Bri­tish ide­al­ism and the moral view of pol­i­tics

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

An four-panel work­shop on the moral view of pol­i­tics was or­gan­ised by a Cypriot aca­demic on the side­lines of the 65th in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence of the Po­lit­i­cal Stud­ies As­so­ci­a­tion of the UK in Sh­effield, where Bri­tish ide­al­ism and the moral view of pol­i­tics was the main topic of dis­cus­sion, a timely sub­ject as the event was at­tended by 600 schol­ars and thinkers and held just be­fore the na­tional elec­tions.

Dr. Stam­a­toula Pana­gakou of the Uni­ver­sity of Cyprus or­gan­ised and con­vened four pan­els on “Bri­tish Ide­al­ism: Po­lit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy, Civic Pride and Eth­i­cal Cit­i­zen­ship” dur­ing the con­fer­ence. An in­ter­na­tional cast of schol­ars ad­dressed is­sues of cit­i­zen­ship, state the­ory, good gov­er­nance, free­dom, re­pub­li­can­ism, the com­mon good, pa­tri­o­tism, pun­ish­ment, rights, public ethics, civil so­ci­ety, and po­lit­i­cal obli­ga­tion.

The dis­cus­sions showed that the con­cepts of civic pride and of eth­i­cal cit­i­zen­ship are at the cen­tre of Bri­tish Ide­al­ist po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy. The Bri­tish Ide­al­ist vi­sion of pol­i­tics is characterised by a com­mit­ment to the com­mon good and by a de­sire to achieve the best life in the eth­i­cal frame­work of the state.

The speak­ers had the op­por­tu­nity both to re­assess key is­sues in the the­o­ries of T. H. Green, Bernard Bosan­quet, F. H. Bradley and R. G. Colling­wood, and to de­velop com­par­a­tive stud­ies in­volv­ing other philo­soph­i­cal schools and fields of in­quiry. The pan­els were well-at­tended and the pre­sen­ta­tions gen­er­ated a fruit­ful dis­cus­sion which demon­strated the value and con­tin­u­ing rel­e­vance of Bri­tish Ide­al­ist phi­los­o­phy and of Bri­tish po­lit­i­cal thought. All the ses­sions took place at the ma­jes­tic rooms of Sh­effield Town Hall and Sh­effield City Hall, while the con­fer­ence din­ner was held at Cut­ler’s Hall, a Grade 2 listed build­ing which played in the past an im­por­tant role in the ex­pan­sion of Sh­effield in­dus­tries of cut­lery and met­al­work.

Dr. Pana­gakou, who won a PSA Spe­cial­ist Group Speak­ers Com­pe­ti­tion Award, gave a talk on “Civic Pride and Eth­i­cal Cit­i­zen­ship in the Po­lit­i­cal Phi­los­o­phy of Bernard Bosan­quet.” The other aca­demics pre­sent­ing pa­pers were Dr. Cor­mac Be­han (Sh­effield), Pro­fes­sor James Con­nelly (Hull), Dr. Maria Di­movaCook­son (Durham), Daniel Dug­gan (Durham), Dr. Matt Hann, Dr. Damian Ilodigwe (St. Peter and St. Paul Sem­i­nary, Nige­ria), Dr. Robert Ko­cis (Scran­ton, USA), Dr. Richard Mur­phy (Durham), Pro­fes­sor Colin Tyler (Hull), and Pro­fes­sor David We­in­stein (Wake For­est, US, and Olden­burg, Ger­many).

The con­fer­ence din­ner key­note speaker was John Ber­cow MP, Speaker of the House of Com­mons, who was re­elected to Par­lia­ment on May 7.

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