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Commonwealth Matters December 2011

Index Director’s Report


Staff Highlights


Commonwealth Advisory Bureau




Calls for Collaboration 11

ICws MA Students at the Human Rights Council. Credited to Vesna Jovic, MA Student 2010-11

Welcome to the relaunched design of Commonwealth Matters, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ biannual newsletter. With updates from our academic staff, fellows and alumni, and information on the launch of our Research Associates network, we highlight the key achievements of the Institute. We hope you will enjoy our new design and welcome any feedback or news stories for future editions to

Fellows’ Focus


Alumni Destinations


Keep in Touch


Director’s Report Peter Hain, giving a lecture on ‘Mandela: the man and his legacy’ to launch his new book, and the Right Honourable Lord Howell of Guildford, Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, who gave the inaugural Peter Lyon Lecture, focusing on ‘The Commonwealth – a Global Network for the 21st Century’. My inaugural lecture as Director of the ICwS took place in the Beveridge Hall of Senate House on 23 February 2011 and was attended by 250 people including High Commissioners and the Commonwealth SecretaryGeneral. The text of the lecture was published in the June 2011 edition of The Round Table.

“Our dynamic events programme, featuring over 330 speakers, continued to explore current Commonwealth and Human Rights issues and attracted 2,840 attendees.”

Greetings All, The academic year 2010-11 has been highly successful for the ICwS, with a well attended programme of nearly 100 events, research projects, a newly launched Research Associates Network and the continued success of its prestigious MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Colleagues were pleased to welcome Daisy Cooper as the new Director of the Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit in January 2011. Joining us from the Commonwealth Secretariat, where she was the Senior Strategic Planning Officer for four years, Daisy has great experience of major change management processes, and recently implemented the relaunch of the CPSU as the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (CA/B) to great acclaim. Our dynamic events programme, featuring over 330 speakers, continued to explore current Commonwealth and Human Rights issues and attracted 2,840 attendees. Prestigious speakers included The Right Honourable


Conferences and seminar series generated a great deal of interest amongst academics and policy makers alike. A highlight was ‘In the shadow of the ICC: Colombia and International Criminal Justice,’ details of which appear later in the newsletter. Another was ‘Winds of Change 2011: The implications of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East for Commonwealth Africa,’ which was organised in the wake of political turmoil in the region. A successful series of eight monthly seminars by leading academics and lawyers in the field of ‘International Refugee Law’ was run by ICwS in conjunction with Institute of Advanced Legal Studies and UNHCR (the UN refugee agency), generating substantial interaction between participants from the academic, practice and policy worlds. The first of a series of witness seminars was held in May in conjunction with the Overseas Service Pensioners Association (OSPA), exploring aspects of British colonial policy. The Institute was also a joint sponsor of a major international conference in Lisbon on the End of the Portuguese Empire. In January 2011, the Institute hosted a highly successful workshop on LGBT rights in the Commonwealth, an issue also taken up by the CA/B. These newly launched initiatives ran alongside our regular seminar series on Black and Asian Britain, the Caribbean, Singapore, Decolonization, Language Policy in the Commonwealth and Human Rights.

One of my key tasks in 2010 was that of co-convenor of the Commonwealth Conference at Cumberland Lodge, Windsor. The biennial event was launched in November 2010 in collaboration with the Commonwealth Foundation and the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and explored what it means to be a citizen of the Commonwealth in the 21st century. A pamphlet based on the conference was subsequently prepared by the Institute and launched at the People’s Forum of the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth. I also acted as co-convenor, speaker and roundtable panellist at a conference on ‘The End of The Portuguese Empire in Comparative Perspective’, at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon in June 2011.

An exciting development for the Institute was the creation of a Research Associates Network, to enable UK scholars to collaborate on issues in the humanities and social sciences relevant to the study of the Commonwealth and to provide a forum to influence national and international policy on issues relating to the fields of study of the Research Associates. A series of events will be held next academic year to cement and grow the network.

I was a keynote speaker at a Conference on British Foreign Policy in Africa since 1957, at Paris Diderot University in March 2011. I also presented a paper on my current research on the British Monarchy and the Commonwealth at the University of Cambridge World History Seminar, and was an invited speaker at a conference at the University of Northumbria on ‘The American and British Relationship with Africa since 1960’. In September 2010 I delivered a presentation on the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group at the Commonwealth Secretariat Induction Programme for Commonwealth Diplomats at Farnham Castle.

The Institute continued to offer its MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights, which is the longestrunning multidisciplinary and practice-oriented human rights Master’s programme in the UK. A total of 41 MA students registered for the programme in 2011-12, and a further 26 were registered for Doctoral studies. An exciting film project was launched by our students to work with young people living in the Brunswick Centre, examining the community and its challenges from a human rights-based perspective. Two students on the MA, Esther Ojulari and Gaia Marcus, trained the group of young women on human rights and the rights of the child and filmmakers PAN supported the young women to develop the film. It was premiered at the Renoir Cinema in the Brunswick Centre during the 2010 Bloomsbury Festival.

“Exploring what it means to be a Commonwealth citizen in the 21st century.” The Institute has continued to expand its cutting edge research projects. Dr. David Cantor was awarded an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) grant to complete a knowledge exchange project on ‘Managing insecurity: displacement and return during the Colombian conflict.’ I collaborated with Dr Leo Zeilig to establish the Commonwealth Oral History Project, which aims to develop a unique research resource on the oral history of the modern Commonwealth. An interview with Sir Shridath Surendranath “Sonny” Ramphal, the second Commonwealth Secretary-General from 1975-1990, was conducted by Stuart Mole to launch the initiative. A conference was also held in June 2011, entitled ‘Negotiating with Apartheid - Witness Seminar on the mission to South Africa of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group 1986,’ a major Commonwealth initiative to encourage political reform in South Africa.

“Enabling UK scholars to collaborate on issues in the humanities and social sciences relevant to the study of the Commonwealth.”

I continue to co-edit The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. I also published an article on the 1959 Nyasaland Emergency in The Journal of Southern African Studies. Finally, it gives me great pleasure to relaunch the Institute of Commonwealth Studies newsletter Commonwealth Matters. I hope you enjoy our first edition and please do get in touch with your news, suggestions and feedback. With all good wishes, Professor Philip Murphy


Staff Highlights Professor James Manor Over the last year, I led a team from the School of Advanced Study to a conference at the former Viceregal Lodge in Simla, India which inaugurated a tripartite partnership that links the School to the Indian Institute of Advanced Study (India’s premier scholarly institution) and Yale University. I finished one book on the politics of poverty reduction in Uganda, Brazil and India; and neared completion of another on India’s (and the world’s) largest poverty programme. I gave a presentation in Pretoria to officials from the President’s office and relevant ministries on the Indian programme, since the South Africans are considering something similar. I lectured on these and other topics in several parts of India and in Britain, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden and Cambodia. With support from School’s Dean, I developed a proposal for a major research project. It will involve 18 researchers in an analysis of the politics that lie behind a recent increase in efforts to tackle poverty and inequality by governments in Brazil, India, China and South Africa. I also did two spells of field research in India on the implications for democracy of a fundamental social change, the declining power of caste hierarchies.

Dr Corinne Lennox

Dr David Cantor In 2010/11, I have been busy launching new projects and disseminating research that is linked to my PhD, completed in 2009, whilst also juggling a demanding teaching schedule on the MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights.

I found myself with Professor James Manor in the hills of the Himalayas at a fascinating conference on changes in caste hierarchies, part of a School of Advanced Study alliance with Yale and the Indian Institute of Advanced Study. I took the opportunity also to initiate plans for my sabbatical in Summer 2012, which will include a period of research in India. I was pleased to be able to share some of this research with advocates in Geneva at the Dalit Decade review conference in June 2011.

I teach the Translating Human Rights in Law modules on the MA at the ICwS. The overall student satisfaction rate for our MA programme was 92% in 2010/11 and I am proud of our achievements.

October 2011. The 2011-2012 RLI projects include: a public seminar series on International Refugee Law; a public seminar series on ‘Refugee Integration’; a short research-training course on ‘The International Protection of Refugees and Displaced Persons’; a research project My research currently concentrates on: the law of on ‘The Role of the ICRC with respect to the Movement international armed conflict and forced displacement; reparation for refugees and other displaced victims; and of Persons’; and an FCO-funded Refugee Law workshop the European effect on refugee law in the Andean region. for high-level government officials of Commonwealth For the latter two, I carried out extensive field research, States. Visiting Fellowships, a Doctoral Affiliate network including 150 interviews, across ten regions of Colombia, and a Working Paper Series were also established at the RLI. For details of these and other RLI projects, please Venezuela, Ecuador and Panamá in March-May 2011. I visit: run a number of projects relating to the protection of victims of the armed conflict in Colombia. I am a UK expert for the Michigan-Melbourne Refugee Caselaw site and recently accepted an invitation to sit I am Director of a new Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) that on the International Advisory Board of the UN-OCHA I have launched at the School of Advanced Study. This Humanitarian Studies Institute. offers a national focal point for leading and facilitating research and policy work in international refugee law and was formally launched in

I’ve also continued my active enagement with the UN. I worked with the UN Independent Expert on Minority Issues to prepare the recommendations of the 2010 UN Forum on Minorities, focused on the topic of participation in economic life. I was also pleased to see the publication of the UNDP Resource Guide and Toolkit on Marginalised Minorities in Development Programming (2010), for which I was lead author. I launched into a new area of research on the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people. The continued criminalisation of same-sex sexual relations was the focus of a conference convened at SAS in January 2011 and is the focus of a book I’m currently co-editing. Finally, I was pleased to co-edit a special issue of the International Journal on Minority and Group Rights and to launch therein an ambitious project of future research on the role of minority protection civil society actors. This links to the UK Network on Minority Groups and Human Rights, which SAS continues to help build.

For further information on ICwS Staff and their current research projects, please visit our website here:



Dr Damien Short I have continued to convene the Institute’s MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights and the 10/11 cohort has been as successful as the previous year with 10 distinctions awarded. I was awarded a School of Advanced Study Conference Fund 2010– 2011, which allowed me to attend the British Sociological Association’s (BSA) Annual Conference ‘60 years of sociology’ in April where I presented, and co-convened, the newly created ‘sociology of rights’ stream. The stream was awarded on the back of an agenda setting ICwS workshop initiative in 2009, which has resulted in the study group publishing a Special Issue of the International Journal of Human Rights (IJHR) and an edited book ‘Sociology and Human Rights’ Routledge 2011 (details below). My work on the special issue for the IJHR was rewarded with an invitation to join the editorial board, which I duly accepted. The work of my BSA ‘sociology and rights’ study group has also resulted in the award of a special issue of the internationally renowned BSA


Dr Par Engstrom journal Sociology. The work on this special issue is now underway and the amount of submissions received has been a record for the journal, which is testament to the agenda setting nature of the study group’s work. The issue will be published early in the New Year. My collaboration with the Utrecht Human Rights Institute continues and work is now nearing completion on a special issue of Memory Studies based on my work on reconciliation initiatives. This is scheduled for a 2012 publication. I am currently working on a research project which investigates the impact of ‘extreme energy’ on indigenous communities in Canada. The first paper from this project will appear in another special issue I am editing for the IJHR in January 2012. Finally, I have started work on a new journal project for the ICwS – Human Rights in the Commonwealth. The journal will be an open access web based publication utilising SAS’s hosting service ‘SAS Space’ and is looking to go live by the end of the year.

During 2010/11, I contributed to the ICwS teaching programme by offering two popular courses on the Politics of Human Rights in Latin America (Transitional Justice and Challenges of Democratization respectively). I was also involved in and led a significant number of research projects and events. Together with Cath Collins (Human Rights Consortium Visiting Fellow), the Institute for the Study of the Americas, and Transitional Justice Institute, University of Ulster, I organised a conference in October 2010 on the theme of “Late Justice in South America”. The Rising Brazil seminar series (November-December 2010) was followed-up by a one-day conference (April 2011) at the Brazil Institute King’s College London, and was extensively covered by the Brazilian media. The series was generously funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Embassy of Brazil in London. In May 2011, together with Dr Lennox, I convened the London Debates workshop that examined the future possible trajectories for the international human rights regime in the context of debates surrounding ‘emerging powers’ in global governance. I also co-convened with Dr Cantor a hugely successful conference entitled ‘In the Shadow of the ICC: Colombia and International Criminal Justice’, which was funded by a number of organisations including the FCO, the Embassy of Colombia in London, and the Planethood Foundation. The resulting policy report made a number of influential recommendations that have fed into policy debates both in Colombia and at the ICC in The Hague. The Inter-American Human Rights

System and Mexico workshop (June 2011), with Peace Brigades International and ISA, brought together a series of interdisciplinary panels and audiences from NGOs and the political, legal and academic sectors, with the aim of increasing understanding of the human rights situation in Mexico, especially with regards to the implementation of the rulings of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. I also organised with Dr Thomas Pegram (HRC Visiting Fellow) and the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies the first jointly-partnered collaborative venture between the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the HRC, which brought together a host of high-level delegates, including ministry officials, equality and human rights scholars and policy-makers, to reflect on the future prospects for the UK Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC). A joint AHRC-HRC policy report based on the workshop outcomes will be published in late 2011. The HRC built on the success of the 2010-11 Human Rights seminar series and organised a joint seminar series with London Transitional Justice Network (LTJN), of which I am a co-chair, to be launched in the next academic year. Moreover, I was invited to present my research at conferences and seminars in the UK and abroad. I acted as a reviewer of book manuscripts and articles for several academic publishers. In addition, I was involved in a number of research projects, including a project on Transitional Justice in Peace-Building funded by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and a project on National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) and Torture Prevention in Latin America, in collaboration with ISA and funded by the FCO. I published a number of journal articles and book chapters based on my ongoing research on the Inter-American Human Rights System, transitional justice, and human rights foreign policy.


Commonwealth Advisory Bureau The Commonwealth just got relevant: how the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau is tackling tough issues have been reported in newspapers in the USA, South Africa and Zimbabwe itself.

Daisy Cooper, Director of the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau On 6th September, veteran human rights and antiapartheid activist Albie Sachs addressed a room of over 100 guests to deliver one simple message: even if you try to ignore it, the issue of decriminalising homosexuality will not go away. Amongst the guests were High Commissioners and other government representatives, many from countries where homosexuals live in fear for their lives, and where the crime of being gay may be punishable with a 20 years sentence. There is a campaign to have the issue discussed at a Commonwealth meeting for the first time, but many governments refuse to engage. Not all of our guests applauded the speaker, but they did turn up, and they heard his message. That event was the re-launch of the 12-year old Commonwealth Policy Studies Unit as the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau and the launch of our Policy Briefing for the 2011 Commonwealth Summit in October. Alongside our new name and image, we delivered a message of our own: as the independent think-tank and advisory service for the modern Commonwealth, we are determined to tackle some of the most uncomfortable, urgent and demanding issues around the Commonwealth. Our Policy Briefing for Commonwealth leaders also takes on the ethics of the extractive industry, and makes concrete proposals on how the Commonwealth should re-engage with Zimbabwe. The controversy over engagement with Zimbabwe is such that our proposals


And then there are our monthly Opinion pieces designed to stimulate debate and dialogue around some of the most pressing issues in the Commonwealth. In the first Opinion, Professor James Manor, Emeka Anyaoku Professor at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, calls on Commonwealth leaders to reconsider the award of the 2013 Commonwealth Summit to Sri Lanka. (The only opportunity for leaders to change their mind is at the 2011 Commonwealth Summit in October 2011). It is a succinct and powerful piece in which he sets out the catalogue of gross abuses committed by the government of that country. Already, the Canadian Prime Minister has signalled that he won’t attend the Commonwealth Summit in Sri Lanka unless there are significant improvements in human rights. CAB is at the forefront of that debate. These monthly publications are a way of keeping CAB at the forefront of policy-makers’ minds, and also a handy way of advertising our advisory services! Now, the CAB offers confidential and impartial advice to countries interested in applying to join the Commonwealth, and can help existing member countries make the most of Commonwealth membership for maximum impact at home and abroad. We have a number of exciting plans for the coming months. If you want to help us take on tough issues keep an eye out for our vacancies and internships, but if you just want to learn more about us or come to one of our events, take a look at our new website! http://www.

Judge Albie Sachs speaks at re-launch of CAB

Highlights Challenging Inequality for LGBT persons in the Commonwealth by Dr Corinne Lennox About 80 percent of Commonwealth member states criminalise same-sex sexual activity. Most of these laws are a legacy of British colonial legislation of a similar nature. In some Commonwealth states, rhetoric against homosexuality has been tied up with anti-Western sentiment, casting critics of the inequality and violence faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons as stooges of the West. The legitimate concerns of activists working domestically and internationally for the human rights of LGBT persons are dismissed in public discourse amidst a hail of intolerance, and in many cases, outright homophobia. Concerned about the lack of sufficient dialogue within Commonwealth institutions on the human rights of LGBT persons, the ICwS initiated a conference on the topic in cooperation with the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative. With a small grant provided by the SAS Human Rights Consortium and the Canadian Embassy, we were able to bring together a group of researchers and activists in January 2011 to review case studies of practice on (de)criminalisation in Commonwealth states. Given the financial limiations of that event, we felt it was necessary to widen the scope of our efforts, and commissioned new research from scholars across the Commonwealth to document expereinces of successful decriminalisation and of ongoing struggles to this end. The resultant book is provisionally entitled: Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity and Human Rights in the Commonwealth: Historical and Contemporary Struggles for Decriminalisation. It is being co-edited with Dr. Matthew Waites, a Sociologist based at the University of Glasgow, and will be publised by SAS early in 2012. We have taken an unconventional approach in commissioning the chapters, seeking out both academics and activists to share their (often first-hand) experiences and knowledge of these processes. Among the contributors is Justice Michael Kirby, member of the Eminent Persons Group of the Commonwealth and a vocal advocate in support of decriminalisation. We hope that the volume will be an accessible tool for activists, legislators, policy makers and the Commonwealth institutions alike for taking new steps to address this issue. The work has also brought the ICwS into contact with new partners, like the International Gay and Lesbian Association (ILGA), who launched the 2011 StateSponsored Homophobia Report at SAS.

At the occasion of the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau’s Briefing to the 2011 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in September, keynote speaker Justice Albie Sachs made decriminalisation the central focus of his intervention. South Africa has been a leader in Africa and within the Commonwealth in reforming its legislative framework on equality for LGBT persons. This has not matched reforms in public acceptance of diverse sexual orientation and gender identities. For example, reports of ‘correct rapes’ for lesbians are widespread. As Justice Sachs noted, “[b] reakthroughs can only be made if there is more rational and sensitive dialogue involving all parties”.

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is well-placed to support such reforms. Drawing from the civil society networks of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative and the policy links of the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau, we can use our collective expertise and connections to bring together individuals who wish to move beyond the persecution of individuals because of their sexual orientation and gender identity. Equality and non-discrimination are foundational values of the Commonwealth and they must be secured for all if they are to have meaning for anyone.


In the Shadow of the ICC: Colombia and International Criminal Justice by Dr Par Engstrom The Human Rights Consortium, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies and the Institute for the Study of the Americas organised on 26 and 27 May 2011 a highlevel conference on the theme of “In the Shadow of the ICC: Colombia and International Criminal Justice”. The conference examined the nature and dynamics of the role of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the ongoing investigation and prosecution of atrocity crimes committed in Colombia. Representatives from the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, the FCO, the Colombian Supreme Court, the Embassy of Colombia in London, the International Organization of Migration, and many non-governmental organizations, participated in the discussions. The conference was generously supported by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Embassy of Colombia in London, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), Planethood Foundation, Lawyers Without Borders Canada, and Peace Brigades International. The conference facilitated a fruitful exchange of information and perspectives between the delegates and the resulting policy report has made a number of influential recommendations that have fed into policy debates both in Colombia and at the ICC in the Hague.

Commonwealth Oral History Project

In its 60 year modern history the Commonwealth has had an extraordinary impact on the world, yet it has been notoriously bad at documenting its own history. As a ‘soft power’ organisation, the Commonwealth’s public successes have been largely attributable to the individuals involved: not simply only its titular head, Elizabeth II but also key national political leaders, and the Commonwealth Secretaries General. Given the advancing age of all concerned, there is a closing window of opportunity for the implementation of a major oral history project that will cover the majority of the period since the establishment of the Commonwealth Secretariat in 1965. It is with these concerns that the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) and the Commonwealth Advisory Bureau (CA/B) have started to develop an exciting oral history project of the modern Commonwealth. The aim of this project is to develop a unique digital research resource on the oral history of the modern Commonwealth that will be of lasting benefit to a broad range of scholars, educators and policy makers. The project is based on interviews with leading Commonwealth figures from the past fifty years, as well as witness seminars that bring together some of the principle figures of certain periods in the modern Commonwealth. It will draw upon the Institute’s unique concentration of expertise in the field of Commonwealth affairs, including that of its staff, fellows, research associates and members of the CA/B. The Institute is also the focus for a far broader network of scholars with an interest in Commonwealth History, one that was further enhanced from the 1980s onwards when the Institute was the base for the major multi-volume British Documents at the End of Empire Project (BDEEP). The Institute has secured the support of scholars from the Institute of Historical Research, the Centre for Contemporary British History at King’s College, and LSE IDEAS at the London School of Economics, a leading centre for the study of diplomacy and international strategy. In addition the Institute is developing the project with the British Library.

For listings of forthcoming events, and to view videos, podcasts and papers from key past events, please visit: 10

Calls for collaboration The Institute has a national and international mission to promote collaboration in Commonwealth studies, governance, human rights, and globalisation and development. We act as a source for the wider academic community to facilitate research. Some opportunities are listed below:

Refugee Law Initiative Doctoral Affiliates Network The newly launched Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) has set up the RLI Doctoral Affiliates network to provide a forum for doctoral students working on refugee law topics to engage with other doctoral students and researchers in academic exchanges relating to research and developments in the field. The Doctoral Affiliate scheme is open to any researcher registered on a programme of doctorate on a relevant topic at the time of application.

Working Papers Series Submissions are invited for the RLI ‘Working Papers,’ which are a web-based research series looking at the protection of refugees and other displaced persons in law and practice. They provide a means for the rapid dissemination of preliminary research results and other work in progress. This resource is particularly intended to facilitate initial distribution and discussion of high-quality postgraduate research prior to eventual peer-review publication. RLI Working Papers are prominently displayed on the RLI website as a resource for scholars and practitioners worldwide. They are also stored in SASSpace, which records the date deposited. For further details, and to apply, visit:

Research Associates Network Purpose of the Network During 2010/11. the ICwS established a new network of Research Associates, to enable UK scholars to collaborate on issues in the humanities and social sciences relevant to the study of the Commonwealth; to provide a forum to influence national and international policy on issues relating to the fields of study of the Research Associates; and to advance the boundaries of research fields in the humanities and social sciences on issues relevant to the Commonwealth and its member states. The inaugural meeting was held in May 2011 at the ICwS to discuss how best to take the network forward.

Criteria for membership 1. ICwS Research Associates must be UK based scholars 2. Research Associates must have a track record of high quality teaching or research (or both) in the humanities or social sciences in disciplines relevant to Commonwealth nations 3. Research Associates must have a Ph.D from a recognised University (in the UK or overseas) in an appropriate discipline

Benefits available to Research Associates • Access to an active and prestigious network of likeminded scholars, enabling Research Associates to stay up-to-date with new developments and research trends in their fields of study and facilitating academic collaboration • Events and Conferences which will give access to policy makers and opinion-formers in the Commonwealth context. • Access to online forums to discuss matters of mutual concern and emerging fields of study If you are interested in joining the network, please complete the application form available on our website at Fellowships/Research_Associates_app_form.doc and return it along with a short CV to Selina Hannaford ( It will then be considered by the ICwS Academic Planning Committee and you will be informed of their decision.


Fellows’ Focus Dr Balasubramanyam Chandramohan PhD, FRSA, FHEA shares his research on Transnational Education in the Commonwealth In transnational education programmes, courses are developed and administered by an institution based in one country and delivered in another. These could be offered through traditional mechanisms (face-to-face) in offshore campuses, online through a mixed mode or by administrative/commercial arrangements e.g. franchising courses to another organisation. Transnational education has increased in scale and diversity due to demand and supply factors in the ‘recipient’ and ‘provider’ national contexts. The ‘recipient’ countries often lack the academic infrastructure to meet the demands for education from the youth, which makes up a big proportion of the population. The ‘provider’ countries/institutions find it profitable to expand their activities and provide transnational education as a way of generating income, especially in the context of cutbacks in public funding for education. In the Commonwealth, the UK, Australia and Canada have traditionally been the main providers of transnational education. The University of London’s external degrees programme has been in operation in Commonwealth countries since the 1860s. Australian universities in the last decade have been aggressively marketing education abroad, especially, but not exclusively, in Commonwealth countries. The dominance of the UK and Australia in transnational education is partly due to the leading role they have played in international education, which is defined as the education offered by institutions to students from another country or countries, where the students follow campus-based courses often in groups made up of different nationalities. The move from international to transnational education was helped by three key factors: reputation of the ‘brand’, regulatory frameworks underpinning transparency and quality assurance, and, crucially, English language, the lingua franca of academic exchange.


However, there are new trends in transnational education in the Commonwealth The neat division above into ‘receiving’ and ‘providing’ countries is blurred in recent years as educational providers become ‘global’ and traditional ‘providers’ become ‘recipients,’ whilst ‘recipients’ turn ‘providers’. Also, with the entry of multinational private providers of education, distinctions between national systems are blurred and a corporate rather than national identity is projected. There are also education providers from the USA who target Commonwealth countries such as India more aggressively than in the past. Studies mapping transnational education have generally focussed on administrative aspects. Quality watchdogs have been extra vigilant about transnational operations as they are perceived as risky and could, potentially, cause reputational damage to individual institutions or national systems. There is a need for comparing and contrasting inter- and transnational education in terms of learning material, pedagogy, student experience and cultural exchange. In international education, there is an inbuilt scope for students (and staff) for imbibing host culture(s) through interaction, but in transnational education such a possibility is relatively low, as course material is often delivered in contexts that are different from the one where they were produced. The Commonwealth is a values-based organisation and the cultural dimension of education is central to developing and maintaining ties and identities. Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowships awarded by different Commonwealth countries help to build such an identity. Opportunities for interaction exist in privately-funded international education as well, where students pay their own fees to study abroad in another Commonwealth country. However, the expansion in transnational education has been rapid and it has outpaced the expansion in international education. The challenge for Commonwealth is to build mechanisms through transnational education that would encourage the values that it stands for and to demonstrate that it is ‘bound together not only by shared history and tradition but also by an ethos of respect for all states and peoples, of shared values and principles, and of concern for the vulnerable’. <http://www.thecommonwealth. org/document/181889/34293/35468/216908/ commonwealth%20values%20and%20principles,htm> (accessed 09-11-2011)

Margaret O’Callaghan, former United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) rep to Zambia, reviews Senior Fellow Susan Williams’ recently published book Who Killed Dag Hammarskjöld? Wreath laying events were not something I had anticipated would become part of my professional life but in Zambia it did. One of those occasions was the anniversary of the plane crash in which the Secretary General of the UN died in 1961. Platoons of government officials, diplomats, UN staff and soldiers would dutifully travel north each year from the capital to Ndola to solemnly pay homage to his memory.

UN and bilateral diplomats, in front of the famous termite mound, preparing to lay wreaths at the annual Dag Hammarskjold commemoration, Ndola, 1999

Reading Williams’ new book Who Killed Dag Hammarskjöld? takes my mind back to those hours of standing beside the giant termite mound, facing the simple and handsome stone monument and watching the tall pine trees surrounding the site bend in the wind. I knew little of the complex drama which lay behind the crash, or my thoughts would not have been as subdued as they were - I would have been seething with anger at the stubbornness, denial, duplicity and complicity of which lay behind it. Williams is not just raking over old ashes but shining a bright light into the dark recesses of government archives and other sources, and revealing new information which clearly indicates that the crash was no accident. She produces evidence which shows that a number of governments, themselves member organisations of the fledgling UN, along with powerful business interests, played crucial roles in the event. This is perhaps why the book is causing such a stir – despite the half century which has passed. I wrote and delivered the Ndola speech for the UN in my last year in Zambia, but am now wondering what would I have said differently if I had read this illuminating book beforehand. I had commenced with the words, as an attention catcher, “Peace, perfect peace which passeth all understanding – that is what Hammarskjöld stood for ...” Certainly those sentiments still stand, for they could well have been the less poetic but the nethertheless very meaningful words of the Charter – “to take effective

collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace...”. Also relevant to the Congo situation in the Charter was “... respect for the principal of equal rights and self-determination...based on the principle of the sovereign equality of all of its members”. These, after-all, were the reasons why the Secretary General was flying to Ndola. What I would now add? I would have reminded perhaps, that support for the SG’s highly principled approach in the Congo came from Resolution 161 which was passed because of the newly acquired power of the many nations which had recently achieved self-determination. Countries like India and Egypt, and many smaller ones, were now empowered, making for a significant change in global balance of power. I would have also reminded that with any such radical change to a power base there is bound to be some backlash, including fear and resistance – and of the need to plan for the prevention or reduction of such responses. Certainly this was the experience of the Congo as international interests, both government and business, fought viciously to keep control over the valuable Katanga resources, to prevent communism from taking over and to maintain a perceived ‘white’ bulwark in Rhodesia and southern Congo against ‘black’ Africa. I might have reflected on the point that in 1961 the UN family was still developing its capacity to live up to the principles of the Charter and challenged those present to consider how well it was doing fifty years on and what role they were playing in achieving this – and whether the lessons of the Congo experience had been learnt. After-all, Hammarskjöld died for these principles. Thank you Dr Williams for bringing this important story back onto the agenda - it certainly provides strong justification for a new inquiry.

UN Secretary-General Hammarskjold after his arrival at Leopoldville airport in the Congo on 13 September 1961, less than a week before his death. At the centre is Congolese Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula; on Adoula’s right is Joseph Mobutu


Alumni Destinations Katherine Smith, 10/11 Alumnus

Hee Jung Choi: 09/10 Alumnus

“During the course of my MA I realised that I would love to work as a projects manager for a NGO working with children. After completing my thesis I moved to Phnom Penh, Cambodia as a short-term volunteer for NewLife Foundation, the humanitarian arm of Cambodia Outreach ( I work mainly in the communications department. My first task was editing a proposal requesting money to build a school in a village 6-8 hours drive from Phnom Penh. A big plus is that after surviving the module on “Securing Human Rights 1”, I am no longer terrified of writing proposals! In my free time I visit other departments learning how things “work on the ground”. My favourite department is Children@Risk which heads the child sponsorship programme. I have so far been to 6 villages visiting the children, where I ran a mini-children’s programme of songs and games. I also joined the Joy Club team on a visit to a slum in Phnom Penh where I co-led a children’s programme. During my time here I hope to spend more time with these departments and learn more about the work that they do and develop a better understanding of some of the challenges these families face and how NLF is helping combat poverty and keep these children in safe environments. If you want to know more please visit my blog:”


“I work as an intern at the Civil Society Section of the OHCHR in Geneva. As part of the team, I assist in building civil society’s knowledge and effective advocacy skills; to protect civil society’s space, such as promoting a stronger status for Civil Society in inter-governmental processes at international and regional levels; and to promote participation of civil society, in particular UN Human Rights Processes (Treaty Bodies, Universal Periodic Review, Special Rapporteurs, Human Rights Council). “The Session of Human Rights Council (HRC) in March is generally the busiest one of the year. As the 16th Session of the HRC started on 28th February 2011 I, as an intern of the Civil Society Section, have roles in regard to fomatting NGO Written Statements into UN document style, attending NGO side events and taking summary notes, and also assisting with the list of NGO Speakers and enquiries from NGOs. I believe that the academic knowledge and skills I have learnt at ICwS have brought me strong advantages that assisted in my selection to work at the UN, in particular in the field of Human Rights. Therefore, I can say that the motivation from ICwS has not only changed my life and allowed me to become more confident, but also prepared me to engage in the field of human rights as a human rights activist.”

Saiqa Ali: 09/10 Alumnus

Dan Slee, 06/07 Alumnus

“Whilst studying at ICwS I worked on a project (Mum’s, Bumps and Babies) during an internship at the Refugee Council and identified the isolation and lack of support available to many women. Although there are many organisations that provide help and support to women; there are few that offer a space in which women can communicate and gain empowerment through effective communication, information and personal development.

“I am volunteering for Peace Brigades International (PBI) Colombia project providing protective accompaniment to human rights defenders threatened by political violence. My experience has taught me that the mandate is true and international accompaniment deters violence and creates space for local activists to work. PBI is nonpartisan and does not interfere in the affairs of those we accompany with the belief that a lasting peace cannot be imposed from outside but must come from the desires of local people.

After completing the MA and building on what I had learnt on the course and at the Refugee Council, I decided to formalise the work I have been doing in my local community for the last five years. I have helped many marginalised women and families who are vulnerable from a variety of different backgrounds. In November 2010 I started my own women’s group: Linking Bridges, with a group of fellow ICwS students and friends. Linking Bridges is committed to empowering women; encouraging diversity and envisaging integration. Thus far, Linking Bridges has been funded by the NHS and successfully completed a project to raise awareness in the Urdu speaking community of the HPV vaccination to prevent cervical cancer. Linking Bridges is now an established community group, working towards being a registered charity by the end of 2012. We are listed on Wandsworth’s Voluntary Organisation directory and are working on projects in the UK and abroad. We are linked with a women’s group in London and are working with them on a project for a soup kitchen for homeless people in Victoria, London. We are working in conjunction with the Refugee Council on holding ‘Health and Wellbeing’ coffee mornings fortnightly for Refugee women in September 2011. We are also establishing links with a women’s group in Palestine and a women’s group and orphanage in Pakistan. In recognition of my work, I am in the process of being filmed for a television programme about inspirational Muslim women throughout history and today.

I found out about PBI through the ‘Securing Human Rights’ module of the MA. It’s the perfect way to get to know NGOs that work both in the UK and abroad. The help organising internships and everything I learnt on the course has been essential in obtaining my volunteer position with PBI and it continues being useful for my work in the field and the office. It’s been an incredible year with PBI, so much so that I’ve decided to repeat for another.”

Karen Baker: 08/09 Alumnus “I graduated from the MA in 2009. I worked with the Consortium for Street Children as part of my internship and after I graduated they recommended I volunteer with one of their member organisations, JUCONI who work with street children in Ecuador. I did a 6 months volunteer placement last year and I am now working as their Operational Director based in Ecuador.”

I also work as a Project Officer for the National Deaf Children’s Society. NDCS is the leading charity dedicated to creating a world without barriers for all deaf children and young people.”


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Commonwealth Matters: December 2011  

Welcome to the relaunched design of Commonwealth Matters, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ biannual newsletter. With updates from our...

Commonwealth Matters: December 2011  

Welcome to the relaunched design of Commonwealth Matters, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies’ biannual newsletter. With updates from our...