Photograph © Marketa Mojzisova

Photograph © Marketa Mojzisova


Paddy Docherty is a historian of empire, with a particular interest in the British Empire, anticolonial resistance, and the cultural impact of imperialism. Born in Scotland, he grew up in Gloucestershire and was educated at Oxford University (gaining a BA (Hons) in Modern History and an MSt in Historical Research), where he was also Junior Dean of Brasenose College and won a Blue for boxing. 

His first book was The Khyber Pass: a History of Empire and Invasion (Faber & Faber, 2007), which was a Financial Times Book of the Year in 2007 and was shortlisted for the Longman/History Today Book of the Year Award 2008. The US edition was published by Union Square Press in 2008, and the Italian edition by Il Saggiatore in 2010.

During 2009-18, Paddy was Chief Executive of Phoenix Africa Development Company, which sought to develop social impact agricultural businesses in post-conflict countries in Africa; in this role he was also Chairman of Lion Mountains Agrico Ltd in Sierra Leone. Paddy was a Trustee of Millennium Promise UK, a member of the Global Agenda Council on Fragile States at the World Economic Forum, and a member of the Private Sector Delegation to the UN FAO.

His forthcoming book is about an aspect of the British Empire in West Africa during the late Victorian period, and he also conducts research in anti-colonial resistance and cultural representations of empire.