Public lecture to be held on the implications of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East for Commonwealth Africa, 18 March 2011

Thursday 17 March 2011

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies - a member institute of the University of London’s School of Advanced Study - will host a public lecture on Friday 18 March 2011 on ‘Winds of change 2011: the implications of the uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East for Commonwealth Africa’.

The lecture will be given by James Robbins, Diplomatic Correspondent for the BBC News; Fergus Nicoll, The World Today & BBC World Service; and Dr Maha Abdul-Rahman, University of Cambridge.

The uprisings in North Africa provide a new political context for developments in Commonwealth Africa. At the same time, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) – a group of nine Foreign ministers, with the power to suspend countries that breach fundamental Commonwealth values - is currently conducting a review of its own mandate, and is set to report to the next Commonwealth Summit in October. This lecture will consider a number of questions, including: What is the history of political activism and the rise of a culture of protest during the last decade in Egypt and Tunisia? Is Mugabe watching Gaddafi?  And, how should CMAG respond to a popular uprising in a Commonwealth African country?

The ‘Winds of change’ public lecture will take place on Friday 18 March 2011 from 12.30 until 2.00pm in the Senate Room, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU. Admission is free and all are welcome to attend. Media interested in attending should contact Rosie Raison at or +44 (0)20 7862 8847.

Notes for Editors:

1. For further information about the event and/or to register to attend (free) please contact Rosie Raison at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at or +44 (0)20 7862 8847.

2. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) is the only postgraduate academic institution in the UK devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. Founded in 1949, its purpose is to promote interdisciplinary and inter-regional research on the Commonwealth and its member nations in the fields of history, politics and other social sciences. Its areas of specialism include international development, governance, human rights, north-south relations and conflict and security. It is also home to the longest-running interdisciplinary and practice-oriented human rights MA programme in the UK. The Institute of Commonwealth Studies is a member institute of the School of Advanced Study, University of London.

3. The School of Advanced Study at the University of London is the UK’s national centre for the facilitation and promotion of research in the humanities and social sciences. The School brings together the specialised scholarship and resources of ten prestigious research institutes to offer academic opportunities, facilities and stimulation across a wide range of subject areas for the benefit of the national and international scholarly community. The member institutes of the School are the Institutes of Advanced Legal Studies, Classical Studies, Commonwealth Studies, English Studies, Germanic & Romance Studies, Historical Research, Musical Research, Philosophy, Study of the Americas, and the Warburg Institute.