Political landscapes in Europe and North America have undergone dramatic changes. In many countries, Social Democrats have been marginalised. In most countries, however, we have seen a dramatic surge in votes for populist and, partly, nationalist parties. This has been interpreted as either proof of economic deprivation or, alternatively, as evidence that conservative parties have left fundamental political issues unadressed. In this sense, conservative parties in many countries, including the USA, UK, Germany, France are now reassessing their own positions, both in term of politics as well as policies.
Against this background, we will study the rich tradition of conservative thought in the United Kingdom, arguably the motherland of conservatism. We will read key texts of conservative thinkers and politicians in their historical context and will ask how these texts relate to contemporary debates about conservatism more broadly.