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Professor Sue Onslow

Visiting professor

Contact details


Dr Sue Onslow is a leading oral history practitioner. She lectured and taught at the London School of Economics (1994-2012) and in the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. From 2012 – 2023 she worked at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, in the School of Advanced Study, University of London, where she worked as Deputy Director (2015-2020), then Director (2022-23).

She was the lead interviewer on a major oral history project, ‘An Oral History of the Modern Commonwealth’ (1965-2012). Her publications include Co-editor (with Anna-Mart Van Wyk): Southern Africa in the Cold War post-1974 (Cold War International History Project, Woodrow Wilson Center, 2013). ‘The Commonwealth, Neutralism and Non-Alignment’, International Historical Journal, July 2015; Robert Mugabe (with Martin Plaut) (Ohio University Press, 2018); ‘Tanzania, non-alignment and the Non-Aligned Movement’ in Dimitrijevic & Cavoski, The 60th Anniversary of the Non-Aligned Movement (Belgrade, 2021); and ed. (with Lori Maguire) Consuls in the Cold War (Brill Publishers, 2023).

She is a frequent media commentator on the Commonwealth, and Zimbabwe. She is preparing a monograph The Commonwealth in the Cold War Era (Hurst Publishers).


Contemporary British history (decolonisation; foreign policy in the 1980s & 1990s); the modern Commonwealth since 1949; Southern Africa contemporary history & politics (Zimbabwe, South Africa); the Cold War in Southern Africa.

Latest publications

  • Sue Onslow & Lori Maguire eds, Consuls in the Cold War (Leiden: Brill Publishers, 2023)  (ISBN 978-90-04-54414-7 [hardback])
  • (With Martin Plaut) Robert Mugabe (Ohio University Press, 2018); The Commonwealth at a Crossroads (Commonwealth Opinion, June 2022)