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What does it take to be a true conservative?


Beckstein, Martin (2015). What does it take to be a true conservative? Global Discourse, 5(1):4-21.

Abstract

Is there any reason to discriminate among the rival claims self-proclaimed conservatives make for being truly conservative? This article argues that at least some of these claims can legitimately be dismissed by an independent third. Drawing on and critically interrogating the theories of conservatism provided by Huntington, Oakeshott, as well as Brennan and Hamlin, this article argues that many characterizations of conservatism mistake contingent circumstances explaining why people historically were or conceivably might be reluctant to promote social change for a fully-formed conservative ideology. Not least, risk- and uncertainty-centred accounts, which have gained in popularity as of recently, constitute no viable basis for plausible claims to being truly conservative. Rather than specifying what it takes to be a true conservative, these accounts provide a formalized description of one kind of contingent circumstances that may lead a principled non-conservative to adopt conservative political attitudes.

Abstract

Is there any reason to discriminate among the rival claims self-proclaimed conservatives make for being truly conservative? This article argues that at least some of these claims can legitimately be dismissed by an independent third. Drawing on and critically interrogating the theories of conservatism provided by Huntington, Oakeshott, as well as Brennan and Hamlin, this article argues that many characterizations of conservatism mistake contingent circumstances explaining why people historically were or conceivably might be reluctant to promote social change for a fully-formed conservative ideology. Not least, risk- and uncertainty-centred accounts, which have gained in popularity as of recently, constitute no viable basis for plausible claims to being truly conservative. Rather than specifying what it takes to be a true conservative, these accounts provide a formalized description of one kind of contingent circumstances that may lead a principled non-conservative to adopt conservative political attitudes.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Center for Ethics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Philosophy
Dewey Decimal Classification:100 Philosophy
170 Ethics
Uncontrolled Keywords:Authenticity, Conservatism, Ideology, Scepticism, Social Disputes
Language:English
Date:2015
Deposited On:02 Jul 2014 16:19
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:56
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:2326-9995
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/23269995.2014.933566

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