State and Society
In the past 30 years or so, governments have radically altered the way they intervene in society. Where once the government was seen as a ‘hand on the tiller’ of the economy, ensuring full employment and economic growth, this goal has long since been abandoned. On the other hand, the state has become ever present in the minutiae of our lives, regulating everything from where we can drink to how we raise our children or the conduct of our often-fiery personal relationships. Schools are important sites for these kinds of policies, with the claim that stagnating social mobility can only be solved in the classroom. There is even talk of bringing back grammar schools to help people climb the social ladder. What is the appropriate role for the state in our lives today? Should we defend are autonomy from busybodies and professionals, or accept that in the modern world, state regulations informed by expert research can improve everyone’s lives?