Department of History

Spencer Mawby releases new book, 'The End of Empire in Uganda'

Book cover design featuring an image of Ugandan politicians

Senior lecturer in the Department of History, Spencer Mawby, has released his latest book with Bloomsbury. 

The End of Empire in Uganda: Decolonization and Institutional Conflict, 1945-79

The negative legacy of the British empire is often thought of in terms of war and economic exploitation, while the positive contribution is associated with the establishment of good governance and effective, modern institutions. In this new analysis of the end of empire in Uganda, Spencer Mawby challenges these preconceptions by explaining the many conflicts which arose when the British attempted to impose western institutional models on Ugandan society. 

Ranging from international institutions, including the Commonwealth, to state organisations, like the parliament and army, and to civic institutions such as trade unions, the press and the Anglican church, Mawby uncovers a wealth of new material about the way in which the British sought to consolidate their influence in the years prior to independence in 1962. The book also investigates how Ugandans responded to these institutional impositions both before and after independence, and in doing so sheds new light on the emergence of the notorious military dictatorship of Idi Amin. By unpicking historical orthodoxies about 20th-century imperial history, this institutional history of the end of empire and the early years of independence offers an opportunity to think afresh about the nature of the colonial impact on Africa and the origins of authoritarian rule on the continent.

‘A brilliant study. Mawby has produced a broad-ranging analysis of Ugandan institutional life, whose mastery of the detail comes without any loss of clarity or nuance over the fundamental issue of the fall-out of empire after the Union Flag had been lowered.’
CHRISTOPHER PRIOR, Associate Professor in Colonial and Postcolonial History, University of Southampton, UK

SPENCER MAWBY is Senior Lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Nottingham. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the end of the British Empire in Africa, the Middle East and the Caribbean, including The Transformation and Decline of the British Empire: Decolonisation after the First World War (2015) and Ordering Independence: The End of Empire in the Anglophone Caribbean, 1947-1969 (2012).

The e-book and hardback can be purchased from the Bloomsbury Website here.


Posted on Wednesday 22nd July 2020

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