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Conservatism in Crisis?: Anglo-American Conservative by Bruce Pilbeam

By Bruce Pilbeam

Conservatism in difficulty? examines the specific gains of British and American conservative writings on executive and society within the post-Cold conflict period. regardless of Conservative's victories over their socialist competitors, this has now not resulted in the uncontested dominance in their principles. through the demanding situations Conservatives face from such trendy competitors as multiculturalists and environmentalists, Bruce Pilbeam examines the chance that conservatism is exhausted as an ideology of latest relevance.

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Conservatism in Crisis?: Anglo-American Conservative Ideology after the Cold War

Conservatism in quandary? examines the detailed beneficial properties of British and American conservative writings on executive and society within the post-Cold conflict period. regardless of Conservative's victories over their socialist rivals, this has now not ended in the uncontested dominance in their principles. by way of taking a look at the demanding situations Conservatives face from such modern competitors as multiculturalists and environmentalists, Bruce Pilbeam examines the prospect that conservatism is exhausted as an ideology of up to date relevance.

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In terms of the issues to be discussed, a degree of selectivity is inevitably employed. For reasons of space, no attention is to be paid to conservatives’ search for new external enemies. Furthermore, only passing consideration will be given to a number of issues traditionally considered in relation to conservatism. For example, conservatives’ views of race and immigration are only touched upon in the terms in which they are conventionally addressed, to allow discussion to focus upon such issues as multiculturalism and identity politics.

If conservatism is understood as a reactive ideology, then a major argument for regarding it as obsolete is that the ending of the Cold War means that it no longer possesses any significant defining purpose. It is necessary to examine in more detail what the Cold War signified. In its narrowest sense, the conflict was about the military struggle between the Soviet Union and the West. Yet it also had a much broader and deeper meaning. As Minogue puts it, the Cold War referred ‘to something over and above the hostility between the post-1945 victors’ (Minogue, 1992/3, p.

233). Furthermore – as Barry recognizes – it is by no means the case that British conservatives ignore the moral dimension of anti-welfare arguments. In fact, this area provides good illustration of the way in which modern British conservatives often follow American writers’ lead, with many drawing upon Murray’s analysis of the underclass ‘problem’ (Duncan and Hobson, 1995, pp. 383–4; Willetts, 1992b). What may seem strange about the widespread adoption of the underclass label is that, historically, conservatives have often been scornful of left-wing analyses centred upon class.

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