The Reform of the British Civil Service: A Social History of The Treasury, c. 1847-1914
Supervisor: Professor Christina de Bellaigue
My DPhil thesis examines the reform of the British Civil Service c. 1847-1914, by focusing on developments in the Treasury, an administrative department which played a key role in this process through its officials, superintendence of public establishments, and growing regulation of appointments, promotions, and pensions. In mid-nineteenth century, the criticism of government patronage led to the weakening of practices, customs, and beliefs that were an integral part of Victorian society. I seek to illuminate under what conditions the acceptance of this patronage was challenged and how a transition towards other forms of civil administration, appointments, promotions, and pensions got underway. At the same time, I examine why certain reforms were promoted and how they were developed. In the process, I demonstrate that these reforms were developed in ways that reflected and were influenced by changing expectations and attitudes to public offices, the life course, the family, and class. Thus, the purpose of this thesis is to explore an important shift in British administrative, political, and social history,
My second scholarly interest deals with the social and political history of Colombia from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. I have explored the armies' involvement in politics, political communications, and local politics, and published some of this work in academic journals like Latin American Research Review.
The combination of my broad interests in state-formation in both Europe and the Americas led me to co-organise with Shyam Sridar the international conference 'States, local jurisdictions, and borderlands in Europe and the Americas, c. 1713-1914' in 1-2 June 2021, funded by the Past & Present Society and the Latin American Centre, University of Oxford. We are now working to publish the proceedings of the conference in the form of an edited collection.
[Accepted for publication] 'Political Communications in Colombia: Written and Oral Practices in the Second-Half of the Nineteenth Century'. Journal of Latin American Studies.
(With Eduardo Posada-Carbó) 'La "barra" en los Congresos de Colombia y Chile, siglo XIX.' Jahrbuch Geschichte Lateinamerika, Vol. 56 (2019): pp. 171-195.
(With Juan Carlos Rodríguez-Raga and Laura Wills-Otero) 'Los viajes olvidados de la democracia: circulación y apropiación de la legislación electoral en Colombia, 1855-1886.' Latin American Research Review, Vol. 51, no. 4 (2016), pp. 139-162.