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Of the fifteen British colonies and their dependencies which existed up to the 1960s, only six British dependent territories now remain in the West Indies and North Atlantic.
This book seeks to determine reasons for their current status by examining their legal, constitutional, and practical relationships with the British government, set against the territories' socio-economic, geographic, and historic backgrounds.
A series of contemporary case studies explores the extent to which such government meets and safeguards the legitimate interests of dependent territory citizens. In looking at the range of constitutions that have emerged - aiming to strike a balance between the interests of local people in governing their own affairs and those of Britain in discharging its responsibilities without incurring unnecessary liabilities - the book achieves a relevance beyond this particular region and time.