I am a native of Leeds in Yorkshire and a graduate of Girton College, Cambridge, where I studied under Dr Alistair Reid. I hold an MPhil on late Victorian politics from the University of Birmingham and a PhD from the University of Leicester. I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.
From 2002 until 2019 I was head of history at Newman University in Birmingham, where I established Single Honours History for the first time and then set up a Masters degree in Victorian Studies.
In 2012 I published my first major monograph The Liberal Unionist Party, 1886-1912: A History which was shortlisted for the Total Politics Political History Book of the Year in 2013 and described by Professor Vernon Bogdanor in the Times Literary Supplement as “one of the most important works on the politics of the late Victorian era to have appeared in recent years.”
In 2014 I organised the international Joseph Chamberlain centenary conference and edited a collection of essays arising from the conference in Joseph Chamberlain: International Statesman, National Leader, Local Icon which was launched at the Palace of Westminster in 2016 and selected by the Financial Times as one of their books of the summer.
I am a member of the Centre for Print History and Culture steering group and in 2019 edited the Centre’s first collection of essays: Print, Politics and the Provincial Press. I am a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and have been interviewed by the BBC for Midlands Today, Newsnight and Inside Out. I am also an adviser for the Heritage Lottery Funded project: ‘Everything to Everybody’ run by the University of Birmingham and Birmingham City Council and am an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham.
I am currently working on a history of public corruption in 19th century Britain for which I have published articles with Transparency International and History and Policy and I have a major article appearing in English Historical Review next year. I am currently co-editing a book, provisionally titled 'The many lives of corruption: The reform of public life in modern Britain' for Manchester University Press.
Cawood I (2022) The Black Book and the reform of public life in early nineteenth-century Britain. Journal of Liberal History, (113), pp. 6-17. https://liberalhistory.org.uk/journal-articles/the-black-book-and-the-reform-of-public-life-in-early-nineteenth-century-britain/
Cawood I (2021) A history of British political sleaze – and why we should worry about the Johnson government. University of Stirling Public Policy Blog [Blog post] 31.05.2021. https://policyblog.stir.ac.uk/2021/05/31/a-history-of-british-political-sleaze-and-why-we-should-worry-about-the-johnson-government/
Cawood I (2020) Corruption and the Public Service Ethos in Mid-Victorian Administration: The Case of Leonard Horner and the Factory Office. English Historical Review, 135 (575), pp. 860-891. https://doi.org/10.1093/ehr/ceaa249
Cawood I (2020) Birmingham, the "Caucus" and the 1868 general election. Journal of Liberal History, (105). https://liberalhistory.org.uk/journal-articles/birmingham-the-caucus-and-the-1868-general-election/
Brennan J & Cawood I (2019) "We must get in front of these blighters": Political Press Culture in the West Midlands, 1918-1925. In: Cawood I & Peters L (eds.) Print, Politics and the Provincial Press. Printing History and Culture, 1. Oxford: Peter Lang, pp. 119-155. https://doi.org/10.3726/b13688
Cawood I (2016) Joseph Chamberlain: His Reputation and Legacy. In: Cawood I & Upton C (eds.) Joseph Chamberlain: International Statesman, National Leader, Local Icon. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 229-243. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137528858_11
Cawood I & Upton C (2016) Joseph Chamberlain and the Birmingham Satirical Journals, 1876-1911. In: Cawood I & Upton C (eds.) Joseph Chamberlain: International Statesman, National Leader, Local Icon. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 176-210. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137528858_9
Cawood I (2014) 'True to his principles'? John Bright, Liberalism and Irish Home Rule 1886-1889. Journal of Liberal History, (85), pp. 10-19. https://liberalhistory.org.uk/journal-articles/true-to-his-principles/
Cawood I (2014) The Persistence of Liberal Unionism in Irish Politics, 1886-1912. In: Doherty G (ed.) The Home Rule Crisis, 1912-14. Cork Studies in the Irish Revolution. Cork, RoI: Mercier Press, pp. 333-352. https://www.mercierpress.ie/irish-books/the-home-rule-crisis-1912-14/