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What does it mean to be a conservative in the 21st century? A lecture by Dr Robin Harris.

What does it mean to be a conservative in the 21st century? What distinguishes conservatism from other philosophies and intellectual approaches to political questions, and what are its implications for policy?

These questions were posed by the historian and writer Robin Harris in the second in the series of lectures on conservatism staged by the Danube Institute, on 19th April 2016.

Dr Robin Harris is a former member of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s Downing Street Policy Unit, and the author of The Conservatives – A History, and Not for Turning – The Complete Life of Margaret Thatcher.

In his lecture, Robin Harris argues that conservatism should be taken seriously as a philosophical position and, indeed, as the grounding for modern Right-of-Centre politics. Conservatism’s two key elements – economic liberalism and social traditionalism – which were effectively combined under Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, have recently been under strain. Yet they are mutually compatible, and equally necessary. Ideological muddle in the Anglo-Saxon world, and the corrosive ambitions of the European Union in mainland Europe have made the time-honoured conservative formula seem less relevant. That is mistaken. It is time to take a fresh look.

The lecture was being jointly organised by the Danube Institute and by Ferenc Hörcher of the Arts Faculty of Pázmány Péter Catholic University.