One of the consequences of the end of the British Empire has been a tidal wave of commentary about the end of the British Empire. What this book has attempted to demonstrate is that this scholarly inundation has been beneficial and that we now have a better understanding of the character, causes and consequences of decolonisation. Two developments have been particularly significant in this process: firstly a revised interpretation of the decolonisation strategy pursued by the British government which emphasises the activism of the imperial state during the last years of empire and secondly a new and revisionary reading of decolonisation as a global process which paid no respect to the arbitrary and artificial frontiers that marked out nations and empires on the map. To the extent that the former emphasises the significance of outward pressure from the metropolis into the periphery and the latter accentuates the role of exogenous, global processes in shaping imperial history, these two interpretations are in tension with one another. Even as they offer a new depiction of the actions of the British government and its representatives overseas, traditional historians in the activist camp still rely on orthodox assumptions about the central role of an elite group of policymakers.
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