Dr Michael Collins

Senior Lecturer (from 01 October)

Michael Collins is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in imperial and international history. He joined UCL in 2007 after studying at Oxford, Cambridge and the LSE.

He is a historian of politics, broadly defined, with a particular interest in the role of ideas. The intellectual and social contexts that shape elite political action form the main focus of his work. He is interested in how political ideas and actions are ‘legitimated’ in democracies and within international institutions and public spheres.

The historical problem within which Dr Collins explores these themes is decolonization: the end of the European empires in the twentieth century, especially the British one. Having previously worked on nationalism and the decolonization of India, Michael is currently researching the history of British experiments with federations and the management of multi-racial societies, specifically in central and east Africa. His journal article on decolonization and the ‘federal moment’ sketches some of the parameters of this project. This work lies at the intersection of imperial, international and transnational history.

He is also interested in the way decolonization shaped politics and public opinion in European metropoles, specifically with regard to immigration, ‘race’ and national identity. As well as being localized, domestic factors, these dimensions of post-coloniality have also had the capacity to shape the actions of political elites and state actors in the international sphere.

Dr Collins welcomes applications from students wishing to study for a PhD connected to imperialism and decolonization, especially after 1945.

Qualifications & memberships of professional bodies

2009  DPhil University of Oxford 
2001 MPhil University of Cambridge 
2000 BSc/MSc LSE 
Fellow of the Royal Historical Society 

Major Publications

IRIS Researcher Profile 

Dr Michael Collins


empire, imperialism, decolonization, decolonisation, British politics, international history