Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Humanism , Dissent and Citizenship: The British Enlightenment Tradition Revisited

Dr Geoff Andrews.

This paper will argue that the rediscovery of a distinctive ‘British Enlightenment’ tradition, defined by humanism, dissent and citizenship is long overdue, having been obscured by discussions of the more prominent French tradition. Yet the British Enlightenment was crucial in influencing the development of the public realm in Britain, including the ethos of state broadcasting, academic freedom and pluralism as well as helping to shape the directions of British political thought. In recent years this tradition has come into conflict with the populist and market-based core of neo-liberalism with implications for British public life and the body politic.


Dr Geoff Andrews  (United Kingdom)
Lecturer and Staff Tutor
The Open University

Research and publications have mainly been in the history of political thought, including citizenship, dissent and the ideology and history of the British left. More recent focus has been contemporary Italian politics and culture.

  • Humanism
  • Dissent
  • Citizenship
  • Populism
  • Enlightenment

(60 min. Workshop, English)