The Conservative Political Tradition in Britain and the United States

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Date: Fall 1993
From: Political Science Quarterly(Vol. 108, Issue 3)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Document Type: Book review
Length: 608 words

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"Conservatism" has proven a slippery term in political discourse. Even more than its linked rival, liberalism, it covers such a wide variety of beliefs and attitudes, some of which are directly contradictory to each other, that some political analysts as well as politicians suggest that as a label it has become almost useless. But, of course, no one trying to explain modern politics can get along without it.

The authors of this volume, political scientists at universities in England and Northern Ireland, set out to define and interpret conservatism as a single though complex phenomenon. They have not wholly succeeded, but their effort does much to illuminate a range of ideas, practices, and values that are at least related, and have crucial effect on contemporary political life.

In their first chapter, the authors offer a "working definition" of conservatism: "the 'inner vision' of the life of the state". This seems a bit...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A14557958