Dr Melanie Torrent

Contact details

Dr Melanie Torrent
Position/Fellowship type:
Senior Research Fellow
Fellowship term:
08-Feb-2013 to 28-Feb-2019
Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Home institution:
Universite Paris Diderot
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Contemporary History, International Relations, Political Institutions
Africa, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:

 My research focuses on British foreign policy and diplomacy since 1945 and on the history of the contemporary Commonwealth of Nations, with a particular interest in Franco-British relations in Africa and links between the Commonwealth and the Francophonie. My work also investigates competing definitions and practices of democracy, development aid and the promotion of South-South exchanges in international relations. More recently, I have been working on the international relations of the British Labour Party and non-governmental groups in Britain, the evolution of policy-making in government departments and the influence of civil society groups on the redefinition of British identity and British power in the long end of empire.

Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
10-Nov-2015 A ‘New’ Commonwealth for Britain? Negotiating Ghana’s Pan-African and Asian Connections at the End of Empire (1951-1958)

Journal articles

  The International History Review, published online 10 November 2015 [forthcoming in print].

01-Sep-2015 Cameroon’s Membership of the Commonwealth: Why it Matters


 Border Crossing / Diplomat Magazine, 1: 8, septembre 2015, 14-16.

01-Aug-2015 The Commonwealth and the European Union: norms, partnerships, circulations

Edited Book

 Special Issue of The Round Table, The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs, 104 : 4, 2015. Edited with Virginie Roiron.

01-Dec-2013 “Whitehall, the French Community and the Year of Africa: Negotiating post-independence diplomacy in West Africa”


 Tony Chafer and Alex Keese (eds.), Francophone Africa at Fifty, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 2013, 155-170.

01-Nov-2013 “Les deuils de l’indépendance: le Cameroun face à sa réunification”


 in Odile Goerg, Jean- Luc Martineau, Didier Nativel (eds.), Les indépendances en Afrique. L’évènement et ses mémoires 1957/60-2010, Rennes, Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2013, 327-343.

01-Oct-2013 “La Sierra Leone dans les indépendances africaines: stratégies politiques et enjeux identitaires (1956-1961)” in Michel Prum (ed.), Comparer les diversités, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2013, 131-150.


 in Michel Prum (ed.), Comparer les diversités, Paris, L’Harmattan, 2013, 131-150.

01-Jun-2013 La politique étrangère britannique en Afrique depuis 1957: acteurs, principes, pratiques

Edited Book

 Special issue of the Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique / French Journal of British Studies

01-Feb-2013 Deceptive ends of empire? British policy-makers and the assessment of the French approach to decolonisation in sub-Saharan Africa (1956-1965)


 Cercles, 28, 2013

01-Dec-2012 British Decolonisation: the Politics of Power, Liberation and Influence


 Paris, Presses Universitaires de France, 2012

01-Mar-2012 Diplomacy and Nation-building in Africa: Franco-British Relations and Cameroon at the End of Empire


 London, I.B. Tauris, 2012

01-Jan-2011 L'Empire britannique en héritage: esclavage, abolition, discrimination et commémoration de l'Amérique du Nord à L'Australie

Edited Book

Le Commonwealth des Nations en mutation: décolonisations, globalisation, gouvernance

Edited Book

 Co-edited with Virginie Roiron, Special Issue of the Cahiers Charles V, Université Paris Diderot, Paris, 2013

Relevant Events

Related events:

Date Details
31-Dec-2015 A Commonwealth Approach to Development? Theory, Practice and Outcomes

 One-day workshop, organized with SAGE (UMR 7363), Université Paris Diderot

09-Jul-2015 “Acting on the margins: professional associations and the construction of alternative politics in Africa after empires”

 Panel 33, ECAS 6 (2015), Paris, France; organized with Richard Bourne, Institute of Commonwealth Studies.

10-May-2015 L'Atelier du pouvoir, France Culture

 Speaker on royals visits, during the programme on presidential and royal visits.

15-Feb-2013 Des partages coloniaux aux frontières culturelles: espace politique et stratégies identitaires au Cameroun méridional (1954-1961)

 One-day conference, "Cultures coloniales et postcoloniales et la décolonisation", Université de Tours

25-Jan-2013 Negocier l'appartenance au Commonwealth en Afrique de l'Ouest dans les années 1950 et 1960

 One-day conference, "Penser l'anti-impérialisme, militer pour la décolonisation", Université de Lille

17-Jan-2013 The Commonwealth in the World: Resistance, Governance and Change

 Mark Weston, The Ringtone and the Drum: West Africa on the Edge, Institute of Commonwealth Studies

11-Jan-2013 Empire overcome? British decolonisation and the contest for new world orders

 One-day conference held at Paris Diderot

15-Dec-2012 Deceptive ends of empire? British policy-makers and the assessment of the French approach to decolonisation in sub-Saharan Africa (1956-1965)

 Université de Strasbourg, One-day conference on the end of the British empire

19-Oct-2012 The Commonwealth in the World: Resistance, Governance and Change

 Leslie James (LSE), on George Padmore, and Philip Murphy (ICWS) on intelligence and decolonisation, held at Université Paris Diderot

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