Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement and American Politics after Bush

Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement and American Politics after Bush

Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement and American Politics after Bush

Crisis of Conservatism? The Republican Party, the Conservative Movement and American Politics after Bush

Synopsis

Crisis of Conservatism'assesses the status of American conservatism--its politics, its allies in the Republican Party, and the struggle for the soul of the conservative movement. This struggle became especially acute with the controversial policies of the Bush administration and Republican losses in the 2006 and 2008 elections.

The book's contributors, a broad array of leading scholars of conservatism, identify a range of tensions in the conservative movement and the Republican Party, tensions over what conservatism is and should be, over what conservatives should do when in power, and over how conservatives should govern. While the conservative movement remains beset by many problems and divisions, it has fundamental strengths.Crisis of Conservatism'reveals the many varieties of conservatism and examines the internal conflicts, strengths and challenges that will define the movement in the future.

Excerpt

This book grew out of a conference on the future of the American conservative movement held at the University of Oxford in May of 2008. a group of British and American scholars gathered to examine the current status of conservatism in the United States, especially its relationship to the Republican Party. As scholars who study the American right, we thought the time had come for a new assessment of its problems as well as its prospects. a revised and updated set of papers from that conference forms the core of our volume.

Our authors come at these subjects from a variety of perspectives. They analyze the many strands within the conservative movement, identifying its strengths and the range of tensions and fissures within the movement and what these signify for the Republican Party in particular. Many of the authors are deeply committed to particular perspectives, others much less so; but all make strong arguments about a subject of vital importance for the future of American politics and public policy. One of our main goals is to present readers with essays that are both informative and provocative and that take a variety of approaches to the subject matter. We have also tried to focus on issues and themes of continuing relevance to understanding contemporary conservatism in the United States, rather than allowing ourselves to be overwhelmed by the ebb and flow of immediate political events, however dramatic. (The time between our conference and the final submission of our manuscript, for example, witnessed both the global financial collapse of late 2008 and the election and first year of Barack Obama’s presidency. Our authors certainly take account of these important events, but do not focus their essays exclusively on them.) Our introductory and concluding chapters delineate the themes of the book and attempt to identify a set of general questions and recurrent debates and tensions that mark the worlds of conservative and Republican politics.

The task of producing this book has been greatly helped by a number of friends and colleagues, and we have also benefited greatly from generous institutional support. It is a pleasure to thank the British Academy; the Rothermere American Institute and the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford . . .

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