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Empire and Revolution: The Political Life of Edmund Burke

Monday 4 April 2016

1 Hour


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Expert in the history of political thought Professor Richard Bourke reassesses the 18th-century thinker Edmund Burke and argues that the conventional picture of a man who backed tradition over progress is far from the truth.

Burke was an Irish statesman, orator and philosopher born in Dublin who grappled with many of the great issues of the day including the significance of the British Empire in India, advocating reconciliation with the American colonies, pressing for constitutional change in Ireland and entering the debate on the French revolution. Bourke says Burke was a deeply original thinker who applied Enlightenment thought and the ideas of such as Montesquieu, Rousseau and Hume to the events of his time.

Bourke is professor in the history of political thought and co-director of the Centre for the Study of the History of Political Thought at Queen Mary University of London. He is also author of Peace in Ireland: The War of Ideas.

Supported by Lady Hatch.

Programme of Irish literature and culture.