Dr Rob Power is a historian specialising in the history of modern Africa, dealing in particular with the history of decolonisation and African liberation movements. Previously he also worked on the history of the Central African Federation. He obtained his BA in History at the University of East Anglia in 2007, completing his MA at the same institution in 2008. Rob completed his DPhil at King’s College London in 2009 for which he received AHRC funding. Before returning to a career in academia in the summer of 2017, Rob worked in a variety of educational settings, including as a Head of Department for History and Politics. Rob combines his role at LSE with teaching at the University of Suffolk, where he is Course Director for the foundation programme for Combined Honours routes. Rob is also the co-founder of ‘Collective Connections’, an orgnisation which publishes a bi-monthly pamphlet and podcast to facilitate the exchange of ideas through connections with the communities in which we live.
Current research seeks to re-evaluate the position of African nationalist movements in wider, global politics during the 1960s. Sheds light on extent to which Zambia’s UNIP was able to alter the thinking of influential world powers towards African politics which, in turn, explains how nationalism became an international phenomenon at this time. The study will show that unlike many coeval nationalist movements, UNIP’s activities in the international sphere were regarded by party leaders as having a much wider significance than improving the party’s domestic fortunes. By feeding into the wider trajectory of international anticolonial politics, UNIP hoped to become a major participant in pan-African and international affairs, changing perceptions of African nationalism in Zambia. Understanding UNIP’s manoeuvrings at this time, therefore, provides an important basis for appreciating why, after 1964, Kaunda and his colleagues developed an ideological commitment to liberate Africans living under the oppression of colonial rule, taking active steps to make Zambia an ally of freedom fighters, lending them resources and providing them with space to conduct their operations.