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Biography

Alan James is an historian of early modern warfare and naval power, with a particular interest in pre-Revolutionary France. He joined the department in 2002 from the University of Manchester where he was a lecturer and from where he earlier received his PhD. He is interested in the changing strategic context of the early modern period and the origins of modern warfare.

Dr James is a trustee of the ‘British Commission for Maritime History’ and an active member of the ‘Society for Nautical Research’, the ‘Navy Records Society’, and the ‘Société Française d’Histoire Maritime’.  He is also the reviews editor for the Journal of Strategic Studies.

 

Research Interests

  • Early modern naval warfare
  • Imperialism
  • Confessional conflict and state-building
  • Pre-revolutionary France

 

Teaching

Dr James teaches across a range of historical periods and subjects and is particularly interested in supervising PhD research on any aspect of the following:

  • Western imperialism from the fifteenth century onward
  • Naval warfare
  • The relation between military change and early state formation.
  • Pre-Revolutionary France, specifically the political, social, and military history of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries.
  • Early modern maritime empires
  • Early modern warfare

 

Publications

Books

  • J.D. Davies, Alan James and Gijs Rommelse, eds, Ideologies of Western Naval Power, c.1500-1815 (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020), pp.vii+337. ISBN: 978-0-367-32128-4
  • Alan James, Carlos Alfaro Zaforteza, and Malcolm Murfett, European Navies and the Conduct of War (Abingdon: Routledge, 2019), pp.ix+302. ISBN: 978-0-415-67891-9
  • Alan James, The Origins of French Absolutism, 1598-1661 (Pearson: Harlow, 2006), pp.xvi+139. ISBN: 978-0-582-36900-9. Seminar Studies in History Series.
  • Alan James, Navy and Government in Early Modern France, 1572-1661 (Boydell Press: Woodbridge, 2004), pp.ix +198. ISBN: 0-86193-270-6

 

Book chapters

  • ‘Commanding the World Itself: Sir Walter Ralegh, La Popelinière, and the Huguenot Influence on Early English Sea Power’, in Richard Blakemore and James Davey, eds, The Maritime World of Early Modern Britain (University of Amsterdam Press, 2020).
  • ‘French Sea Power in the Utrecht Era: “Balance of Power” and the Strategic Context of Louis XIV’s Navy’, in Paul Kennedy and Evan Wilson, eds, Navies in Multi-Polar Worlds: from the Age of Sail to the Present (Naval Institute Press, 2020).
  • ‘La Bataille du Cap Béveziers, 1690: une glorieuse victoire pour le roi stratège’, pp. 205-218, in La Bataille. Du fait d’armes au combat idéologique (XIe – XIXe siècles), Ariane Boltanski, Yann Lagadec, Franck Mercier, eds (Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2015).
  • ‘Rethinking the Peace of Westphalia: Towards a Theory of Early Modern Warfare’, pp. 107-126, in Jonathan Davies, ed, Aspects of Violence in Renaissance Europe (Ashgate, 2013).

 

Research articles

  • ‘Une époque sans amiral: les grands-maîtres de la navigation, 1626-1669’, Revue d’histoire maritime vol. 19 (Presses universitaires de la Sorbonne, 2014), pp. 109-118.
  • ‘A French Armada? The Azores Expeditions, 1580-83’, The Historical Journal 55, 1 (2012), pp. 1-20.
  • ‘Les arsenaux de marine en France avant Colbert’, Dix-Septième Siècle 253, 4 (2011), pp. 658-671.
  • ‘Raising the Profile of Naval History: An International Perspective on Early Modern Navies’, The Mariner’s Mirror 97,1 (Feb. 2011), pp. 193-206.

 

For a list of Dr Alan James' publications please see here

 

PhD Supervision

 Dr James is eager to supervise PhD work on any aspect of the following:

  • Western imperialism from the fifteenth century onward; the theory or the practice
  • Naval warfare
  • The relation between military change and early state formation.
  • Pre-Revolutionary France, specifically the political, social, and military history of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. 
  • Early modern maritime empires
  • Early modern warfare