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The new politicsLiberal Conservatism or same old Tories?$
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Peter King

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428547

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428547.001.0001

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The idea of conservatism

The idea of conservatism

(p.21) One The idea of conservatism
The new politics

Peter King

Policy Press

Conservatism is about what is established, taken for granted, and accepted. The simplest definition suggests that conservatives (with a small ‘c’) seek to conserve, aiming to keep things as they are. To understand the nature of conservatism, this chapter discusses the traditions of Conservatism (with a capital ‘C’) and ways that traditions are compatible with progress. It also describes any merit in claiming to be both ‘new’ and the ‘same old Tories’. Much of the discussions are on small ‘c’ conservatism rather than Conservatism. Conservatism relates to the institutions of the British Conservative party, while conservatism is more general and relates to an ideology that might enclose the Conservatives, as well as other political institutions and ideas. This chapter also discusses the central elements in conservative thought: traditionalism, skepticism, and organicism.

Keywords:   conservatism, Tories, Britain, British Conservative, institution

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