Institute of Commonwealth Studies

The Institute of Commonwealth Studies, founded in 1949, is the only postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. It is also home to the longest-running interdisciplinary and practice-oriented human rights MA program in the UK, and the interdisciplinary MA in The Making of the Modern World: Decolonisation, Democracy, and Development.

The Institute is a national and international centre of excellence for policy-relevant research, research facilitation and teaching. As a member of the School of Advanced Study, established in 1994, the Institute works with eight other prestigious postgraduate research institutes to offer academic opportunities across and between a wide range of subject fields in the humanities and social sciences.

The Institute’s Library is an international resource holding more than 190,000 volumes, with particularly impressive Caribbean, Southern African and Australian holdings and over 200 archival collections.

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United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has courageously pursued an enquiry into the mysterious death of Dag Hammarskjöld. Reuters/Tiksa Negeri

Speaking truth to power: The killing of Dag Hammarskjöld and the cover-up

Fifty five years and many inquiries later, the search continues for the truth about the cause of the plane crash in which the UN secretary general and 15 others were killed
The Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, which dropped the first atomic bomb in history. The bomb was made from Congolese ore. Reuters

How a rich uranium mine thrust the Congo into the centre of the Cold War

The Soviet Union tested its own atomic bomb in 1949, to the profound shock of the US. This heated up the Cold War dramatically and thrust the Congo to the centre of American geopolitical strategy
Artisanal miners at an illegal mine pit in the DRC. At severe risk to their health, some still go to abandoned sites to dig out uranium and cobalt. Reuters/Kenny Katombe

The link between uranium from the Congo and Hiroshima: a story of twin tragedies

The mine that produced the uranium that made the Hiroshima bomb has since been closed. But its troubling legacy continues to haunt the Democratic Republic of Congo and the local community.

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