Empire, Nation and the British State

In this coronation year, we are visibly reminded that the trappings of the British state are overlaid with the legacies of its empire. But to what extent are current attitudes, legal frameworks and political arrangements really shaped by this imperialist and colonialist past? Did the very idea of a British ‘nation’ – a relatively novel concept in the post-war period – in fact represent a radical break with the idea of empire? What are the implications of these questions for understanding Britain in the 21st century? 


David Edgerton, Professor of Modern British History, Kings College London, author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nation: A Twentieth Century History

Kojo Koram, Senior Lecture in Law, Birkbeck College, University of London, author of Uncommon Wealth: Britain and the Aftermath of Empire.