The Ideology of the Coalition: More Liberal than Conservative

This presentation seeks to outline the main ideological tenets driving the Conservative-Liberal Government’s agenda.


  After four and a half years in office and a plethora of public policy prescriptions, many of which have become Acts of Parliament, contemporary historians and political scientists are well placed to fully evaluate the ideas and values of the first post-war coalition government.  The hypothesis offered is that the ideology of the Conservative-liberal Coalition owes much more to well-spring of liberal political thought than it does conservative political thought.  The methodology is qualitative and, in particular, hermeneutic in its approach to analysing texts: HM Government documents, Acts of Parliament, speeches by elite actors and, of course, existing academic scholarship on the subject. Due to the limits of time the presentation focuses on three main data points: economic liberalism, social liberalism and foreign policy (liberal interventionism).  Whilst students of political ideas know that ideological commitments are often fluid, contradictory and subject to pragmatic concerns, there is sufficient evidence to identify broad-based value commitments. The findings presented in the conclusion of the presentation can be summarised as Cameron’s Conservative-led Coalition is more liberal than conservative and probably C.I.N.O. (Conservative in Name Only).



Dr Matt Beech (University of Hull)

PhD and MA are particualrly encouraged to attend.

There will be an opportunity for networking after the talk.

Location Details

Room 14.33
Social Sciences Building
University of Leeds

The Social Sciences Building is number 82 on the campus map.