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Dr Michael Collins


Michael Collins joined UCL in 2007 as Lecturer in Modern British, Imperial and World History. His work deals primarily with the ideology and political economy of empire, decolonisation and globalisation. He is interested in how the rise and fall of European empires – especially the British one – overlapped with patterns of globalisation and the rise of American power. His focus is on federations in east and central Africa in the 1950s and the kinds of political arrangements these federations entailed or envisaged. A key British figure at this point was Sir Andrew Cohen: chief architect of the Central African Federation; governor of Uganda from 1952 to 1957, where he also pursued the idea of an East African Federation; subsequently UK representative at the UN Trusteeship Council; and finally, from 1964 the first Permanent Secretary of the newly created Ministry for Overseas Development. 

Michael's next book (under contract with I. B. Tauris), is entitled Decolonisation and Globalisation Since 1945, and provides a historiographical analysis of the ways in which the end of the European empires intersected with the growth of international institutions, norms and networks. In addition, he is working on the history of British experiments with federations, notably in central and east Africa, in the 1950s. His recent journal article 'Decolonisation and the Federal Moment' (Diplomacy & Statecraft, February 2013) sketches some of the parameters of this project. Michael welcomes applications from students wishing to study for a PhD in topics connected to British and/or comparative imperialism and decolonisation after 1945.

Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

2009  PhD  University of Oxford 
  MPhil University of Cambridge 
  BSc LSE 
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 

Major Publications

IRIS Researcher Profile 

Page last modified on 16 jul 14 18:21 by Joel Hardman (WAMS)