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Dr. David Richard Saunders
Lecturer David Richard Saunders


BA HKU; MLitt The University of St Andrews; PhD HKU


Email Address Homepage

Office: TBC


Current Research Project | Publications | Course


I am a historian of colonialism, decolonisation and state formation. My research specialises in issues relating to governance, regime change and socio-economic transitions in twentieth-century Southeast Asia. My recent PhD dissertation explored Sabah’s understudied role in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, offering a reconceptualisation of decolonisation and post-colonial transition.




Current Research Project


I am currently finalising a project on radio, propaganda and anti-colonialism in Sabah, alongside a study of migration and economic change in twentieth-century Borneo. I am also working on a book based on my doctoral research into decolonisation and state formation in Sabah.








'Dimming the Seas around Borneo: Contesting Island Sovereignty and Lighthouse Administration amidst the End of Empire, 1946–1948,' TRaNS: Trans-Regional and -National Studies of Southeast Asia, 7.2 (2019), pp. 181–207.




Teaching Course


  • HIST2187 Critical approaches to the end of empire in Southeast Asia