Bentham book award
19 June 2008
Links: THE review
UCL's Professor Philip Scholfield has just won the Political Studies Association's WJM Mackenzie Prize for his book 'Utility & Democracy', an historical examination of Jeremy Bentham's thinkings.
By any standard Bentham's reformist ideas are both powerful and compelling. Equality, emancipation, disestablishmentarianism, demonarchisation, individual and economic freedom, animal rights and the welfare state were all championed by Bentham; ideas that went on to influence society at all levels.
Schofield's fascinating narrative examines the evolution of Bentham's ideas from the birth of his idealism and 'the greatest good for the greatest number' to his constitutional treatises of the 1820s.
The author has spent almost a quarter of a century studying his subject and this long association and familiarity shines through in the ease with which he conveys, explains and contextualises.
'Utility & Democracy' reminds us of how far we've come and how far we have yet to go before Bentham's enlightened vision of a modern society engaged in the pursuit of happiness is achieved.
To read the Times Higher Education review of 'Utility & Democracy: The Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham' and to find out more about UCL's Bentham Project, click on the links above.
Utility & Democracy is published by Oxford University Press, priced £64.00. ISBN 0-19-820856-1.
About the Author
Philip Schofield joined the Bentham Project, based at UCL, in 1984. He joined the Faculty of Laws as a Lecturer in 1993, and was subsequently appointed to a Readership and then to a personal Chair in the History of Legal and Political Thought. He was appointed Joint General Editor, with Frederick Rosen, of The Collected Works of Jeremy Bentham in 1995, and has been sole General Editor since 2003. He has been Director of the Bentham Project since 2001.