This collection of research explores the relationship between the Conservative party and British society since 1880 by focusing on the key themes of ideology, national identity, gender and policy. The focus of the text is not so much on the Conservative party as an institution, as on the party's wider significance in British political culture. It seeks to explain the Conservatives extraordinary electoral success in this period and asserts that this success was both problematic and historically contingent. Part one of this study addresses the question of conservative ideology; part two analyzes the role of national identity in Conservative discourse and policy; part three assesses how Conservatives negotiated the gendered nature of popular politics both before and after the arrival of the equal franchise, and part four examines how Conservative understanding of the relationship between state and society were translated into specific aspects of social and economic policy.
Martin Francis was Fullbright-Robertson Visiting Professor of British History at Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri, USA. Professor Zweiniger-Bargielowska, Professor of History, teaches courses on modern Britain, the British Empire and modern European history at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Part 1 Ideology. Part 2 Identity. Part 3 Gender. Part 4 Policy.