Kenneth Minogue

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Kenneth Minogue, c. 1980s

Kenneth Robert Minogue (September 11, 1930 – June 28, 2013[1]) was an Australian conservative political theorist who was Emeritus Professor of Political Science and Honorary Fellow at the London School of Economics.[2][3]


Minogue was born on September 11, 1930 in Palmerston North, New Zealand.[3] He was educated in Australia,[3][4] attending Sydney Boys High School[5] and the University of Sydney, graduating in 1950.[6] From 1955 to 1956 he taught at the University of Exeter, and from 1959 taught at the London School of Economics.[7]

Minogue wrote academic essays and books on a great range of problems in political theory. His 1963 book The Liberal Mind, about the perversion of the liberal label by radical leftists became popular internationally. Minogue argued that genuine liberalism rests on the tradition of thinkers like Adam Smith, Benjamin Constant, Adam Ferguson, Alexis de Tocqueville, John Stuart Mill et al., who built the foundation for a conservative perspective. Minogue defended civility, decency, and moderation against globalists and leftists, and advocated an honest and transparent public sphere where individuals can freely pursue their own ideas of happiness.

Minogue edited and introduced the Everyman's Library edition of Hobbes' Leviathan,[4] was a columnist for The Times and The Times Higher Education Supplement,[4] and contributed to The New Criterion and Daily Mail.[3][8] In 1976 he issued a report to help modernize Shiraz University in Iran.[4]

In 1986 Minogue presented a 6-part television program on Channel 4 about free market economics called The New Enlightenment.[4] He was Senior Research Fellow with the Social Affairs Unit in London.[4] He wrote a study on Maori-Pākehā relations (the latter is the Maori term for New Zealanders of European descent) for the New Zealand Business Roundtable which was published in 1998 published as Waitangi Morality Reality.[9]

From 1991 to 1993 Minogue was chairman of the euro-sceptic Bruges Group.[2][4] From 2000, he was a trustee of Civitas.[2] He served as President of the Mont Pelerin Society from 2010.[2] In 2003, he received the Centenary Medal from the Australian government.[2] He was also involved with the Centre for Policy Studies and the European Foundation.[2] He died, aged 82, in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

On Minogue's legacy, British philosopher Roger Scruton writes that Minogue was "no mere academic" but "a model of the conservative activist" because "he was in the business of defending old-fashioned civility against ideological rage, and he believed this was the real meaning of the freedom that the English-speaking peoples have created and enjoyed."[10]


  • The Liberal Mind (1963)
  • Nationalism (1967)
  • The Concept of a University (1974)
  • Contemporary Political Philosophers (1976)
  • Alien Powers: The Pure Theory of Ideology (1985)
  • Thatcherism: Personality and Politics (ed, 1987)
  • Politics: A Very Short Introduction (1995)
  • Conservative Realism: New Essays in Conservatism (ed, 1996)
  • The Silencing of Society (1997)
  • Waitangi: Morality and Reality (1998)
  • The Servile Mind: How Democracy Erodes the Moral Life (2010)


  1. ^ "Kenneth Minogue, 1930–2013" by Roger Kimball Retrieved 2013-08-07.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Prof Kenneth Minogue". Debrett's. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  3. ^ a b c d "The high ground: An interview with Kenneth Minogue". Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "Kenneth Minogue, Social Implications of a Global Economy". Colorado College. Retrieved 2009-09-21. 
  5. ^ "Professors" (PDF). Sydney High School Old Boys Union. Retrieved 2016-04-10. 
  6. ^ David Martin Jones, "The Conservative Mind of Kenneth Minogue", Quadrant, September 2013, pp. 20-25.
  7. ^ "Premises of Liberty: In Memoriam Kenneth Minogue (1930-2013)". Frontpage Mag. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  8. ^ "KENNETH MINOGUE: Criminals counselled and family breakup rewarded: Labour's made niceness a State policy". Mail Online. Retrieved 2016-04-11. 
  9. ^ Kenneth Minogue Waitangi, Morality Reality, Wellington: New Zealand Business Roundtable, 1998
  10. ^ Scruton, Roger. "No Mere Academic". The American Spectator. Retrieved 22 February 2015. 

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