Category Archives: Public Policy

Published on
1 July 2013

PRISM and the Long View of Modern Secularism

In order to maintain public order secularism in our time relies on well- established delineation of ‘public’ and ‘private’ realms. While attempting to play down divisions between social groups, secularism reinforces a distinction between public conduct and private life. In this way a moderate secularism can reduce public conflict by emphasising those aspects of public […]

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Published on
10 June 2013

Innocence, Surveillance and Our Perennial Dilemma

News that the United States government ordered the largest US communications company Verizon to hand over details of communications of all of its customers on a daily basis is as regrettable as it is shocking. That is to say, insofar as it is regrettable it is also shocking but it is not a complete surprise. […]

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Published on
10 April 2013

Welfare and the Winds of Change

The strongest in society have a duty to support the weakest. As with any duty it is better that it be fulfilled voluntarily. In this instance this is by far the better course because such a duty frequently concerns the disposal of private property. But this duty is rarely fulfilled to the satisfaction of social […]

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Published on
19 December 2012

Penetrating the Cloud of Unknowing: Policy, Rhetoric and Public Bewilderment

In a three-part lecture series at St Peter’s College, Oxford, Mark Thompson, former Director-General of the BBC has addressed public understanding of, and engagement with, political and other public issues. These lectures naturally touched on questions of political and journalistic integrity, public authority and recent developments in media technology. 1) Is Plato winning the argument? […]

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Published on
16 August 2012

‘One Nation Under CCTV’ Or Welcome to the Dictatorship of Relativism

‘Modernity’, wrote Hegel, ‘is the secularisation of religion’. In many ways this is true of twentieth-century Europe during which we saw one responsibility after another pass from churches into the hands of government. Chief among these was, of course, the Welfare State, but education and moral authority followed not far behind. The last-mentioned is most […]

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Published on
3 May 2012

Faith in the Public Square

From a guest blogger: Regular readers of this blog will have seen posts over the last year in response to the Government’s decision to hold a consultation on whether to extend marriage to same-sex couples, as well as on developments in marriage law elsewhere. Frequently debate over redefining marriage has produced conflict between mainstream religious […]

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