A statecraft analysis of the Conservative Party: 2001 to 2010

Hopkins, Anthony John (2013). A statecraft analysis of the Conservative Party: 2001 to 2010. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis investigates the Conservative Party between 2001 and 2010 and makes its principle contribution to the literature on this period by highlighting the importance of examining how the party has sought office, something which it argues has previously been insufficiently addressed, hi order to do this, Jim Bulpitt's statecraft approach is critically assessed, clarified, improved and adapted in order to provide a framework of analysis that is systematically applied for the first time to a political party in opposition.

It argues that accounts of the Conservative Party under Duncan Smith should look beyond the theme of leadership failure to better understand the complex interaction of the party's putative statecraft and Labour's dominance of the party political context. It examines how the existing literature highlights the failure of the party to make further improvements and it is argued that the statecraft intentions of Howard were cautious because of the circumstances in which he became leader and the requirement to re-establish the Conservative Party as a credible political party after it edged towards the precipice in late 2003. This thesis argues that after 2005, the constraints on David Cameron altered, but remained, and that rather than exploring the party in relation to ideological change or party decontamination, these should be seen as part of the means used to return the party to an electable position, not as ends in themselves.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/4711


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