My research interests lie mainly in later eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century British political history, particularly British attitudes to international events such as the American and French Revolutions. My publications include A War of Ideas? British Attitudes towards the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792-1802 (1998), and British Visions of America, 1775-1820: Republican Realities (2013).
I am currently engaged in two major research projects. The first compares the state trials of the 1790s in Scotland, England, Ireland, Canada and America, from the perspective of the state in the age of Enlightenment. The second is a collaboration with Dr Anthony Page (University of Tasmania) and Dr Martin Fitzpatrick (University of Aberystwyth) to publish an edition of the substantial correspondence (1750-1810) between the Ayrshire Church of Scotland minister, James Wodrow, and the Midlands merchant, Samuel Kenrick, held at the Dr Williams Library in London.
I have supervised PhD theses on the origins of Scottish popular political ideas. c.1746-1790; French travellers in Scotland, c. 1780-1830; the identity and roles of Scottish MPs c.1754-1784; and the identity and ideology of Tories and Toryism in British politics c.1760-1832. I welcome enquiries regarding doctoral supervision.