PSA Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group Workshop on Conservative modernisation and Coalition politics

On Thursday 18 September the Public Opinion, Parties and Leadership Research Group in POLIS hosted an academic workshop on the theme of "Whatever happened to Conservative Modernisation?"

This joint project between the PSA Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group (convened by Richard Hayton) and the Palgrave Macmillan journal British Politics will lead to a special issue of the journal to be published in April 2015. This is timed not only for impact in terms of the general election, but will also celebrate the journal’s 10 year anniversary.

The workshop involved leading academic experts on the Conservative Party from around the country, and featured the following papers:

  • ‘From ‘Greenest government yet’ to ‘get rid of all the green crap’: David Cameron, the Conservatives and the Environment’, by Neil Carter (University of York) and Ben Clements (University of Leicester)
  • ‘Cameron’s Conservative Party, social liberalism and social justice’, by Richard Hayton (Univesity of Leeds) and Libby McEnhill (University of Huddersfield)
  • ‘Conservatism, Feminisation and the Representation of Women in UK Politics’, by Rosie Campbell (Birkbeck) and Sarah Childs (University of Bristol)
  • ‘Immigration and asylum policy under Cameron’s Conservatives’, by Tim Bale and Rebecca Partos.
  • ‘Conservative Modernisation and European Integration’, by Philip Lynch (University of Leicester).
  • ‘From Big Society to Small State:  Conservatism and the privatisation of government’, by Martin Smith and Rhonda Jones (University of York).
  • ‘“When I say change, I'm not talking about some slick re-branding exercise”: The Theory and Practice of Conservative Party Modernization’, by Katharine Dommett (University of Sheffield).

The paper-givers benefited from insightful commentary from the panel discussants Gianfranco Baldini (University of Bologna), Peter Munce (University of Hull) and Stuart McAnulla (University of Leeds), and Peter Kerr (editor of British Politics) praised the ‘hugely impressive quality’ of the papers and presentations.

The Political Studies Association Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group (C&C) exists to encourage the creation and dissemination of high quality research on all aspects of conservatism. The group does not endorse or promote any particular viewpoint, but encourages rigorous academic study from scholars across the ideological spectrum. For more information please visit or contact the Convenor, Richard Hayton.