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Utility and DemocracyThe Political Thought of Jeremy Bentham$
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Philip Schofield

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780198208563

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198208563.001.0001

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Publicity, Responsibility, and the Architecture of Government

Publicity, Responsibility, and the Architecture of Government

(p.250) 10 Publicity, Responsibility, and the Architecture of Government
Utility and Democracy

Philip Schofield (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The key to good government was the securing of responsibility. Responsibility was secured by publicity. And publicity was itself dependent, to a significant degree, on architecture. Hence Bentham’s concern with the design of the physical spaces in which government operated, exemplified in the panopticon prison, the debating chamber for a representative assembly, the courtroom, and the minister’s audience chamber. The actions of officials had to be transparent if they were to be judged, and those judgements themselves had to have an impact on the political process. The key actors were newspaper editors, who reported the actions of government, and published commentary on them.

Keywords:   publicity, responsibility, architecture, panopticon, debate, newspapers, democracy, representation

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