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

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The 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 that became especially acute with the controversial policies of the Bush administration and Republican losses in the 2006 and 2008 elections. What do different types of conservatives believe? How much do they have in common? How strong is the conservative movement in the United States, and what impact does it have on the Republican Party? Can conservatives and Republicans find in opposition a unity which had shattered as a result of being in power? To what degree do conservative ideas represent the mainstream of political beliefs in the United States? In short, is there the crisis of conservatism that some thought apparent as a result of the administration of George W. Bush?

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. Views differ a great deal, both between the public and conservative elite groups and among conservative elites themselves. This is balanced by the tendency of many in the general public to identify themselves as conservatives and by the vibrant intellectual life and vitality of conservative elites.

In brief, The Crisis of Conservatism analyzes a conservative movement that seemed to be in crisis in the wake of the 2008 election and that remains beset by many problems and divisions but has fundamental strengths, both in the underlying proclivity of much of the American public to see itself as conservative and in the passion of conservative activists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Crisis of Conservatism? is a remarkable compilation of empirical analysis and philosophical, historical, and practical perspectives on American conservatism. I know of no other volume that provides as rich and varied a perspective as this one does. For those who want to know about the American Right, this outstanding collection is virtually one-stop shopping."—Bert A. Rockman, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University

"Crisis of Conservatism? is a book of our age, capturing the empowering and crippling symbiosis of Republican electoral maneuvering and conservative policy advocacy. An impressive collection of advocates and scholars trace the cycles of Republican success in mobilizing conservative voters and the conservative disillusionment that often follows. Liberals and independent analysts will find much to learn about the sources of conservatism's staying power—its substantial investments in generating new policies, crafting strategically attuned messages, and infusing them in federated organizations throughout the country."—Lawrence R. Jacobs, Chair for Political Studies, University of Minnesota, and co-author of The Unsustainable American State

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199764013
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/17/2011
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Joel D. Aberbach is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Public Policy in the School of Public Affairs at University of California, Los Angeles

Gillian Peele is Fellow and Tutor in Politics and University Lecturer at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Ending of the Conservative Era?, Gillian Peele and Joel D. Aberbach
2. American Conservatism in Historical Perspective, Gillian Peele
3. The Future of the American Right: Evidence and Questions from the Bush Years, Joel D. Aberbach
4. The Future of the Republican Party, A. James Reichley
5. Stresses and Strains: Plus ca change" in the Parties and Voting, John R. Petrocik
6. The Christian Right and Contemporary Politics: A Movement at the Crossroads, Mark J. Rozell
7. Pro-Women, Pro-Palin, Antifeminist: Conservative Women and Conservative Movement Politics, Ronnee Schreiber
8. The Struggles of an 'Orthodox Innovator': George W. Bush, the Conservative Movement and Domestic Policy, Jon Herbert
9. Compassionate Conservatism, Domestic Policy and the Politics of Ideational Change, Steven Teles
10. Thoughts that Count? The GOP's Woes and the Work of Conservative Think Tanks, Pietro S. Nivola
11. Conservatives and the Courts, Michael Greve
12. Shaping a New Conservative Agenda, Michael Tanner
13. Conservatives and the American Economy, George A. (Sandy) Mackenzie
14. Contemporary Conservatism and Government Regulation, Christopher DeMuth
15. The McBama National Security Consensus and Republican Foreign Policy after the 2008 Election, Timothy J. Lynch
16. Past is Present: The Future of Republican Party Foreign Policy, Trevor B. McCrisken
17. Conservative Tensions and the Republican Future, Joel D. Aberbach and Gillian Peele

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