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Current Postgraduate Research Students

James Taylor supervises 2 postgraduate research students. Some of the students have produced research profiles, these are listed below:

Student research profiles

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Dr James Taylor

Senior Lecturer

James Taylor

Bowland College

Lancaster University


Lancaster LA1 4YT

United Kingdom

Tel: +44 1524 592505


Research overview

Dr Taylor's work explores the social, political, and legal dimensions of economic change in Britain since the 1700s, focusing on the rise of big business in the nineteenth century. He has published on subjects ranging from the early history of corporate governance and the regulation and punishment of commercial fraud, to the history of the financial press and literary representations of commerce.

PhD supervision

Dr Taylor is keen to hear from students researching the following areas of British history - topics connecting economic, social and cultural history since 1800; history of financial fraud and crime; history of joint-stock companies and corporate governance; history of advertising and consumerism. Do contact him if you would like to discuss your research plans.

Research Interests

  Dr Taylor's first monograph, Creating Capitalism, won the 2008 Economic History Society Prize for best first monograph in Economic and Social History; his second, Shareholder Democracies (co-authored with Mark Freeman and Robin Pearson), won the Ralph Gomory Prize for best business history book of 2012. His third, Boardroom Scandal, was published by Oxford University Press in spring 2013. He has also published articles in several leading historical journals, including English Historical Review, Historical Journal, Historical Research, and Past & Present

His work tackles a number of overarching themes, including the relationship between morality and the market, the dependency of capitalism on the law, how trust is won, sustained, and undermined, regulation (broadly defined), and how ordinary people understand and relate to the market. Though his interests are economic, he examines economic questions from social, cultural, legal, and political perspectives. 

His current research is on the history of financial journalism in Britain since the 1820s. He is particularly interested in how the media influenced public understanding of, and engagement in, the economy. Did financial journalism act as a cheerleader for big business, or did it play a watchdog role? To what extent did restrictive libel law curb what journalists could achieve? How did they respond in times of economic crisis? Did the press improve mass financial literacy? And how did British financial journalism compare to the financial press in other countries? 

You can read his policy paper 'Why have no bankers gone to jail?', published October 2013, on the History & Policy website

You can read a review of one of his latest articles, published in Historical Research in November 2012, on the Talking Biz News website.

Current Teaching

Hist280: The Victorians and Before: Britain, 1783-1901

Hist281: Britain in the Twentieth Century

Hist343: Advertising and Consumerism in Britain, 1853-1960

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