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Professor Sarah Stockwell

Professor Sarah Stockwell

Professor in Imperial & Commonwealth History

Tel +44 (0)20 7848 1122
Address Department of History
King’s College London
Room S8.14
London WC2R 2LS



Sarah Stockwell is Professor of British Imperial History. She studied at Cambridge and Oxford and joined King’s in 1992, completing her DPhil in history the following year. She has worked part-time on a family-friendly flexible-working contract since 2002, and since September 2014 has been on funded leave, following the award of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • End of Empire, 20th century British Empire & Commonwealth
  • 20th century colonial Africa

Sarah Stockwell’s research interests lie in the field of twentieth-century British colonial and African history, in particular the end of empire. She is especially interested in how different groups and institutions within Britain engaged with the process of British decolonisation. Past publications have focused on the experience and response of British business to political change in West Africa, as well as on other economic aspects of British decolonisation. She is currently writing a book to be published by Cambridge University Press on the processes of adaptation and transition at the end of empire among domestic British institutions, some of which lay on the boundaries of the state and civil society (like the Bank of England and the Anglican Church) and others which formed part of the apparatus of the British imperial state (like the army and the Royal Mint). Among other things, this process of adaptation entailed disentangling colonial institutions in the colonies from the British system: one focus of her research is the ways in which domestic institutions oversaw the development of the apparatus associated with the modern nation state, from colonial bureaucracies, to armies, to new banks and currencies.

Sarah Stockwell would especially welcome applications from research students interested in working on:

  • the end of empire
  • the impact of imperialism on twentieth-century Britain
  • British colonialism in twentieth-century Africa, especially in relation to the history of colonial development and welfare.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Selected Publications
  • Sarah Stockwell, ‘Exporting Britishness, ‘Decolonization in Africa, the British State and Its Clients’ in Miguel Bandeira Jerónimo and António Costa Pinto eds., The Ends of European Colonial Empires. Cases and Comparisons (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015), pp. 148-177.
  • L.J. Butler and S.E. Stockwell eds., The Wind of Change. Harold Macmillan and British Decolonization (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013).
  • (2007) The British Empire. Themes and Perspectives
  • S E Stockwell (2000) The business of decolonization : British business strategies in the Gold Coast Oxford; New York: Clarendon Press; Oxford University Press

For a complete list of publications, please see Sarah's full research profile.


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