John Stuart Mill's Civic Liberalism

"John Stuart Mill’s Civic Liberalism"
History of Political Thought XXI:1 (2000), pp. 88–113
Although it is frequently overlooked, J.S. Mill's political philosophy has a significant civic component; he is a committed believer in the value of active and disinterested participation in public affairs by the citizens of liberal democracies, and he advocates a programme of civic education intended to cultivate public spirit. In the first half of this essay I present a brief but systematic exploration of his thought's civic dimension. In the second half I defend Mill's civic liberalism against various critics who have explicitly or implicitly charged that the civic and liberal components of his political philosophy are inconsistent.