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Government & Politics   >   Political Ideas – Edmund Burke

Who Was Edmund Burke?

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Political Ideas – Edmund Burke

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.

Who Was Edmund Burke?

In this module, we offer some introductory context for Edmund Burke, focusing in particular on: (i) who Edmund Burke was; (ii) when he lived and wrote; (iii) his familial and educational background; (iv) his key works and ideas; (v) the importance of contemporary political events, including the French Revolution, in influencing his thought; (vi) his role as a statesman and the complexity of his legacy.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jones, E. (2022, May 24). Political Ideas – Edmund Burke - Who Was Edmund Burke? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jones, E. "Political Ideas – Edmund Burke – Who Was Edmund Burke?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 24 May 2022,


Dr Emily Jones

Dr Emily Jones

Manchester University