Alexander Lee


Alexander Lee

Alexander Christopher Lee (born 1981) is a British historian and political theorist. He was educated at the King’s School, Worcester, Trinity College, Cambridge, and the University of Edinburgh. He currently teaches at the Università degli studi di Bergamo, in northern Italy.

Renaissance History

Lee is carrying out research at Edinburgh University on the Renaissance humanist and poet, Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch). Focusing on Petrarch's conception of virtue, Lee is interested in exploring the relationship between Augustinianism and Stoicism in his various prose works.

Relations with the Conservative Party

Lee was a member of the Conservative Party for several years. He received a standing ovation for a speech on proportional representation at the party's 1997 conference, and numerous television appearances followed in which he strongly defended Conservative policies. His speech at the 1998 conference, in which he called forcefully for significant defence cuts, was less well received (with Simon Hoggart speculating in the "The Guardian" that he was "taken away to be shot") [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/tory99/Story/0,,202293,00.html Revolution of the loft insulators | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited ] ] , but his commitment to the party platform was otherwise firm.

As the party began to redefine itself from the leadership of Iain Duncan Smith onwards, however, he found himself at an increasing distance from many in the party. Coming to believe that Conservatism lacked the intellectual structures to deal effectively with major social issues, he came to identify most closely with moderate forms of communitarianism and, having been invited to make a short film with the BBC, was briefly expelled from the party in 2003, but was reinstated shortly afterwards.

He is highly critical of the Conservative Party's current leadership and its commitment to economic liberalism.

"The End of Politics"

Lee was the co-author with Timothy Stanley of "The End of Politics: Triangulation, Realignment and the Battle for the Centre Ground". The book argues that Tony Blair’s leadership of the Labour Party heralded an era of triangulation in modern British politics. As parties competed for the centre ground so they began to erode their traditional values and demographic support. This has created fractures in patterns of political support and encouraged previously loyal Labour or Conservative voters to identify with minority parties and pressure group politics. Stanley and Lee argue for a politics based upon community and recognition of inter-dependence. The book is the first part of an ongoing exposition upon the philosophy of Communitarianism.

Religion

Lee was received into the Roman Catholic Church at Easter in 2007.

Further reading

Alexander Lee and Timothy Stanley, "The End of Politics: Triangulation, Realignment and the Battle for the Centre Ground", (London: Politico's, July 2006), pp.179+xviii, ISBN 1842751743

Alexander Lee and Timothy Stanley, 'Rebuilding Labour's Majority,' (Compass Thinkpiece #17), http://www.compassonline.org.uk/publications/thinkpieces/item.asp?d=203

References


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