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Political Ideas – Edmund Burke

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About this Course

About the Course

In this course, Dr Emily Jones (University of Manchester) explores the political ideas of Edmund Burke. In the first module, we offer some introductory context for the life and works of Edmund Burke, before in the second module digging deeper into the historical context for Burke’s ideas, in particular the American and French Revolutions and Burke’s view of the British Constitution as mixed or balanced and characterised by slow, incremental reform. In the third module, we explore Burke’s attitudes towards the individual, rights, and private property, before in the fourth module turning towards his ideas on tradition, religion and pragmatism. In the fifth module, we explore the apparent paradox of Burke’s support for both the American and French revolutions, before finishing, in the sixth module, with an overview of Dr Emily Jones’s own research into Burke. Here we will pay particular attention to the rehabilitation of Burke’s thought over time, challenging the thesis that Burke was the ‘founder of modern conservatism’ and instead advancing the view that ‘conservative’ is too simplistic a label for Burke.

About the Lecturer

Dr Emily Jones published her award-winning 'Edmund Burke and the Invention of Modern Conservatism, 1830-1914' during her Research Fellowship at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge (2015-2017). She has subsequently lectured at Columbia University and the University of Manchester, where she specialises in Modern British History. She has recently published on 'Languages of Transnational Conservatism: The Emergence of “Left” and “Right” in Britain'.

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