James Livesey works on the cultural history of the eighteenth century Atlantic with an emphasis on the British Isles and France. His new book Civil Society and Empire: Ireland and Scotland in the Eighteenth Century Atlantic World was published by Yale UP in August 2009. The book argues that the concept of civil society was worked out by the Atlantic community as a means of understanding its location in the emergent British Empire. He has previously published on topics such as religious movements and republicanism in the French Revolution, literary intellectuals in the 1848 revolution and the culture of improvement in eighteenth century Scotland and Ireland. His 2001 Making Democracy in the French Revolution established his poistion in the historiography of the French Revolution and this continues to be a central research interest.
Jim has two research projects in hand at the moment. His is finishing a monograph on the origins of social change in the Languedoc. This will offer a new approach toward synthesising European history. He is in the early stages of a collaboration project on communication and co-ordination in the eighteenth-century North Atlantic. This research will contribute to the multi-year "Transitions to Modernity" project at Yale.
James previously taught at Trinity College Dublin. In 2008-2009 he was Visiting Professor at Harvard University.