The many lives of corruption

The reform of public life in modern Britain, c. 1750-1950

Edited by Ian Cawood and Tom Crook

The many lives of corruption


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-5003-5
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: May 2022
  • BIC Category: Humanities / Social & cultural history, History, Society & social sciences / Political corruption, Humanities / British & Irish history, Politics & government, POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Modern History, Society & social sciences / Politics & government, Politics


How has corruption shaped - and undermined - the history of public life in modern Britain? This collection begins the task of piecing together this history over the past two and a half centuries, from the first assaults on Old Corruption and aristocratic privilege during the late eighteenth century through to the corruption scandals that blighted the worlds of Westminster and municipal government during the twentieth century.

It offers the first account that pays equal attention to the successes and limitations of anticorruption reforms and the shifting meanings of 'corruption'. It does so across a range of different sites - electoral, political and administrative, domestic and colonial - presenting new research on neglected areas of reform, while revisiting well known scandals and corrupt practices.


Introduction: corruption and the reform of public life in modern Britain
Ian Cawood and Tom Crook
1 Public spirit and corruption in the Scottish Enlightenment: a reconsideration
Craig Smith
2 From the 'old' to the 'new': corruption and the police, c. 1750-1910
Francis Dodsworth
3 'A new tide of corruption': economical reform and the regulation of the East India Company, 1765-84
Ben Gilding
4 'A monster in politics': corruption and economical reform in Jamaica, 1783-91
Aaron Graham
5 Corrupt practices and the reform of voting behaviour in Britain, France and the United States, c. 1789-1914
Malcolm Crook
6 Corruption, despotism and the Colonial Office, c. 1820-50
Alex Middleton
7 The 'most difficult' subject for legislation: parliament and electoral corruption in the nineteenth century
Kathryn Rix
8 Politics, patronage or public service? Conservatives at the Foreign Office, 1858-9
Geoffrey Hicks
9 Gladstonian Liberalism, public service and private interests: reforming endowments
H. S. Jones
10 After Old Corruption: Westminster scandals and the problem of corruption, c. 1880-1914
Tom Crook
11 Socialism and corruption: Conservative responses to nationalisation and Poplarism, 1900-40
Liam Ryan
12 Civic corruption in the twentieth century: the case of Belfast and Glasgow, c. 1920-70
Peter Jones
Epilogue: the British way in corruption
Ian Cawood and Tom Crook



Ian Cawood is Associate Professor in British Political and Religious History at the University of Stirling

Tom Crook is Reader in Modern British History at Oxford Brookes University

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