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Title: Cameron's conservatisms and the problem of ideology
Author: Lakin, Matthew
ISNI:       0000 0004 5212 8452
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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The central aim of the thesis is to investigate the myriad ideological 'thought-practices' of Cameronism by placing the composition and content of Cameronism in the context of the problem of Thatcherism's legacy. This problem is namely a problem of the gap between intentions and outcomes. The thesis identifies three discreet, but also overlapping, ideological developments that take root in the late 1980s/early 1990s: (1) the steadfast commitment to reducing the size and scope of the central state; (2) the recognition that neo-liberal economics is a necessary but insufficient precondition for the delivery of wider Conservative outcomes; and (3) the rediscovery and commitment to the renewal of civil society as an alternative to state intervention in response to the perceived failures of neo-liberalism. The thesis examines the application of these ideological developments in Cameronism, both in theory and practice. Furthermore, it examines the political-thought practices of Cameronism in the context of the Coalition Government. Finally, the thesis analyses a serious Conservative ideological threat to Cameronite Conservatism, concluding that Cameronism is a distinct, decodable and distinctive Conservatism, which has been quickly eclipsed by other Conservatisms, namely the Conservatism of the New New Right, which is much closer to the Thatcherism that Cameronism was resolutely trying to adjust. British Conservatism has thus come full circle: the market society vision of Thatcherism, which Cameronism was trying to ideologically supplement, has been restored as the best and surest way to achieve the Conservative aim of a limited conception of politics.
Supervisor: Freeden, Michael Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Political ideologies ; Political science ; Ideologies ; Public policy ; Modern Britain and Europe ; Conservative Party ; Conservatism ; British politics ; Cameronism ; Thatcherism ; big society ; austerity ; neo-liberalism ; limited politics