The break-up of Greater Britain

Edited by Stuart Ward and Christian Pedersen

The break-up of Greater Britain


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4742-4
  • Pages: 336
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: October 2021
  • BIC Category: History, Colonialism & imperialism, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain / 20th Century, POLITICAL SCIENCE / Colonialism & Post-Colonialism, Humanities / National liberation & independence, post-colonialism, United Kingdom, Great Britain, Humanities / Colonialism & imperialism, Modern History
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism


This is the first major attempt to view the break-up of Britain as a global phenomenon, incorporating peoples and cultures of all races and creeds that became embroiled in the liquidation of the British Empire in the decades after the Second World War. A team of leading historians are assembled here to view a familiar problem through an unfamiliar lens, ranging from India, to China, Southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Falklands, Gibraltar and the United Kingdom itself. At a time when trace-elements of Greater Britain have resurfaced in British politics, animating the febrile polemics of Brexit, these essays offer a sober historical perspective. More than perhaps at any other time since the empire's precipitate demise, it is imperative to gain a fresh purchase on the global challenges to British identities in the twentieth century.


Introduction: The anatomy of break-up - Stuart Ward
1 Maintaining racial boundaries: Greater Britain in the Second World War and beyond - Wendy Webster
2 Cut loose: the British in China and the aftermath of empire - Robert Bickers
3 Entangled citizens: the afterlives of empire in the Indian Citizenship Act, 1947-1955 - Kalathmika Natarajan
4 'How come England did not know me?': the 'rude awakenings' of the Windrush era - Stuart Ward
5 Indians of Durban, South Africa and the break-up of Greater Britain - Hilary Sapire
6 The birth of 'white' republics and the demise of Greater Britain: the republican referendums in South Africa and Rhodesia - Christian D. Pedersen
7 'King's men', 'Queen's rebels' and 'last outposts': Ulster and Rhodesia in an age of imperial retreat - Donal Lowry
8 The tale of two Commonwealths? The (British) Commonwealth of Nations, decolonisation and the break-up of Greater Britain - Andrew Dilley
9 Greater Britain and its decline: the view from Lambeth - Sarah Stockwell
10 From Pax Britannica to Pax Americana? The end of empire and the collapse of Australia's Cold War policy - James Curran
11 Boundaries of belonging: differential fees for overseas students in Britain, c. 1967 - Jodi Burkett
12 Persistence and privilege: mass migration from Britain to the Commonwealth, 1945-2000 - Jean P. Smith
13 'The mouse that roared': the Falklands and Gibraltar in Thatcher's (Greater) Britain - Ezequiel Mercau
14 Falling Rhodes, building bridges, finding paths: decoloniality from Cape Town to Oxford, and back - Stephen Howe


Christian D. Pedersen is Assistant Professor in the Department of History at the University of Southern Denmark

Stuart Ward is Professor and Head of the Saxo Institute for History, Archeology, Ethnology and Classics at Copenhagen University

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