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3. Key Conservative Thinkers: Hobbes, Oakeshott, Rand, Nozick

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In this module, we focus on key conservative thinkers and their ideas, focusing in particular on: (i) Thomas Hobbes and his idea of the ‘state of nature’ and the necessity of government, (ii) the English philosopher Michael Oakeshott as a bridge between one-nation conservatism and the New Right, (iii) and finally looking across the Atlantic to the libertarianism of conservative American writers such as Ayn Rand and Robert Nozick.


In this course, Dr Mark Garnett (University of Lancaster) introduces the core political idea of conservatism. We begin in the first module by thinking about the origins of conservatism in Edmund Burke’s reaction to the French Revolution. In the second module, we consider the two dominant conservative traditions since the Second World War: one-nation conservatism and New Right thinking. In the third module, we examine the ideas of key conservative thinkers in Britain and the United States. Finally, in the fourth module, we think about the development of conservatism in Britain since the election of Margaret Thatcher as Prime Minister in 1979 and consider ongoing ideological divisions within the Conservative Party about Britain’s place in Europe.


Dr Mark Garnett is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion at the University of Lancaster. His research is chiefly concerned with UK Politics, with particular reference to the relationship between ideas and practice; the Conservative Party; and think tanks.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Garnett, M. (2019, September 26). Conservatism - Key Conservative Thinkers: Hobbes, Oakeshott, Rand, Nozick [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Garnett, M. "Conservatism – Key Conservative Thinkers: Hobbes, Oakeshott, Rand, Nozick." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 26 Sep 2019,