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Successful Completion of PhD by History Student

Press clipping: Research

Publication date14/03/08

Congratulations to Robert Stansfield on the award of his PhD Robert's doctoral research, on 'Politics, Governance, and the Wars of the Roses: The Political Elites of South-West England 1450-1500', explores the feasibility of a regional approach by examining the government and elites of Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. His study discusses Edward IV's 'regional policy', how regions and identities might be defined, analyses the political elites of the south-west with regard to whether their interests and identities were regional in nature, and also explores the principles of, and evidence for, patron-client relationships. The second part of his study evaluates the government of the counties and region as a whole on a chronological basis. Fluctuating political alignments, the use and abuse of the royal household in the localities, and the regional significance of the duchy of Cornwall are themes that are specifically highlighted throughout the study. Robert argues that because of the inherently unstable nature of such hegemonies, the regional trend in governance that is discernible during the period may have been a significant factor in the continuance of civil strife, and the related themes of 'regional governance' and 'household governance' are evaluated within a wider historical perspective.