This essay analyses Alfred Zimmern's scheme for a global British Commonwealth. A prominent British liberal internationalist and leading early scholar of International Relations, Zimmern developed an anti-racial account of empire and international order. In conceptualizing a British Commonwealth, he sought to replace “race” with “nation” as the basic ontological category of world ordering. The idea of cultural Zionism, formulated by Ahad Ha’am, played a key role in Zimmern's attempt. Ahad Ha’am's account of non-statist Jewish nationalism served as a useful ideological device for Zimmern to theorize a multinational Commonwealth without acknowledging colonial demands for self-determination. The essay also shows that Horace Kallen's notion of American cultural pluralism helped Zimmern to consolidate his project for the post-racial empire.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cultural Studies
- Sociology and Political Science