Commonwealth Perspectives

Commonwealth Perspectives

Commonwealth Perspectives

Commonwealth Perspectives

Excerpt

"If it did not exist, you could not invent it." This use of a neat aphorism was Professor K. C. Wheare's way of calling attention in 1953 to the peculiar structure of the British Commonwealth, a structure marked by a shifting equilibrium between forces making for both unity and separateness. It is therefore appropriate that this volume, the eighth in the Commonwealth-Studies series, should consist of essays which throw light on some of the factors which affect this evolving relationship.

These essays represent revised versions of faculty contributions to a Joint Seminar conducted at Duke University in the spring of 1957. The broad purpose of the Seminar was to provide for a group of graduate students in economics, history, and political science an introduction to Commonwealth problems and to the possibilities for advanced research therein. The faculty participants--economists, historians, political scientists--contributed to the objectives of the Seminar through a series of papers in which they brought to bear the research and analytical techniques of their respective disciplines.

The opening essay on "Commonwealth Membership," by Professor Nicholas Mansergh, traces the formulation of the Commonwealth concept, the translation of Commonwealth status into positive law, and the enlargement of the Commonwealth by the addition of Asian and other members in the post Second World War years. It is this development that has added to the diversity of the types of membership. The emergence of the multiracial Commonwealth has, as Professor Mansergh shows, snapped one of the original bonds of Commonwealth unity, that . . .

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