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optional module
15 credits

The Conservative Years: Governing in an Age of Turmoil

The Conservative Years is a brand-new module, building on the successful approach of ‘New Labour in Government’, and bringing its focus into even more ultra-contemporary historical study.

The module will explore the politics and personalities that influenced the direction and actions of successive Conservative administrations since 2010. It will explore the inner workings of the Coalition government, the changing relationship between the prime minister and their party across the period, and the rise and fall of at least five Conservative leaders. It will pay particular attention to the government-dominating issues of Austerity, Brexit and the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will also explore the inner working of the Conservative Party itself, and how it evolved over the period.

The ultra-contemporary focus of this module will see students given the opportunity to have their thinking evolve continually, as new primary and secondary source material emerges and guest speakers offer original contributions to our understanding of these tumultuous years. It will make great use of speeches, government documents where publicly available, and memoirs, alongside quality reporting, to build a framework for understanding the inner workings of central government since 2010. 

David Cameron with students in 2023

Guest speakers from within government will be invited to join seminars, allowing students to interrogate their sources directly and in person. 

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will have: 

Teaching team

Dr Jack Brown

*Plus, special guest practitioners