My research and teaching interests lie in 14th-16th century politics, especially in state-building processes shaping Western European polities. I analyse the growing princely monopolies on violence (war) and diplomacy (peace) and their implications, especially in the Low Countries, a composite state united under the rule of the Valois dukes of Burgundy and their Habsburg successors. My aim is to scrutinise and differentiate the relative importance of the factors traditionally associated with the rise of the early modern state in a comparative perspective including England, France, and the Holy Roman Empire. This work develops from my PhD thesis on the political implications of the late medieval gunpowder artillery revolution in the Burgundian Low Countries.
I am the organising tutor in history at Harris Manchester College, where I teach historical methodology.