Studentship: Crime, Innovation and Mobility: Transport Migration and Policing in England, 1750-1950

Applications are invited for the above ESRC Network project studentship commencing on 1 October 2016. This opportunity is part of the wider ESRC Network on ‘Comparative Historical Perspectives on Crime, Innovation and Social Change’ in collaboration with the University of York and the University of Leeds.

Application deadline: 12pm, Friday 18 March 2016
Interviews: interviews will take place on Thursday 24 March 2016

Supervisory team: Professor Bob Shoemaker (Department of History, Sheffield), Dr Mark Roodhouse (Department of History,York)

This project will focus on three key areas of investigation:

  1. the new criminal opportunities which opened up between 1750 and 1950 as a result of transport innovations and the increases in migration and mobility which they facilitated;
  2. the resulting innovations in policing in response to the changing activities and tactics of criminals; and
  3. the social, economic, political and legal consequences of this dialectic between crime and policing.

While these issues have previously been addressed superficially in popular histories, they have never received careful scholarly analysis. With the creation of new digital resources including newspapers and the convict lives database created by the AHRC funded Digital Panopticon project, it is possible for the first time to trace criminal activity and mobility systematically. To facilitate a comparative perspective, the research will adopt a case study approach, focusing on specific periods of innovation and change. This will provide a perspective on topics of contemporary relevance, particularly how criminality is shaped by technological and social change; how innovations in crime have forced changes in policing, and with what success (and vice versa); and the extent to which migration and mobility are associated with specific patterns of crime.

For information please see: