The Commonwealth: A Common Culture?

By Richard Maltby; Peter Quartermaine | Go to book overview

Acknowledgements

The Commonwealth: A Common Culture? records Sir Sonny Ramphal’s unique contribution in 1986 to the academic life of the University of Exeter as Distinguished Visiting Professor, and his academic title (which he relished) is used throughout. Published here for the first time is Professor Ramphal’s Public Lecture ‘The Commonwealth and Common Purpose’, a forcefully-argued view of the Commonwealth’s role in a post-colonial world.

The other essays in this collection have a close bearing on Professor Ramphal’s argument. In their range and variety they reflect the range and variety of the Commonwealth itself, and in both their point of view and their focus of interest they indicate the diversity of response possible to the question: ‘does the Commonwealth share a common culture, and if so, in what does it reside?’. They also hint at the mutually reinforcing links between governmental and non-governmental Commonwealth and academic institutions such as the University of Exeter. We are grateful for the assistance we have received in preparing this volume from the Commonwealth Secretariat, and in particular from Clive Jordan and Peter Williams. Hilary Perraton has provided a valuable Afterword on the progress of the Commonwealth of Learning since Professor Ramphal’s visit to Exeter, when he announced the appointment of a Commonwealth Expert Group on Distance Education chaired by Lord Briggs. Neither the Commonwealth Secretariat nor its officers should be held responsible for any failings in the book, which does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Our thanks go to the Publications Committee of the University of Exeter for their support in producing this volume, and especially to Barbara Mennell. Tony Clayden, Head of Graphic Design, and George Webb, Head of Typography at Exeter College of Art and Design, have given us invaluable help in the layout and design of the book. Beryl Phillips, Patricia Dowse and Debbie Leonard typed the manuscript, and Bart Hallett and Chris Williams designed the book.

Our colleagues, Mick Gidley and Ron Tamplin, have discussed this project with us at every stage from its inception. Finally, our thanks to

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