Inkster is a global historian and political economist focusing especially upon East Asia, Europe and Australasia, with specific archival interest in UK, India, Australia, Taiwan, Japan. He has held Chairs in history, economic history and social sciences in Australia, UK, and Taiwan.
Books include Science and Technology in History (London 1991); The Japanese Industrial Economy. Late Development and Cultural Causation, London, 2001; Japanese Industrialisation. Historical and Cultural Perspectives, London, 2001; with Satofuka, Culture and Technology in Modern Japan London, 2000; Technology and Industrialisation: Historical Case Studies and International Perspectives, London, 1998; Scientific Culture and Urbanisation in Industrialising Britain, London, 1997. Most recent book with James, Religious Dissent and the Aikin-Barbauld circle 1740-1860, Cambridge, 2012. His most recent major article entitled,‘Economy, Technology and the Huttonian Enlightenment: Approaches to China in the International Political Economy since the Early Twentieth Century’, International History Review, XXXVII, 4, (2015), 809-840. Editor of History of Technology, London, since 2000.
Global history and international political economy, with especial interests in China, Japan and Taiwan; FRHS elected 1983; editor History of Technology since 2001 (London, Bloomsbury); archival work in Japan, UK, Taiwan, India and Australasia on linkages between knowledge, technology and industrialisation using both comparative techniques and global modelling. Particular Taiwan interests – history of indigenous peoples, the cannibal claims, Taiwan-Chinese relations to present-time, foreign influences in Taiwan history.