Kennedy, Allan

Dr, Dr


Research activity per year

Personal profile


I joined the University of Dundee in August 2017, having previously worked as Research Associate in British/Scottish History at the University of Manchester.  Before that, I was a distance-learning tutor for the Open University and a teaching assistant at the University of Stirling, this latter institution being the one from where I gained my PhD in 2012.


My research focuses on the political and social history of early modern Scotland, particularly the late-seventeenth and early-eighteenth centuries.  My initial work was on the Highlands, and analysed the relationship between Highlanders and the Scottish state.  This produced many of my early publications, including my prize-winning first book, Governing Gaeldom: The Scottish Highlands and the Restoration State, 1660-1688 (Leiden, 2014).  Having become interested in the experience of the ‘other’ or ‘outsider’ more generally, later research directions led me to explore Scottish migration to early modern England, as well as the history of criminality in Scotland.  Currently, I am working on a study of serious crime in Restoration Scotland (with a particular interest in Highland banditry), as well as managing a major Leverhulme-funded project on the Scottish Privy Council between 1691 and 1708.


I am also Consultant Editor of the popular magazine History Scotland.


My research focuses on the social and political history of early modern Scotland, with a particular focus on the later seventeenth century. My initial interests, informing my doctoral thesis, were in the linkages between Highland and Lowland Scotland during the reigns of Charles II and James VII, a problem I approached within the broader paradigms of centre/periphery interaction and ‘state formation’ in early modern Europe. My research, and resulting publications, has tended to downplay the distinctiveness of the Highland experience, attempting instead to demonstrate the deep linkages (political, social, economic, religious and cultural) between Highlanders and the Scottish state.


Although I retain a strong interest in Highland history, my research subsequently broadened out to incorporate the treatment of outsiders or ‘others’ in the early modern world. In particular, I have explored the experiences of Scots living in early modern England, assessing what this particular migratory movement can tell us about the emergence and nature of ‘Great Britain’ in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I have also looked into Scottish criminal justice, particularly in terms of asking how criminals were treated and what this can reveal about the ordering structures and assumptions of Scottish society. This interest, it is hoped, will shortly lead to a monograph on serious crime during the Restoration (1660-88).


I am also project manager on a major collaborative investigation into the Scottish Privy Council between 1691 and 1708. Led by Dr Alastair Mann (University of Stirling) as PI, the team hopes to make the Council's as-yet unpublished records available digitally, while also producing a wide range of scholarly and public-facing outputs. Funded by the Leverhulme Trust, this project is projected to run until 2023.


I contribute to the following modules:


  • HY11001: Human Futures
  • HY11005: Rise of the Atlantic Empires, 1500-1750
  • HY22006: Scotland and the Wider World (module convenor)
  • HY31041: Life at the Margins: Sinners, Deviants and Outcasts in Early Modern Scotland, c.1550-c.1750 (module convenor)
  • HY41001: Research Dissertation
  • HY41056: Scotland: Restoration, Revolution and Union, 1660-1707 (module convenor)


  • HY51045: Public History
  • HY51046: Witchcraft and Witch-Hunting in Early Modern Scotland
  • HY52029: Documentary and History

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

External positions

Consultant Editor

Sept 2017 → …

Research Associate, University of Manchester


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