Reporter 404, 16 June 1997


Professor Amitai Etzioni of the George Washington University gave a well received lecture to an audience of over one hundred staff and postgraduate students in University House on 3 June. His talk, entitled 'Community and Morality in a Democratic Society', drew upon some of the ideas set out in his latest book 'The New Golden Rule'. The event was co-hosted by the Centre for Criminal Justice Studies, the Law Department and the School of Sociology and Social Policy. Professor Etzioni, a former White House advisor to Jimmy Carter and former President of the American Sociological Association, is a leading exponent of communitarian philosophy and social policy. Professor Etzioni is a founding member of the communitarian movement, which embraces a 'Network' and a Journal, of which he is editor, entitled 'The Responsive Community'. Etzioni's brand of communitarianism advocates a restoration of social responsibilities and a commitment to community. His work has been particularly influential upon some of Bill Clinton's thinking as well as upon the agenda of 'New Labour' in Britain. Professor Etzioni argued that neither a market economy nor democratic politics can thrive without the moral values that come from strong communities. He traced the emergence of communitarianism and concluded that communitarian ideas present a new and radical reconceptualisation of the relations between civil society and the state. For further information the Communitarian Network can be contacted via their web site, at: http://www.gwu.edu/~ccps

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