Michael Oakshott described conservatism as a non-ideological preference for the familiar, tried, actual, limited, near, sufficient, convenient and present. Historically, conservatives have been associated with attempts to sustain social harmony between classes and groups within an organic, hierarchical order grounded in collective history and cultural values. Yet, in recent decades, conservatism throughout the English-speaking world has been associated with radical social and economic policy, often championing free-market models which substitute the free movement of labour and forms of competition and social mobility for organic hierarchy and noblesse oblige. The radical changes associated with such policies call into question the extent to which contemporary conservatism is conservative, rather than ideological. This book seeks to explore contemporary conservative political thought with regard to such topics as, ‘One Nation’ politics and Big Society, sovereignty, multiculturalism and international blocs, paternalism and negative liberty with regard to narcotics, pornography and education, regional and international development, and public faith, establishment and religious diversity.
This book will be published as a special issue of Global Discourse.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Conservatism and ideology Matthew Johnson
2. What does it take to be a true conservative? Martin Beckstein
Identifying true conservatives: a reply to Beckstein Joseph V. Femia
3. The conservative minimum: historical and transcendent subject Doğancan Özsel
From David Hume to Sarah Palin? The troubled search for common features of political ‘conservatism’: a reply to Özsel Stuart McAnulla
4. The unconscious Indianization of ‘Western’ conservatism – is Indian conservatism a universal model? Björn Goldstein
Comment on Goldstein and conservatism in India and elsewhere Kieron O’Hara
5. ‘The weaker-willed, the craven-hearted’: the decline of One Nation Conservatism Peter Dorey and Mark Garnett
The demise of the One Nation tradition Richard Hayton
6. Neoliberalism, conservative politics, and ‘social recapitalization’ Edward Ashbee
Neoliberalism, conservative politics and ‘social recapitalization’: a reply Andrew Gamble
7. The rhetoric of neoliberalism in the politics of crisis Andrew Scott Crines
The rhetoric of neoliberalism in the politics of crisis: a reply to Andrew Scott Crines Peter Dorey
8. Government open data and transparency: Oakeshott, civil association and the general will Kieron O’Hara
Government open data and transparency: Oakeshott, civil association and the general will: a reply to O’Hara Mark Garnett
9. Book Review Symposium: Reconstructing conservatism? The Conservative Party in Opposition, 1997–2010, By Richard Hayton
Review by Mark Garnett
Reconstruction or repackaging? A review Murray Stewart Leith
Reply: The strange survival of Tory conservatism Richard Hayton
10. Book Review Symposium: The Conservatives since 1945: The Drivers of Party Change, By Tim Bale
Review by David M. Walker
Review by Jim Buller
Reply by Tim Bale
Matthew Johnson is a Lecturer and British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow in Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. He is interested in the evaluation of culture and the effect of forms of intervention on wellbeing. He has authored Evaluting Culture (Palgrave) and edited The Legacy of Marxism (Continuum).
Mark Garnett is a Senior Lecturer in Politics, Philosophy and Religion at Lancaster University. His research is chiefly concerned with UK Politics, with particular reference to the relationship between ideas and practice. He is author of a major study of contemporary British political culture, From Anger to Apathy.
David Walker is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Newcastle University. His research interests focus on political ideologies, with publications including A Historical Dictionary of Marxism, Marx, Methodology and Science and Twenty-First Century Marxism.