Theorizing Moral Communitarianism in an Age of Austerity

By Roger Hopkins Burke.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2015 $US5.00

Communitarianism is a philosophy which came to prominence in the 1980s proposing that the individual rights promoted by traditional liberals need to be balanced with social responsibilities to the community (Etzioni 1995a, 1995b). It was to become extremely influential with the Clinton administrations in the USA before being imported into the UK by the New Labour Governments post-1997. Critics of the implementation of communitarian policies in both constituencies were to nevertheless observe an overemphasis on the responsibilities of individuals to the detriment of their rights. That agenda has intensified since the formation of the Coalition Government in the UK in 2010 with its concerted neoliberal assault on the rights and standard of living of very large sections of the population as part of their strategy to eliminate the huge financial deficit with which the country is burdened. This interdisciplinary paper, with insights from politics, economics, sociology, and predominantly criminology, argues that in a world increasingly characterised by long-term austerity there is a need for radical moral communitarianism policies based on notions of consensual interdependency, a fair and equal division of labour, and a fair and just balance between the rights and responsibilities of all citizens.

Keywords: Communitarianism, Austerity, Neoliberalism

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Civic and Political Studies, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp.1-12. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 459.181KB)).

Roger Hopkins Burke

Principal Lecturer in Criminology, Division of Sociology, School of Social Science, College of Business, Law and Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK