British professor to speak
Spectrum Volume 20 Issue 06 - October 2, 1997
The School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA) is sponsoring David Alton who will speak on "Educating for Citizenship: Insights from Europe" Monday, Oct. 6 at 4:30 p.m. in Squires' Colonial Room.
SPIA was established in 1995 as a collaboration between the College of Architecture and Urban Studies and the College of Arts and Sciences. The school offers interdisciplinary public-affairs programs and is headed by James Bohland, professor of urban affairs and planning.
Alton is a professor of citizenship at John Moores University, Liverpool, England and director of the John Moores Foundation Citizenship. He is also a visiting fellow at the Centre for Philosophy and Public Affairs at St. Andrew's University. He has published extensively in national and international journals. His books include What Kind of Country?, Faith in Britain, and Signs of Contradiction. He is currently writing a book on civic virtue.
Alton was elected the youngest local city councilor in Britain at the age of 21 and went on to chair the Liverpool City Housing Committee where he pioneered innovative approaches to social-housing provision and community participation in inner-city area. He remains a trustee of one of Britain's most dynamic voluntary sector providers of homelessness support. In 1974, he was elected Britain's youngest MP at the age of 24. He went on to become the Liberal Party spokesman on Northern Ireland and the Liberal Party chief whip. At this time he also became a leading spokesman on human rights in the Soviet Bloc, South African apartheid, and European integration.
In 1987, he resigned as chief whip to lead the legislative fight to prevent abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy. He has emerged as Britain's leading pro-life parliamentarian although he matches this with what he has termed a "consistent ethic for life." Consequently, he has supported non-violent direct action against military-equipment sales to foreign governments, spoken out against land mines, and advocates increased funding for international development projects. He remains active in supporting peace groups in the North of Ireland. He was elevated to the House of Lords, by John Major, where he now serves.
He is in the United States to speak before Congress at hearings organized by the human-rights caucus.