Dr Robert Power

Dr Robert Power

Guest Teacher

Department of International History

+44 (0)20 7107 5107
Room No
Office Hours
Monday, 9am to 11am
Key Expertise
Modern Africa History

About me

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.

Expertise Details

Modern Africa History; Decolonisation; African Liberation Movements


Dr Robert Power teaches the following course at undergraduate level:

HY113 - From Empire to Independence: The Extra-European World in the Twentieth Century


  • Review, Shipway, M., ‘Decolonisation and its Impact: A Comparative Approach to the End of the Colonial Empires’, (London, 2008), in European History Quarterly, Vol.40, No.2 (2010)
  • Review, Burton, E., The Empire in Question: Reading, Writing and Teaching British Imperialism, (Duke University Press, 2011), in European Review of History/ Revue européenne d’Histoire, Vol.56, No.1 (2013)
  • Review, Tijani, H.I., Union Education in Nigeria: Labor Empire, and Decolonization since 1945, (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), in British Scholar, Vol.32, No.2 (2013)
  • ‘African Nationalism and the Origins of the Central African Federation, c.1945-53’, forthcoming (2019)
  • ‘The Diplomacy of Nationalism, African Nationalism and the Internationalisation of the Independence Struggle in Zambia, c.1953-64’ forthcoming (2020)
  • ‘Political Violence and the ANC-UNIP Struggle for Supremacy in Northern Rhodesia, c.1961’ (in production)
  • ‘Race Relations and the Public Exhibitions of Africa in the Late 19th Century’ (in production)

Conference papers

  • UNC-KCL joint conference on Global Historical Perspectives, The Anti-Federation Campaign in Malawi and Zambia: an International Dimension, April 2012
  • World War Two and Africa, African Studies Association UK conference, held at Queen Mary London, 18 January 2019
  • Conference organiser: ‘Mentalities of Empire: Violence and Politics in Africa and Asia’ – University of Suffolk, June 2019
  • European Conference on African Studies at University of Edinburgh, panel convenor: Transnational Approaches to the Liberation Struggle in Africa, 28 June 2019


Academic Awards

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Doctoral Award (2010-13)
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council Masters Award (2008-9)
  • UEA Medici Prize for Distinguished Academic Performance (2007)


Teaching Awards

  • LSE Student-Led Teaching Excellence Awards 2019: Runner-up in the category of Inspirational Teaching (2019)