British idealism and the moral view of politics
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.