Paul V. Kershaw

Paul V. Kershaw

Visiting Assistant Professor


313-577-6987 (fax)

 3101 Faculty/Administration Building

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Paul V. Kershaw

Paul Kershaw is a historian of twentieth-century US and Mexican history, specializing in US and the World, the politics of economic development, and the history of capitalism.

Research interest(s)/area of expertise

  • Modern U.S.

  • Modern Mexico

  • U.S. and the World

  • History of Capitalism


Kershaw's current book project investigates the intellectual and political development of International Monetary Fund (IMF) "structural adjustment" programs and demonstrates how those programs became the first-line response to a series of international debt crises. His research shows that the US government and the IMF worked out the general strategy of structural adjustment programs initially as a concession to demands by less developed countries for greater access to the financial resources of industrial nations and later through their responses to Mexican debt crises of 1976 and 1982. Kershaw is also interested in neoliberalism and capitalism as analytical categories, and in how we can make these terms useful for the purpose of explaining how disparate historical cases may share common causal features.


  • Ph.D., History, New York University, 2014
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1996
  • B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Boston University, 1990

Awards and grants

  • History of Capitalism Faculty Fellowship, Charles Warren Center for the Study of American History, Harvard University, 2015-2016

  • Hagley Library, Exploratory Research Grant, 2014

  • Princeton Library Research Grant, 2008

  • O’Donnell Grant, Scowcroft Institute of International Affairs, 2008

  • Penfield Fellowship for Research in International Affairs, New York University, 2008

  • Gerald R. Ford Foundation Research Grant, 2007

Selected publications

Currently teaching

  • On research leave for Fall 2019

Courses taught

  • HIS 1400, The World Since 1945 (3 cr.) Winter 2019
  • HIS 5130/7130, U.S. Foreign Relations Since 1933 (4 cr.) Fall 2018
  • HIS 5300/7300, History of American Capitalism (4 cr.) Winter 2018
  • HIS 1400, The World Since 1945 (4 cr.), Winter 2018
  • HIS 5070/7070, Comtemporary American History: 1945 to Present (4 cr.) Fall 2017