Purple flowers in front of the chapel doors

Dr Robin Adams (2014, History) wins Gerschenkron Prize

Congratulations to St Peter's alumnus, Dr Robin Adams (2014, DPhil, History), who has won the 2020 Gerschenkron PhD Dissertation Prize for his DPhil thesis "Shadow of a taxman: how, and by whom, was the Republican government financed in the Irish War of Independence (1919-21)?"

Awarded by the Economic History Association, the Gerschenkron Prize is given in recognition of the best dissertation in the economic history of an area outside of the United States or Canada completed during the preceding year. The prize is named in honour of Alexander Gerschenkron (1904–1978), a Russian-born American economic historian and professor at Harvard University. 

In his thesis, Dr Adams shows how the unrecognised Irish Republic's quest for funds took its emissaries as far afield as New York, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, and Melbourne, as well as the Irish community in Britain and virtually every parish in Ireland. 

Exploiting newly uncovered financial records, cross-referenced with census returns, police intelligence reports, memoirs, and IRA membership rolls, his dissertation provides the first ever demographic analysis of committed supporters of Irish independence on the eve of its realisation. It also shows how access to funds shaped the course of the Irish War of Independence and, ultimately, the Irish republicans' negotiating position with the British government in 1921. 

This is the second prize awarded to Dr Adams this year for his doctoral work, which was recognised earlier in 2020 with the Thirsk-Feinstein PhD Dissertation Prize, awarded by the Economic History Society for the best doctoral dissertation in Economic and/or Social History.

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Dr Robin Adams