'Clinging like barnacles to the old hull of empire!': Race, Rhodesia and the Anglo-American 'Special Relationship', 1964-80.
Supervisors: Nigel Bowles, Sue Onslow (at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies) and Stephen Tuck.
I am a DPhil candidate in History at University College. My research focuses upon the conduct of British and American policies toward Rhodesia (and Namibia) in the context of the Cold War in Southern Africa. Stretching from 1964, immediately prior to Rhodesian Prime Minister Ian Smith’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) from Britain, up until the creation of the new nation of Zimbabwe, in April 1980, my thesis explores the dimensions and content of UK and US diplomatic engagement in the region. The research question that animates this study is: what can an exploration of said policies reveal about the Special Relationship between the two powers in the 1960s and 1970s? The case is one of the evolution of policies by successive governments, statesman and diplomats of two close allies with respect to a problem that interwove so many dominant issues of the era: decolonisation, the East-West struggle, racial justice, and civil rights. At the same time, my doctoral project will also shed light on the part that personality and human relationships played in promoting (and occasionally obstructing) progress in Rhodesia, and consider whether partisan control of British government mattered for relations between Britain and the United States.