Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Maria Cahill
"The Public/Private Divide" UK-IVR Annual Conference
Subsidiarity's Perspective on the Public-Private Divide
Queen's University, Belfast
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Although the European principle of subsidiarity is light on philosophical roots and rich in quantitative analysis, and would seem to not to have too much, if anything, to do with the public-private divide, the ‘pure’ concept of subsidiarity is, in fact, immensely involved in the question of the proper balance to seek between the public and the private. Furthermore, in contrast to liberalism’s position on the public-private divide, which is principally state-centric and therefore relatively straight-forward (at least in theory), subsidiarity proposes a vision of the public-private divide which foregrounds organic groups and civic associations, requiring the state to adjust itself to meet their various needs and objectives. It is therefore a perspective that is much less monolithic, more theoretically complex and much more attuned to the pre-existing social ontology. This presentation will examine the philosophical commitments of subsidiarity in order to draw out subsidiarity’s unique perspective on the public-private divide.