Richard Bourke

Professor in the History of Political Thought, Queen Mary University of London

Richard Bourke is a professor in the history of political thought at Queen Mary University of London. His work has appeared in the Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement and Prospect magazine, among others. His most recent book is Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke (2015).

Written by Richard Bourke

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Burke was no conservative

Richard Bourke


They are of course useful banners under which to organise and rally political opinion, but they are highly simplifying, to the point of uselessness, when trying to stand back and understand past politics.

So: for the politician they may currently be indispensable, but for the historian they are an obstacle to understanding – as demonstrated by the last commentator, whose account of “liberalism” perfectly matches what passes for the “conservatism” of post-War Christian Democracy.

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