Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

From “Old Corruption” to the New Corruption? Public Life and Public Service in Britain, c. 1780–1940

9:00, Thursday, 24 January 2019 to 17:00, Friday, 25 January 2019


Who this event is for

  • Everyone


John Henry Brookes Buildings, Headington Campus


This will be a two day conference: 24–25 January 2019, held at Oxford Brookes University and is supported by Newman University, Birmingham, the History and Policy Unit, King’s College, London and the British Academy.

Keynote speakers: Professor Graham Brooks (University of West London); Professor Angus Hawkins (University of Oxford); Dr Kathryn Rix (History of Parliament).

Call for Papers

The aim of the conference is to encourage a more integrated approach to the study and conceptualisation of political and administrative corruption during the period when Britain became a mass democracy and open up new historical perspectives through which we might better grasp the present.

Papers (of 20 mins in length) might include discussion of, but are not limited to, the following subjects:

  • Conceptualising and historicising “corruption” over the long-term
  • Britain and the British Empire in comparative perspective: cultures of corruption and trajectories of reform
  • Conceptions of public service and corruption: office as private property and office as public trust
  • Patronage, privilege and salaried service in Whitehall and Westminster: from the Northcote -Trevelyan Report (1854) to the payment of MPs (1911)
  • Public and private interests: ministerial and official corruption and scandal
  • The business of politics: party financing, party managers and the practice of mass elections
  • Class and corruption: aristocracy, plutocracy and democracy
  • Corrupt practices and the reform of local government: “Civic Gospels” and “Tammany Halls”
  • The role of the national and provincial press in exposing corruption
  • Representing and imagining corruption: images, narratives, conspiracies

Expressions of interest to: I.Cawood@newman.ac.uk and tcrook@brookes.ac.uk

These should include: a brief ‘bio’ (detailing institution, publications, research interests, etc.) and a proposal/abstract (of roughly 300 words).

The deadline for the submission of abstracts is 27 July 2018. Alternatively, if you are interested in attending as a delegate please email to reserve a place.

Download call for papers »

The conference fee will be confirmed in September 2018, when registration will open.



          British Academy                       

history and policy                       






More information and how to book

Email: tcrook@brookes.ac.uk