For students of contemporary British Conservatism, this observation is one with which much sympathy is likely to be felt — trying to pin down exactly what Conservatives believe today can indeed be a trying task. This is at least the case with moral issues. Are modern Conservatives simply laissez-faire libertarians, for whom morality is just another matter to be left to individual choice? Or is the ‘real’ face of Conservatism that of a dogmatic traditionalism, dedicated to the bolstering of authority in an effort to stem the tide of modern permissiveness? When it comes to Conservatives’ engagement with moral issues in recent times — and even if the choice is not simply between libertarianism or authoritarianism — it is certainly often difficult to identify a great deal of consistency.


National Identity Moral Issue Social Morality Social Disorder Political Correctness 
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce Pilbeam

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