Thursday, November 05, 2015

T.H. Green and local citizenship

The Liberal philosopher T.H. Green - Thomas Hill Green - is much cited by Liberal Democrats but, I suspect, little read.

In fact, as he flourished in the brief period when Idealist philosophy dominated British academia, I wonder what modern readers (Realists to a man and woman) make of him.

But Tom Hulme reports giving a paper on him that was well received:
The paper was about the lasting influence of ... Green (1836–1882) in the application of citizenship education, and the specifically local and urban articulation that this took. 
Despite the tendency for historians to view citizenship through the prism of the national or imperial, it was actually common for both children and adults to be taught that it was in the local, and the city especially, that the rights and responsibilities of citizenship were received and enacted. 
Using Green’s justification for state intervention to ensure individual liberty, educators argued that municipal government was the guardian of the life and health of individuals and communities—an educational approach they termed civics. 
These ideas were prominent in the organizations that provided civics in the 1920s and 1930s, such as the National Association of Local Government Officers and the Association for Education in Citizenship.

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