Anglo-American Conservatism Since Thatcher and Reagan


In stark contrast to Continental Europe, conservatism is a lively political force in Great Britain and the U.S. The essay discusses Anglo-American conservatism in its heterogeneous forms by highlighting how key elements such as American exceptionalism, women’s liberation, heartland morality, Straussian philosophy, free-market capitalism, racism, elite polarization or grassroots protest movements, paternalism, One Nation Conservatism, romantic Toryism, Thatcherism, Big Society and environmentalism are interwoven in often paradoxical ways. It shows that older clichés of political conservatism as reactionary, anti-modern or instinctively traditionalist are best avoided and argues that a broad, multilevel comparative approach is best suited to capture conservatim’s incoherent structures.

The following titles were discussed i. a.:

Bell, J.: The Case for Polarized Politics (488); Cooper, D.: Neoconservatism and American Foreign Policy (474); Dorey, P.: British Conservatism (478); Drolet, J.-F.: American Neoconservatism (473); Ellis, C./Stimson, J. A.: Ideology in America (458); Folks, J. J.: Heartland of the Imagination (458); Hayton, R.: Reconstructing Conservatism? (478); Kabaservice, G.: Rule and Ruin (454); Marietta, M.: A Citizen’s Guide to American Ideology (452); Phillips-Fein, K.: Invisible Hands (456); Robin, C.: The Reactionary Mind (455); Skocpol, T./Willialmson, V.: The Tea Party and the Remaking of Republican Conservatism (468); Smith, R. C.: Conservatism and Racism, and Why in America They Are the Same (452); Soffer, R. N.: History, Historians, and Conservatism in Britain and America (457)

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