgh)
Philip Murphy (Institute of Commonwealth Studies)

The official Commonwealth has chosen to mark 2019 as its 70th birthday. This follows a common tendency to date the emergence of the ‘modern’ Commonwealth from the ‘London Declaration’ of April 1949, which formed the basis for India remaining in the organisation as a republic. But on what grounds can the London conference of 1949 be regarded as having witnessed the Commonwealth’s invention (or even its re-invention)? Did those involved in the conference imagine that they were introducing a significant innovation, and did they characterise its outcome in terms of change or continuity. Is the insistence that the Commonwealth is only 70 years old a conscious attempt to distance it from the legacy of the British Empire? And are there other, more significant developments from which one might date the genesis of the Commonwealth?

ICWS Is the Commonwealth Really 70 B.pdf


Olga Jimenez
020 7862 8871