My research focuses on the reform of the British civil service c. 1854-1912. I seek to answer the following questions: Under what conditions did the prevailing consent on aristocratic patronage disappear and a period of transition towards other forms of social organization and civil administration was established? What were the social circumstances and what were the reasons to deny, denouce and fracture this legitimacy altogether? What specific changes were undertaken in the mid-nineteenth-century onwards, why these and why were they presented in a particular way? Who urged these reforms? More broadly, I am puzzled by the way British society achieved social reforms and reformed its government institutions, without falling as the rest of Europe into the abism of communism and fascism, a destiny so ironically and beautifully described in Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain. I am also interested in aristocracy, political reforms, party politics and civil administration in other parts of nineteenth-century Europe.
My second -though not in terms of relevance- field of research deals with political and social Spanish American history from the late eighteenth century to the early twentieth century. In previous years, I have explored topics such as the armies' involvement in colombian politics, the way in which political communications had functioned and the colossal impact on local power brought by the Hispanic American revolutions (1808-1832). Right now, I am writing on Aquileo Parra's political communication networks.
Finally, a brief creed. A historian is not a nerd: he is a man of culture. I enjoy nineteenth-century european novels just as much as I am convinced that british politicians from Gladstone's days have the lions share of wit, humour and literary splendour. I also believe there is a hierarchy in the subjects we study. I am interested in the big questions formulated by the british and french social, economic and political historiography of the 1960's-70's. I am proud and fortunate to have been educated formally and informally by eminent historians of Spanish America such as Malcolm Deas, Antonio Annino, Eduardo Posada Carbó and Renán Silva.