The British Conservative Party

Foundations of the British Conservative Party

“The subject of this work is of importance to all interested in British politics – whether supportive of the Conservatives or not. This book, in helping stimulate discussion about where the party has been, enriches our understanding of where the party may go next. I commend it to broad attention.” –  Lord Carrington, former British Foreign Secretary and Secretary General, NATO


This book provides a range of essays on aspects of the British Conservative Party from the late 19th century to the present day. It offers fresh perspectives on Margaret Thatcher and Thatcherism; Britain and Europe; UK policy towards Ireland; Conservatism and reform, and the conservative ideology, to name only a few of the key issues explored. An accessible and concise overview, this book is an important primer for anyone studying British politics, history, or social and political theory.

Included are contributions by leading scholars in British political history, think tank commentators, and a former Prime Minister. It offers insights into the Conservative Party’s staying power in spite of great social and political changes in the UK and the world. It looks at how the party has functioned historically and what its future might be, discussing its ideology and identity with reference to both Labour and Liberal opponents. Fundamentally it considers the conservative appeal to the electorate, conservative policy in both theory and practice, and debates that have taken place within and outside the party itself. Whether interested in Winston Churchill and David Lloyd George, or David Cameron and Nick Clegg, this work is intended to inform and challenge scholars and political practitioners alike.


“This thought-provoking collection unites leading experts, new researchers and an elder statesman to reconsider Britain’s oldest surviving political party. Ideal reading for students and politicians alike.” –  Dr Geoffrey Hicks, Senior Lecturer in Modern British History, University of East Anglia, UK

“Understanding the UK Conservative Party, its past, present and future is of utmost relevance to all those studying British politics. This contribution represents an impressive array of views, is timely, and will most certainly have lasting value for those considering politicians from Winston Churchill to Margaret Thatcher.” –  Dr David J Hornsby, Lecturer in International Relations, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

“A varied collection of chapters… all of which have enough about them to engage the interest of readers keen either to find out more about the Conservative Party’s history or to test what they think they know already against a fresh take or two. Useful to anyone teaching courses on the Conservatives and conservatism, whether they ply their trade in Politics or History, [and] a collection that is well worth reading…for anyone with an interest in all things Conservative.” –  Twentieth Century British History, Tim Bale, Queen Mary University of London, UK

“It is pleasing that this volume provides a particularly insightful, readable and relevant collection of essays on the ideological and historical foundations of the British Conservative Party.” –  Tristan Martin, Newcastle University, Political Studies Review Volume 13, Issue 2