Category Archives: Publications

New book on the Politics and Economics of Decolonization in Africa

The Politics and Economics of Decolonization in Africa: The Failed Experiment of the Central African Federation

We are delighted to announce the publication of Andrew Cohen’s latest book, The Politics and Economics of Decolonization in Africa: The Failed Experiment of the Central African Federation

This insightful and erudite intervention into the study of African decolonization sets the end of empire into its international context, using archival material from southern Africa, Europe and the United States.

Andrew is Lecturer in Imperial History at the University of Kent, teaching courses on the history of the United Nations and African resistance to colonial rule.

Download publishers’ leaflet including special launch price (pdf)


The slow collapse of the European colonial empires after 1945 provides one of the great turning points of twentieth century history. With the loss of India however, the British under Harold Macmillan attempted to enforce a ‘second’ colonial occupation – supporting the efforts of Sir Andrew Cohen of the Colonial Office to create a Central African Federation. Drawing on newly released archival material, The Politics and Economics of Decolonization offers a fresh examination of Britain’s central African territories in the late colonial period and provides a detailed assessment of how events in Britain, Africa and the UN shaped the process of decolonization. The author situates the Central African Federation – which consisted of modern day Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi – in its wider international context, shedding light on the Federation’s complex relationships with South Africa, with US Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and John F. Kennedy and with the expanding United Nations. The result is an important history of the last days of the British Empire and the beginnings of a more independent African continent.

Orientalism in a European Context?

‘Ornamentalism in a European Context? Napoleon’s Italian Coronation, 26 May 1805’

Portrait of Napoleon

Andrea Appiani: Napoleon King of Italy, Vienne, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Gemäldegalerie

Inspired by the concept of ‘ornamentalism’ (Cannadine, 2001) Ambrogio Caiani’s new article in The English Historical Review explores how Napoleon sought to promote collaboration and local investment in the satellite kingdom of Italy. This article reflects Dr Caiani’s innovative approach which scrutinises the Napoleonic empire using the analytical tools of imperial and colonial history.

Kent African History Student Publication

We are pleased to announce that Enid Guene, who studied African History with Dr Giacomo Macola at the University of Kent between 2007 and 2010, has recently published a book based on her Master’s thesis, titled Copper, Borders and Nation-building: The Katangese Factor in Zambian Economic and Political History. The book investigates the interplay between the English and French-speaking parts of the Copperbelt in the Republic of Zambia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its impact on Zambian political processes. The thesis was runner-up for the 2014 African Studies Centre Leiden African Thesis Award. Enid Guene is now a PhD candidate in history and anthropology at the University of Cologne.

New publication on development and forced labour

Stamp depicting an worker panning for diamonds.

1961 stamp celebrating Sierra Leonean independence.

Christine Whyte has recently published an article in the International Journal of African Historical Studies on the post-slavery history of the Sierra Leone Protectorate. This article, ‘”Freedom but Nothing Else”: The Legacies of Slavery and Abolition in Post-Slavery Sierra Leone, 1928-1956‘ traces two particular resonances of post-slavery history in Sierra Leone, from the abolition of slavery in 1928 to the riots around decolonization in 1955–56. The first was the state-led efforts to engineer a transition to freedom for ex-slaves that would keep them engaged as willing workers. The second was the ways in which Sierra Leonean elites sought to control the labor of the ex-slave classes by relegating them to the position of a marginalized “youth.”



New publication on American imperialism

Christine Whyte has recently published a new article in National Identities, titled ‘Between empire and colony: American imperialism and Pan-African colonialism in Liberia, 1810–2003‘. This article uses the concept of ‘colonialism without colonies’ to analyse the relationship of the United States and Liberia, which are both republics that lay claim to independence from imperial and colonial systems.


Drawing of college build