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Towards the Welfare Society: A Re-appraisal of L.T. Hobhouse’s Political and Social Theory
My research has two objectives. The main one is to clarify L.T. Hobhouse’s (1864-1929) vision of the ‘welfare society’. Hobhouse has been well known as a leading political thinker of the New Liberalism and also as the first Professor of Sociology in Britain. Yet how his social liberalism and evolutionary sociology were theoretically interrelated has not been sufficiently explored until now. With a hypothesis that his liberalism and sociology were founded on a consistent idea of the ‘harmonious welfare society’, this study attempts to illuminate its characteristics through the textual analysis of Hobhouse’s academically written works.
The other objective is more historical. Along with identifying pluralistic and moralistic aspects in Hobhouse’s welfare thought, this study attempts to show that these aspects had actually been widely shared by other contemporaneous political thinkers, such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb, Bernard Bosanquet and Herbert Spencer, across ideological and philosophical divisions. For this purpose, I will undertake comparative analyses of their texts, through which some essentially pluralistic and moralistic intellectual basis of the early British welfare state, in which Hobhouse’s thought can also be well situated, will be illuminated.
History of Modern British Political Thought; Political Theory of Welfare States; Political and Social Philosophy of British Idealism
I received a BSoc in Sociology (2006) and a MSoc in History of Political Thought (2008) from Hitotsubashi University in Japan. Then I started my PhD at the University of Sheffield (Department of Politics) in 2009 and transferred to Cardiff University (School of European Studies) in 2011.
‘The New Liberal Critique of Bernard Bosanquet Re-examined: On Ethics, the State and Welfare’, Studies in British Philosophy [= the annual journal of the Japanese Society for British Philosophy] (35), 53-68, March 2012. [in Japanese]
'L.T. Hobhouse's Theory of Rights: a Liberal Vision of the Welfare State', The Japanese Journal of political thought (11), 402-429, May 2011. [in Japanese]
Joint translation of L.T. Hobhouse’s Liberalism (originally published in 1911), Tokyo: Otsuki Shoten, 2010. [in Japanese]
‘Finding Idealist Sociology: L.T. Hobhouse’s Critical Inheritance from Herbert Spencer’, 62nd Political Studies Association Annual International Conference, Europa Hotel Belfast, Apr 2012.
‘Hobhouse and the Webbs on Social Reform: the Interlacement of Ideologies’, 4th Annual British Idealism Specialist Group Conference, Gregynog, Newton, Wales, Dec 2011.
‘L.T. Hobhouse’s Critique of Bernard Bosanquet’, 8th Annual Conference of the MANCEPT Workshops in Political Theory, University of Manchester, Sep 2011.
‘The New Liberalism and British Idealism: Hobhouse and Hobson’s Critique of Bernard Bosanquet Re-examined’, 18th Annual Conference of the JCSPT [=the Japanese Conference for the Study of Political Thought], Himeji Dokkyo University, Japan, May 2011. [in Japanese]
‘How ‘Liberal’ was the British New Liberalism?: L.T. Hobhouse’s Political Theory of Welfare Rights’, 61st Political Studies Association Annual Conference, Novotel London West Hotel, April 2011.
‘L.T. Hobhouse’s Theory of the Welfare Rights and Its Relations with the Classical Liberalism’, 9th Annual Conference of the Waseda Political Science Association, Waseda University, Japan, Mar 2009. [in Japanese]