Arran Claringbold

Thesis title: Diversity during Zimbabwe's Independence Struggle: Abel Muzorewa's place in Zimbabwean nationalism


Originally from Australia I moved to the UK for my undergraduate degree and have remained here ever since. I did my undergraduate degree in History at Canterbury Christ Church University where my dissertation explored British reactions to Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence. Immediately after graduating in 2016 I moved up to Edinburgh the same year to study an MSc in Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh. My MSc dissertation compared the 1979 and 1980 elections in Zimbabwe and explored why Muzorewa’s UANC party won the former but lost the latter. I took a year out after my MSc before returning to the University of Edinburgh in 2018 to start my PhD in History. Motivated in part by the research I did for my MSc dissertation my PhD thesis seeks to examine the life of Abel Muzorewa and his impact on Zimbabwean nationalist politics throughout the UDI period.


MSc Contemporary History (University of Edinburgh)

BA (hons) History (Canterbury Christ Church University)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Postgraduate representative for the Edinburgh Centre for Global History

Research summary

My PhD thesis is an analysis of Zimbabwean nationalist leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa which aims to examine and assess Muzorewa’s role in Zimbabwean nationalist politics and ideology during Zimbabwe’s Liberation War. My wider research interests involve contemporary global history with a particular interest in the development of African nationalism. Other interests include the Cold War in Africa and the history of decolonization.

Current research interests

African history; Zimbabwean history; history of African nationalism; history of independence and liberation movements; Cold War history

Affiliated research centres

  • Edinburgh Centre for Global History
  • Centre for the Study of Modern and Contemporary History
  • Centre of African Studies