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Conservative CenturyThe Conservative Party since 1900$
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Anthony Seldon and Stuart Ball

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202387

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202387.001.0001

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Ideology and Factions

Ideology and Factions

(p.315) 8 Ideology and Factions
Conservative Century


Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the complex and slippery topic of Conservative ideology, proving the falsity of the frequent assertion that there is no such thing and that Conservatives are motivated only by pragmatism and the quest for popularity. Its analysis recognizes the coherent themes of the Conservative outlook: scepticism about ‘progress’, the importance of moral and religious authority, the rule of law and the rights of property, suspicion of the directing role of the state, imperialism, and constitutionalism. The chapter examines the importance of factions within the party and notes that these factions have been present throughout the century, but that the desire for power tempers their divisive potential and normally ensures that splits which could imperil electoral success are avoided.

Keywords:   conservative ideology, moral authority, religious authority, constitutionalism, imperialism, factions, property

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