Selling Conservatism

Overview

"Selling Conservatism: Think Tanks, Conservative Ideology, and the Undermining of Liberalism, 1945--Present," is a history of the rise and historical development of the conservative think tank as an institution of political and cultural power. Conservative think tanks---research and public relations institutions, populated by conservative intellectuals---emerged as sites designed for theorizing and "selling" conservative public policy and ideology to both lawmakers and the public at large. Because of this emergence, and because of the power they
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Overview

"Selling Conservatism: Think Tanks, Conservative Ideology, and the Undermining of Liberalism, 1945--Present," is a history of the rise and historical development of the conservative think tank as an institution of political and cultural power. Conservative think tanks---research and public relations institutions, populated by conservative intellectuals---emerged as sites designed for theorizing and "selling" conservative public policy and ideology to both lawmakers and the public at large. Because of this emergence, and because of the power they came to wield, think tanks were instrumental in the turn way from New Deal liberalism and the rise of conservatism, particularly during the last 35 years of American political life. Specifically, this dissertation argues that think tanks and their intellectuals played four key roles in the postwar conservative resurgence. First and foremost, in their early years, think tanks offered both an ideological space for conservative intellectuals to create their theories of governance and, in essence, to create new conservatives. Secondly, think tanks and their intellectuals advanced conservative ideologies within elite circles in both the Republican and Democratic Parties. Once these same elites gained power in their respective parties, many think tank intellectuals were then employed to write actual policy---thus leading to the third key role think tanks played in advancing conservative ideology. Domestically, think tank intellectuals were integral in planning a move towards a more conservative economic model while internationally these same intellectuals were key players in moving towards a more aggressive foreign policy designed to project U.S. military power around the world. Finally, beyond the state seizure of power and influencing the worldview of state elites, conservative think tanks and their intellectuals were able to play a fourth, more publicly-minded role in securing conservative ideological advancement. Namely, they were able to gain cultural authority within modern media by specifically positioning themselves against the "liberal bias" of university academics, federal bureaucrats, and "media elites"---thus inserting themselves within a "backlash" narrative which developed against these sectors of American society. In this capacity, they successfully sold the same vision of conservatism to the public at large that they did to political elites.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243532183
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/3/2011
  • Pages: 302
  • Sales rank: 581,399
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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