Dr James Lees

Contact details

Dr James Lees
BA, MA, PhD (Lond)
Fellowships Officer
Institute of Historical Research
0207 862 8747
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Colonies & Colonization, emigration & immigration, Early Modern, Modern History
Asia, Ireland, United Kingdom
Summary of research interests and expertise:
James's research is mainly concerned with power relations and corruption among East India Company officials in early British India, and the influence of personal interest within its civil service on the wider character of the Company’s colonial governance.
Publication Details

Related publications/articles:

Date Details
25-Oct-2013 'Retrenchment, reform and the practice of military-fiscalism in the early East India Company state'.

Edited Book

'Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World', S. Reinart and P. Røge (eds).

30-Jul-2013 ‘Administrator-scholars and the writing of History in early British India: a review article’.


Modern Asian Studies

31-Jan-2013 B. Crosbie, 'Irish Imperial Networks: Migration, Social Communication and Exchange in Nineteenth-Century India'.


'Irish Studies Review', vol. 21, issue 1.

01-Jan-2011 M. S. Silvestri, 'Ireland and India: Nationalism, Empire and Memory' (Basingstoke, 2009).


'Reviews in History' (review no. 1132) Sept. 2011.

01-Jan-2010 ‘A “Tranquil Spectator”: the district official and the practice of local government in late eighteenth-century Bengal'.


Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, vol. 38, no. 1 (March 2010), pp. 1–19.

01-Jan-2006 ‘Improvising empire: economic retrenchment, armed force and local government in Bengal, 1765–c.1810’.


History Studies, vol. 7 (2006), pp. 31–41.

Professional Affiliations

Professional affiliations:

Name Activity
Royal Asiatic Society Fellow
British Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Member
Relevant Events

Knowledge transfer activities:

‘Fortune-hunters, paramilitaries, and the limits of British colonial rule in late eighteenth-century Bengal.’

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore: Humanities and Social Sciences Research Seminar.

‘Sepoys and sebundies: the role of regular and paramilitary armed forces in the formation of the early Company state in Bengal, c. 1765–c. 1815.’

University of Greenwich: ‘Re-Newing the Military History of Colonial South Asia’ conference.

‘”A patient witness of all these cruelties”: Richard Goodlad and the bureaucratic context of the 1783 Rangpur dhing’.

University of Cambridge: 'Genealogies of Colonial Violence' conference.

‘Personal interest and the culture of concealment: European district officials of the British East India Company in Bengal, c. 1765 to c. 1800'.

University of Liverpool: 'Representing Administration and Bureaucracy in Historical Perspective' colloquium.

‘Concepts of reputation and their influence on the government of the East India Company state in the later eighteenth century’.

King's College London: History Department Research Seminar.

‘Empire on the cheap? Paramilitaries and local government in late eighteenth-century Bengal’.

University of Dhaka, Bangladesh: History Department Research Seminar.

‘The theory and practice of military government: Rangpur district and the East India Company state, 1779–c.1786.’

Institute of Historical Research: Imperial History Seminar.

‘Improvising Empire: The rise of the East India Company state in Bengal, 1765–c. 1818.’

Institute of Historical Research: 74th Anglo-American Conference of Historians, ‘States and Empires'.

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