L.T. Hobhouseʼs New Liberal Thought on Social Reform:

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  • L. T. ホブハウスにおけるニューリベラリズムの社会改革思想
  • L.T.ホブハウスにおけるニューリベラリズムの社会改革思想 : 中間団体論と分配論の連関
  • L.T.ホブハウス ニ オケル ニューリベラリズム ノ シャカイ カイカク シソウ : チュウカン ダンタイロン ト ブンパイロン ノ レンカン
  • Examining the Relationship between his Views on Intermediate Organizations and Distribution
  • 中間団体論と分配論の連関

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This paper examines British new liberal thinker L.T. Hobhouseʼs (1864―1929) views on social reform with a particular focus on the connection between his early economic thought on volun-tary organizations and his later ethical theory of distributive justice, and demonstrates that these aspects of his thought were theoretically com-plementary, together composing Hobhouseʼs life-long pursuit of the moralization of capital-ism.   In the 1890s, Hobhouse already shared with contemporaneous new liberals several moralistic concerns over the issue of social reform. They all (1) thought of the development of morality as the fundamental aim of social reform and (2) emphasized the stateʼs duty to provide individu-als with the legal conditions necessary for moral development. Early in his career, Hobhouse fo-cused on the first point, identifying trade unions and co-operative societies as effective agencies for instilling in workers the values of fellowship and mutual aid. Hobhouse developed his ideas on state inter-ference after the 1910s, particularly from the perspective of distributive justice. Individuals were considered to have reciprocal rights and duties in relation to others and the state: they were seen as having the right to demand legal, material and social conditions sufficient for de-veloping their moral personalities and the duty to undertake their own social functions. A just distribution ensured by the state was seen as be-ing one that was capable of maintaining the per-formance of such functions. Hobhouse saw the roles of intermediate or-ganizations and the state as complementary, thus developing new liberal thought on social reform from a pluralistic-cum-moralistic perspective. To what extent this “ethical welfare pluralism” was common at the turn of the century would be a question worth examining in the historical study of the British welfare state. JEL classification numbers: B 19, B 31, I 31.


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