Matt  Edge Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Matt Edge

The Cambridge Acorn Project

I am passionate about political philosophy and its relationship to front-line practice. I am also very proud to be a qualified and practising social worker, as social work has a clear and definite link to ideas of social justice and principles of liberty and equality. At the moment, I am part of developing an organisation, the Cambridge Acorn Project, which, among other things, is thinking about the ideas detailed in my book and trying to relate them to real life communities and families.


I completed my PhD from Cambridge in 2006 on the relationship between individual liberty and participatory democracy in Athenian democratic political thought. This was the beginning of a long (and somewhat strange) journey to becoming a social worker, not an obvious leap I know! I always enjoyed working with people, and the more I practiced social work, and understood what it was about, the closer I have got to understanding the link between theory and front-line work. I qualified as a social worker in 2010, but I have been doing therapeutic work with children and families (while training) since 2007, on a range of issues. I have completed further training in sensorimotor therapy, EMDR and, more generically, therapeutic work with children. I have developed a particular interest and specialism in trauma, since my work (and the people I have worked with) has taught me that trauma is both everywhere and neglected, and is a huge barrier to social justice. With this in mind, I have been involved in setting up, in 2014, a not-for-profit organisation in Cambridge, the Cambridge Acorn Project, which seeks to support children and families under stress and trauma. Most excitingly, we are currently developing a new model which (we think) unites ideas from political theory and social work in an interesting way, based around the concept of freedom, physical and emotional. This has been developed directly out of ideas published in my book. Other than that, I am passionate about football (soccer), writing and cooking. I am married and have a young son, Oscar, who keeps us busy (and very happy).

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    The Theory and Practice of Liberty
    Social Work
    Social Justice
    Generic Political Theory


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Political Philosophy, Empathy and Political Justice (Edge) - 1st Edition book cover


European Journal of Political Theory

A Theory of Freedom

Published: Jan 10, 2013 by European Journal of Political Theory
Authors: Edge, M.
Subjects: History, Sociology & Social Policy, Classical Studies

This article presents the foundations of a 'social model' of individual liberty, arguing, against Isaiah Berlin, that coercion does not represent the only form of impediment to individual freedom. By following the social model of disability, we can empathise with the fact that human freedom is not limited by our physical, or emotional, abilities, but by the way the world responds to our different needs and perspectives. Freedom carries a social responsibility.


On History and Ideology (Again)

Published: Jan 11, 2012 by Polis
Authors: Edge, M.
Subjects: Philosophy, Classical Studies

This article attempted a rejoinder to P.L.P. Simpson's claims that all attempts to make ancient history relevant to the present are in some discernible, tangible and important sense 'ideological'. I borrow Quine's famous argument in 'Two Dogmas of Empiricism' to claim that all historical writing is, in the relevant (or irrelevant) sense, 'ideological'.

History of Political Thought

Athens and the Spectrum of Liberty

Published: Jan 01, 2009 by History of Political Thought
Authors: Edge, M
Subjects: History, Classical Studies

This article seeks to provide an argument, against Isaiah Berlin, Benjamin Constant, and their followers, that the Athenian democracy had no conception of the idea of individual liberty, but, actually, foreshadowed the later republican, or neo-classical, tradition in its understanding of liberty as non-dependence, though in a more radically democratic way.

The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Political Thought

'Rights, Individuals and Communities in Ancient Greece'

Published: Jan 01, 2009 by The Blackwell Companion to Ancient Political Thought
Authors: Cartledge, P., Edge, M.
Subjects: History, Classical Studies

This piece argues that, whilst the ancient Greeks did not have the concept of individual rights, as such, they did have the concept of individual freedom and understood that the behaviour of states, or poleis, (and individuals), did have an impact on personal psychology and, therefore, personal freedom.