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Prof  Stuart Jones - Research

 

Research interests

Main research interests:

  • modern intellectual history (19th century, France and Britain);
  • modern political thought (liberalism; civil society and the state; nationalism);
  • history of universities; history of the humanities and social sciences
  • French political culture since 1789

Recent publications include: Intellect and Character in Victorian England: Mark Pattison and the Invention of the Don (Cambridge, 2007).

Current projects:

 Between Market and State: Endowments as a Problem in British and French Political Thought, c. 1750-1918

This British Academy-funded project aims to explore the tensions between the free market and the non-marketized voluntary sector by means of a systematic investigation of the problem of endowments in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century political thought. Should the founders of charitable endowments be able to control the disposition of their property from beyond the grave? Does the existence of wealthy endowed foundations serve as a guarantee of a liberal and pluralist social order, or does it act as a barrier to the operation of the free market or to the pursuit of the public interest? Does a free market underpin or erode pluralism? Today, those working for the creation of civil society in eastern Europe and elsewhere regard a legal framework favourable to endowments as an important precondition for a sustainable civil society; while in the UK politicians and think tanks from a range of political backgrounds have espoused the cause of building up endowments as the means to restore universities' economic and intellectual independence. But historically many proponents of the market economy looked upon endowed foundations as anachronistic barriers to capitalism, while democratic reformers maintained that property given for public purposes must be controlled by public agencies.

 

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