Online Resources – Commonwealth of Nations

The Commonwealth, or the Commonwealth of Nations, is a group of 53 states, all of which (except for two) were formerly part of the British Empire. The Commonwealth was created in the early 1900s when nations that were formerly a part of the British Empire began to secede. Its main goal was to ease the process of British decolonization. It was seen as a way of maintaining global unity through shared language, history, and culture despite growing independence and self-governance of former British colonies.

Overall, 2.328 billion people belong to the Commonwealth, representing one-third of the world population. Despite massive geographic and demographic differences, these countries are said to be united through their common values of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law. The nations who enter into the Commonwealth do so voluntarily, and the government of any member nation can withdraw at any time, without consequence or obligation.

Taken from: World Atlas


Commonwealth Website

Commonwealth History and Timeline

What is the Commonwealth? – World Atlas

What is the point of the Commonwealth today? – BBC

The Commonwealth of Nations (Cambridge Institute)

Important Publications and Documents

Charter of the Commonwealth (2013)

Imperial Conference (1926)

The London Declaration (1949)

Statute of Westminster (1931)

Lusaka Declaration (1979)

Harare Declaration (1991)

The Role and Future of the Commonwealth (2012)

Official Commonwealth Secretariat Publications

Commonwealth Publications

Members and External Relations

Member Countries of the Commonwealth

Global Britain and the Commonwealth of Nations – James McBride, Council on Foreign Relations

US-Commonwealth Relations – Office of the Historian (USA)

Analysis on the Commonwealth

Commonwealth faces new crises but the end is not nigh – The Conversation

What is the Commonwealth if not the British Empire 2.0? – Afua Hirsch, The Guardian

Commonwealth of Nations: ‘The club of the 21st Century’ – Andrée Massiah, BBC

Human rights … and wrongs in the Commonwealth – Saeed Kamali Dehghan, The Guardian

Related Organizations

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Commonwealth Education Online

Commonwealth Governance for Development

Commonwealth Health Online

Commonwealth Network

This page is under constant development. If you would like us to add any resources, or inform us of any broken links, please email

Further Reading on E-International Relations

Please Consider Donating

Before you download your free e-book, please consider donating to support open access publishing.

E-IR is an independent non-profit publisher run by an all volunteer team. Your donations allow us to invest in new open access titles and pay our bandwidth bills to ensure we keep our existing titles free to view. Any amount, in any currency, is appreciated. Many thanks!

Donations are voluntary and not required to download the e-book - your link to download is below.


Get our weekly email