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AbstractThis article argues that the Conservative Party finds itself in a period of ideological crisis. The last significant period of intellectual realignment in the party led to the dominance of Hayekian market theory as a structuring logic for government. Under Boris Johnson, this economic logic is challenged by the political logic of neoconservatism, which restores the political through appeals to authority, hierarchy and quite particular articulations of the nature of the (national) community. To demonstrate this tension, the article examines how Brexit and the ‘levelling-up’ agenda can be understood as structured by this division between the economic and the political. Both of these logics are incompatible with older, traditional forms of conservatism and whichever is ultimately successful, this signals a major shift in the character of British conservatism and potentially ushers in a new era of conservatism without tradition.
CitationHoctor T (2021) 'The neoconservative party, or conservatism without tradition?', Political Quarterly, 92 (3), pp.453-460.