Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of
thought in Western culture over the last two centuries. Originating as
something of a ‘reaction’ to the radical, liberal and,
later, socialist movements during the early period of industrialisation
in Britain and Europe, conservatism remains a powerful ideological force
in Western societies today. We explore
In liberal democracies there is a belief that citizens ought to take an active interest in what is happening in the political world. Political debate in modern Western democracies is a complex and often rowdy affair. There are three fundamental political issues: 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which feature in almost all political discussions and conflicts. The book assesses the degree to which the state and state sovereignty are disappearing in the modern world of 'globalised' politics, economics and culture and new international institutions. The main features of the nation and the problems of defining it are outlined: population, culture, history, language, religion, and race. Different types of democracy and their most important features are discussed. 'Freedom' is usually claimed to be the prime objective of political activity. The book discusses equality of human rights, distributional equality, equality before the law, the claims for group equality on the grounds of race, gender, class. Rights, obligations and citizenship are closely associated. Ideology is the driving force of political discourse. The book also discusses nationalism's growth and development over the last two centuries with particular reference to its main features and assumptions. It outlines the development of conservatism as a political ideology and movement in Britain during the last two centuries. An overview of liberalism, socialism, Marxism, anarchism, and Fascism follows. Environmentalism and feminism are also discussed. Finally, the book talks about how ideological change occurs and stresses the importance of rationality in politics.
accept and work with the world as is –
rather than how it ought to be . In celebrating the positive demand for empathy,
humility and resilience, adaptive design supplants the call for systemic change. This
conservatism is an example of how a progressive neoliberalism ( Fraser, 2017 ) is dissolving and sapping the powers of resistance ( Han, 2010 ). The excessive positivity of adaptive design,
its endless willingness to happily fail-forward into the future, suits the economic logic of
late-capitalism. 2 To draw this out, it is
In 2002, the French party system seems to be demonstrating a fluidity, if not outright instability, equal to any period in the Fifth Republic's history. This book explores the extent to which this represents outright change and shifts within a stable structure. Portrayals of French political culture point to incivisme, individualism and a distrust of organizations. The book focuses on three fundamental political issues such as 'politics', 'power' and 'justice', which appear in almost all political discussions and conflicts. It identifies different 'types' of state in political theory and looks at the major challenges to practical state sovereignty in the modern world. Discussing the concept of the nation in the United Kingdom, the book identifies both cultural and political aspects of nationhood. These include nation and state; race and nation; language and the nation; religion and national identity; government and nation; common historical and cultural ties; and a sense of 'nationhood'. Liberal democracy, defensive democracy and citizen democracy/republican democracy are explained. The book also analyses John Stuart Mill's and Isaiah Berlin's views on 'negative' and 'positive' freedom. Conservatism is one of the major intellectual and political strains of thought in Western culture. Liberalism has become the dominant ideology in the third millennium. Socialism sprang from the industrial revolution and the experience of the class that was its product, the working class. Events have made 'fascism' a term of political abuse rather than one of serious ideological analysis. Environmentalism and ecologism constitute one of the most recent ideological movements.
In the late 1990s Third Way governments were in power across Europe - and beyond, in the USA and Brazil, for instance. The Third Way experiment was one that attracted attention worldwide. The changes made by Left parties in Scandinavia, Holland, France or Italy since the late 1980s are as much part of Third Way politics as those developed in Anglo-Saxon countries. Since the early 1990s welfare reform has been at the heart of the Centre-Left's search for a new political middle way between post-war social democracy and Thatcherite Conservatism. For Tony Blair, welfare reform was key to establishing his New Labour credentials - just as it was for Bill Clinton and the New Democrats in the USA. Equality has been 'the polestar of the Left', and the redefinition of this concept by Giddens and New Labour marks a significant departure from post-war social democratic goals. The most useful way of approaching the problem of the Blair Government's 'Third Way' is to apply the term to its 'operational code': the precepts, assumptions and ideas that actually inform policy choice. The choice would be the strategy of public-private partnership (PPP) or the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), as applied to health policy. New Labour is deeply influenced by the thoughts and sentiments of Amitai Etzioni and the new communitarian movement. Repoliticisation is what stands out from all the contributions of reconstructing the Third Way along more progressive lines.
conservatism during the 1990s, the different strands of opinion that
emerged in the wake of the 1992 defeat, the factors that shaped the victorious
Bush campaign in 2000, and the implications of these events for the Conservative Party in Britain.
George Bush’s 1992 defeat was a watershed, bringing twelve years of
Republican rule in the White House to a close. Although constrained by
Democratic opposition in Congress, the ‘Reagan revolution’ had, seemingly,
ushered in a fundamental shift in the character of US politics. Tax rates had
been reduced and there was growing
ideas. The years 1997 to 2001 were merely part of a period in which there
was widespread agreement on these matters, so that governments were
judged on their competence more than their convictions.
What is ‘conservatism?’
The nature of British conservatism has been vigorously contested for much
of the post-war period, and after the electoral meltdown of 1997 it was
reasonable to expect a flurry of impassioned speeches and pamphlets setting
out rival interpretations. Michael Oakeshott, whose name is invoked with
respect by almost everyone who addresses this
Exacting anxieties have haunted his witness of his journey from the
‘exotic’ periphery to the centre of English culture through
the practice of a vocation he idealises and conceptualises with such
Negotiating the periphery
In 1958, on the eve of the Notting
Hill riots, Naipaul saw himself as an ‘exotic writer’,
‘liv[ing] in England and depend[ing] on an English
death grants for funeral expenses and widows’ benefit. In other words,
benefits for all kinds of need which may occur within a family.
These are more difficult to establish than a clear definition. This is because
different political movements in Britain after World War II, while agreeing to
the establishment of the Welfare State, presented differing attitudes to welfare.
Here we shall examine three political traditions: Liberalism, Conservatism and
Democratic Socialism (i.e. Labour).
It was Liberal thinkers from the nineteenth and
democrats have often believed individuals to possess a fundamental
altruism that is suppressed by market capitalism, but which would flourish once appropriate social and economic reforms were in place (Titmuss,
1970: 209–24; cf. Baldwin, 1990). In the post-classic era by contrast, we
have been exposed to new versions of those doctrines that stress
individualistic self-interest in the form of a strange blend of market
libertarianism and moral conservatism.
Second, there have been constructivist conceptions which challenge the
belief that there is any pre