Dr. James Stafford - Post-Doctoral Researcher

James Stafford

Post-doctoral project:
Commercial Treaties Between "Political Economy" and "International Law", 1750-1950


since 10/2017 Postdoctoral Researcher in the Research Training Group "World Politics", Bielefeld University
since 10/2015 Co-editor, Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy, www.renewal.org.uk.
10/2016 - 10/2017 Stipendiary Lecturer in Modern History, St. Hugh's College, Oxford University, UK
10/2012 - 10/2016 Ph.D. History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, UK. Dissertation title: 'Political Economy and the Reform of Empire in Ireland, 1778-1845'
10/2011 - 07/2012 M.Phil. Political Thought and Intellectual History, Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, UK
06/2010 - 10/2012 Parliamentary Assistant to Gregg McClymont MP, Scottish Labour, Shadow Minister for Pensions
10/2007 - 06/2010 B.A. Modern History, St. Hugh's College, Oxford University, UK

I am conducting a major (5-year) research project focusing on the role of commercial treaties in the construction, organisation and reproduction of a world-political economy from c. 1750-1950. The aim is to produce a general history of the 'commercial treaty' as a crucial component within an emergent 'world politics'.

My particular approach combines intellectual, legal, economic and international history. I examine the classification, number, distribution and content of commercial treaties, as registers of interaction between the European balance of power, European colonial empires, and the world economy. I aim to reconstruct how a nexus of political and economic relationships between states and peoples (including relationships of subordination and hierarchy) were formalised through the institution of treaties. These, in turn, both reflected and shaped emergent conceptions of a 'world economy/market' and 'international law'.

  • Stafford, J. (2018). The Scottish Enlightenment and the British-Irish Union of 1801. In: Lloyd-Jones, N. and Scull, M., eds., Four Nations Approaches to Modern 'British' History: A (Dis)United Kingdom?, 1st ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Stafford, J. (2016). The Alternative to Perpetual Peace: Britain, Ireland and the Case for Union in Friedrich Gentz's Historisches Journal, 1799-1800. Modern Intellectual History, 13(1), pp. 63-91.
  • Stafford, J. (2015). The Revenge of Sovereignty: The Scottish National Party, the Financial Crisis and UK Constitutional Reform, Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute Paper, No. 20.
  • Stafford, J. (2011). "Stay at Home": The Politics of Nuclear Civil Defence, 1963-83. Twentieth Century British History, 23(3), pp. 383-407.


New Doctoral Researcher Joined the RTG

On 01 March, Karlson Preuss took up his position in the Research Training Group. In his doctoral dissertation, he focuses on "The Unwritten Constitution as an Intersection between Global Law and World Politics".

A Touch of World Politics in Bad Salzuflen

The RTG participated in the Annual Retreat of the Institute for World Society Studies on 14 and 15 December 2017 in Bad Salzuflen. More.

Guest lecture by George Lawson (LSE) on 28 November

We would like to invite you to the Guest lecture "Global Historical Sociology" by Dr. George Lawson (LSE) on Tuesday, 28 November at 18:15 in room no. X C3-107.

RTG "World Politics" officially launched

Ten international young scientists and eleven principal investigators will investigate the emergence of world politics as a specific type of politics from an interdisciplinary perspective. More.

Official Opening of the RTG on 24 October

We would like to invite you to the Official Opening of the RTG and the guest lecture "'Lies are the Law of the World!' News and Global Media Networks in the Twentieth Century" by Prof. Dr. Heidi Tworek (University of British Columbia, Vancouver) on Tuesday, 24 October at 18:15 in room no. X C3-107.

The RTG "World Politics" started on 01 October

On 01 October 2017, the Research Training Group "World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society" started. Nine doctoral researchers and one post-doctoral researcher took up their positions.

The RTG is approved

We are pleased to announce that the DFG has approved our Research Training Group application. The new Research Training Group `World politics: The emergence of political arenas and modes of observation in world society´ will start 01 October 2017.