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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Juncture 22.3: Winter 2015


Despite the summer row over tax credits, looming divisions over foreign policy, and the forthcoming EU referendum, the Conservative party currently enjoys near complete political dominance in England. Labour’s disarray, the electoral weakness of the Liberal Democrats, and internal divisions in Ukip mean that the Conservatives command the political terrain. Yet their dominance has cracks: the party’s majority of 12 in the House of Commons is relatively small, there is significant opposition to further cuts to public spending, and splits over Europe run deep, both within the party and outside it. The path to another majority with a new leader is not a clear and straight one.

The ideological currents flowing through the modern Conservative party will shape how the contest for its next leader unfolds. As Kate Dommett argues in her essay for this edition of Juncture, the party’s relationship with ideology is complex and often contradictory, with a rhetorical commitment to ‘common sense’ and the national interest concealing very different ideological traditions and potential futures for the party. Whoever triumphs will therefore have to navigate treacherous terrain, setting out how different ideological elements – on the economy, national identity, the future of social liberalism, and Europe – can be combined into a political project capable of winning over first the party and then the public at large.

Read more: Editorial: Where next for Conservatism?


  • Editorial \ Mathew Lawrence, Guy Lodge and Nick Pearce
  • Modern Conservatism: Ideology, modernisation and Conservative strategies for success \ Kate Dommett
  • On Michael Oakeshott: Scepticism and rationalism in politics \ Andrew Gamble
  • Living history: Reading Edmund Burke on representation \ Richard Bourke
  • Playing with political fire: Cameron, the Conservatives and the EU referendum \ John Curtice
  • Considering ‘post-democracy’ \ Andre C Willis
  • Post-democracy: From the depoliticisation of citizens to the political automata of perpetual war \ Eduardo Mendieta
  • Are we ‘post-democratic’ – or have we not (yet) been democratic at all? \ James Martel
  • Post-democracy, democratic renewal and the recent history of British politics \ Marc Stears
  • Ahead of their time: From progressive rock to the progressive alliance \ Emily Robinson
  • The prairie populist: How Stephen Harper transformed Canada \ Claudia Chwalisz
  • Love and management: Reflections on the 2015 refugee crisis \ Tim Finch
  • Resurrected right, disorientated left: Pre-crisis economics and post-crisis emotions \ Craig Berry
  • The future isn’t working \ Nick Srnicek and Alex Williams
  • On Stalin’s team: The years of living dangerously in Soviet politics \ Sheila Fitzpatrick