Corruption in Urban Politics and Society, Britain 1780–1950  book cover
1st Edition

Corruption in Urban Politics and Society, Britain 1780–1950

ISBN 9781138252110
Published March 6, 2017 by Routledge
196 Pages

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Book Description

Despite much recent interest in the area of urban governance, little work has been done on the changing ethical standards of urban leaderships, 'governing' institutions or the policing of public life. Yet the issue of ethical standards in public life has become a central concern in contemporary public discourse; with issues of public probity, moral order and personal standards re-emerging as central features of political debate. This volume places these debates into their historical perspective by examining the linkages between processes of 'modernisation', urbanisation and the ethical standards of governance and public life. It considers how ethical debates arise as a result of differential access to positions of authority and from competition for public resources. The contributions are drawn from a wide range of scholarly and disciplinary backgrounds and provide a broad analysis of the phenomenon of corruption, assessing how debates about corruption arose, the narratives used to criticise established modes of public conduct and their consequences for urban leadership.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Corruption and urban governance, James Moore and John Smith. Part I Locating Corruption: Language and the Respectable: Scandals: a tentative overview, John Garrard; Corrupt and corporate bodies: attitudes to corruption in 18th-century and early 19th-century towns, Rosemary Sweet; 'Getting away with it' or 'punishment enough'?: the problem of 'respectable' crime from 1830, Gary Wilson and Sarah Wilson. Part II Managing Corruption: Attitudes and Ethics: Corruption and scandal in the port of Liverpool, Adrian Jarvis; Municipal corruption and political partisanship in Manchester 1885-95, James Moore; 'Ingenious and daring': the Wolverhampton Council fraud 1905-17, John Smith; The dramas of local government: personal ethics and public service in Winifred Holtby's South Riding, Clare Griffiths; Rotten boroughs: the crisis of urban policing and the decline in municipal independence, 1914-64, Chris A. Williams. Index.

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Dr James R Moore is Deputy Director at the Centre for Metropolitan History, Institute of Historical Research, UK. John Smith was formerly from the Centre for Urban History, University of Leicester, UK.


’...a valuable book that casts much light on the shadowy world of backhanders and double-dealing.’ History, the Journal of the Historical Association