A Future for Commonwealth Studies?

Event Details

Date: 18th May 2021

Time: 14:00 – 15:30 UTC+1

Location: Online (Zoom)

‘Commonwealth Studies’ is the study of the Commonwealth’s history, institutions, member states, and people.

The only academic institute in the world dedicated to Commonwealth Studies is under review, raising questions about the future of this work.

This Critical Conversation—an Open Forum—will bring together leading voices from academia, policy, and civil society to contribute to the debate on the future of Commonwealth Studies.

By registering to participate in the Open Forum, you will give yourself a chance to influence this design by exploring answers to the following questions alongside fellow audience members and expert guests:

  • Can the study of the Commonwealth help it fulfil its potential?
  • What issues could Commonwealth Studies investigate to assist the people of the Commonwealth in their daily lives?
  • What form would a specialist Commonwealth Studies think-tank take? How could it be designed to effectively generate and disperse useful knowledge across the Commonwealth? Could it contribute to holding the Commonwealth—its Member States and its institutions—to account for promises made in the Commonwealth Charter?


In partnership with the Commonwealth Foundation and The Association of Commonwealth Universities together with the CPA, this is an invitation to voice your views on the usefulness of Commonwealth Studies and shape what form it takes into the future.

What shape will the Open Forum take?

Each of several interventions made by guest speakers will be followed by a live audience discussion and a poll on Zoom.

The aim of the event is to capture maximum viewpoint diversity over a range of questions pertinent to ‘Commonwealth Studies’. The outcomes of this event will feed into the Committee’s final report via interactive discussion and polling via Zoom.

We are looking for participants with diverse perspectives and identities from across the Commonwealth’s five regions—from students to Members of Parliament hailing anywhere from the African continent to the Pacific islands. It’s free to participate in this forum and make your voice heard.


David Salmon, journalist and political commentator. Former Prime Minister for the National Youth Parliament of Jamaica and former delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.

Danish Ali Bhutto, Assistant Director at the National Assembly of Pakistan. Member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The Parliamentarian and former delegate to the Commonwealth Youth Parliament.

Caryn Thandi Petersen, Commonwealth Scholar from South Africa and PhD student at the University of Warwick in Sociology (Women and Gender), researching the impact of decolonial activism on higher education in South Africa and the UK. Member of the Peace and Reconciliation Network with the ACU.

Dr Rashmi Gokhale, Commonwealth Scholar from India studying MSc International Animal Welfare, Ethics & Law at the University of Edinburgh.


To register for this event, please reserve a space via the Commonwealth Foundation event page. You will then be provided with further details about how to access the webinar. Alternatively, you can use the Zoom link below to join the webinar from 13:45 on 18th May 2021. Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84798809277


18 May 2021


2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Local Time

  • Timezone: America/New_York
  • Date: 18 May 2021
  • Time: 9:00 am - 10:30 am



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