President Muhammadu Buhari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Mia Mottley.[l-r] President Muhammadu Buhari, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Mia Mottley.

More time at our computers and on our phones has led to a greater use of online content and, at the Round Table, we’d like to thank you for increased readership of our news, analysis and informed opinion in 2021.

So, what did you read?

Our new-look website launched mid-year served to enhance our mix of original journalism and analysis and the showcasing of in-depth content from the Round Table Journal. The website also provided new areas to support research and analysis. For example, the new “From the archive” area on the index page provides regular free-to-access articles from the journal’s 111-year archive area. Since the launch of this offer, we have been able to dig out a wide range of articles from the Round Table archives – from T.E. Lawrence writing in 1920 to F.W de Klerk writing for the journal in 2010. The archive material will continue to be available for a limited time in 2022, so do keep an eye on what is being made freely available in the vaults each month.

Other new specialist areas also attracted your attention. The Topics area allows researchers and scholars to delve into specific areas of interest. It proved to be one of our more visited areas this year.

Readers were not only drawn to archive selections: our reporting on recent global developments also made it on to the “most read” list. Most recently, the move by the island of Barbados, once known as Little England, to become the world’s newest republic was one of the most popular stories in November.

Growing tensions between China and its neighbours led to a growing interest in the journal’s article India–China relations – the present, the challenges and the future which generated much interest in the second half of 2021.

Our checks also found an increasing interest in articles on Nigeria. One opinion piece, Appointment of new service chiefs in Nigeria: same old guards, became one of the most visited articles in October. Meanwhile, a late 2019 article discussing Nigeria’s power structure was the most read item in March and April of this year.

History textbooks and divided societies: the Malaysian experience also attracted much reader attention in mid-year.

Initial hopes that the postponed Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) would take place in mid-2021 led to an interest in the Round Table article reporting on the aspirations for the Rwanda CHOGM when the UK had expected to hand over the Commonwealth chair. As we know, CHOGM was again postponed and many are expecting that it will finally take place in 2022. Our day-to-day Commonwealth news and analysis, via our Twitter feed at @CWRoundTable, will keep up with these developments in 2022. You don’t have to be a Twitter fan: we update the latest Commonwealth stories for you.

The Round Table scholarship and studentship awards continued to attract readers’ attention, both online and on social media. These are the Peter Lyon Prize, the Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship Awards (details coming in May 2022) and the Harry Hodson Prize in October.

While we’re in catch-up mode, don’t forget the Round Table’s YouTube channel. This year, we added the videos of the Round Table-sponsored discussions on race, decolonisation and the modern Commonwealth.  You can still catch up with the 2020 interviews series of former Commonwealth secretaries-general on this channel.

Finally, some news for journal fans of the Commonwealth Update series. After almost 40 years in print form, Commonwealth Update will be moving from this journal to the Round Table’s website in 2022. Originally “Commonwealth Notebook”, the column became “Commonwealth Update” in 1993. The new-look “Eye on the Commonwealth” will seek to provide a perspective on a topical development by the journal’s current Commonwealth Update Editor, Oren Gruenbaum. You can find “Eye on the Commonwealth” at from 14 January 2022.

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In detail: the most-read articles of 2021