Dr Ian Cawood

Associate Professor

History Stirling

Dr Ian Cawood

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About me

About me

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,' 'The Sunday Show', 'Newsnight', 'Who Do You Think You Are?' and 'Inside Out.'

My current AHRC funded research project 'Corruption, Public Service and the Common Good in Western Europe' is a multi-disciplinary, transnational investigation of the means whereby corrupt practices were challenged and an alternative ethos of governance, inspired by contemporary religion, utilitarian philosophy, radical literature and the Scottish Enlightenment came to dominate British political culture. I have published initial articles in the 'English Historical Review' and the 'Journal of Liberal History' on the topic and co-edited a collection of essays: 'The Many Lives of Corruption: The Reform of Public Life in Modern Britain, c1750-1950', published by Manchester University Press in 2022

My Office Hours are 1-2pm and 4-5pm on a Friday in term-time.

Professional membership

Fellow of Royal Historical Society
Royal Historical Society

Senior Fellow of HEA
Higher Education Academy

University Contribution

Honorary Senior Research Fellow
University of Birmingham


I am currently working on a history of the public service ethos in 19th century Britain for which I have published a major article in English Historical Review, as well as an article in the Journal of Liberal History. I have recently co-edited a book, titled 'The many lives of corruption: The reform of public life in modern Britain, c.1750-1950' which was published by Manchester University Press in May 2022. I currently hold an AHRC Research Networking Award and have arranged research symposia in UK, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and Spain.

Outputs (18)


Book Chapter

Cawood I & Crook T (2022) Epilogue: the British way in corruption. In: Cawood I & Crook T (eds.) The many lives of corruption: The reform of public life in modern Britain, c. 1750-1950. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 279-297. https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526150035/

Conference Paper (unpublished)

Cawood I (2022) The Public Service Ethos: a Gift from Victorian Britain?. Ethics and the Civil Service – past, present, and future, University of Sussex, 08.04.2022-08.04.2022. https://youtu.be/_AfFzrlLrHk?t=3645

Book Chapter

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

Book Chapter

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/




HISU9X6 - History Dissertation Preparation for Honours History (module co-ordinator)

HISU9L6 - Religion, Denomination and Prejudice in Britain 1780-1914 (module co-ordinator)

HISU9C7 - Corruption, Public Service and the Common Good in Britain, 1800-1914 (module co-ordinator)

Research centres/groups