I am a historian of Britain and the British Empire in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. I studied History at Durham, completing a PhD in Imperial and African History there under the supervision of Professor Justin Willis. Before joining Southampton, I taught at Durham, Leeds and University College Dublin. I am primarily interested in the socio-cultural and intellectual connections between Britain and the colonies within the British Empire, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa.

My recent research has concerned the intellectual and socio-political networks that created and underpinned Britain’s imperial actions and sensibilities in the modern era. I am currently researching British foreign policy in sub-Saharan Africa in the wake of decolonisation, considering the roles that the British government tried to create for itself in this newly emerging postcolonial context. The resultant monograph will address key policy aims such as the management of external emerging actors such as the United States, key thematic concerns such as democracy and communism, and key policy actions such as military intervention and counter-espionage MI6 intelligence.

Other Publications

Prior, C. (2020). Reverberations of decolonisation: British approaches to governance in post-colonial Africa and the rise of the ‘strong men’In B. Sebe & M. Stanard (Eds.), Decolonising Europe? Popular Responses to the End of Empire. Abingdon, GB: Routledge.

Prior, C. (2019). ‘This community which nobody can define’: Meanings of Commonwealth in the late 1940s and 1950sJournal of Imperial and Commonwealth History. DOI: 10.1080/03086534.2019.1596205

Prior, C. (2018). An empire gone bad: Agatha Christie, Anglocentrism and decolonizationCultural and Social History. DOI: 10.1080/14780038.2018.1427354

Prior, C. (2013). Edwardian England and the idea of racial decline: an empire’s future. Basingstoke, GB: Palgrave Macmillan.

Prior, C. (2013). Exporting empire: Africa, colonial officials and the construction of the British imperial state, c.1900-39. (Studies in Imperialism Series). Manchester, GB: Manchester University Press.

Prior, C. (2010). Empire before Labour: The “Scramble for Africa” and the media, 1880-99. In B. Frank, C. Horner, & D. Stewart (Eds.), The British Labour Movement and Imperialism (pp. 23-40). Newcastle upon Tyne, GB: Cambridge Scholars.

Blog Posts


    Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Member of the Royal African Society

    Christopher Prior

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