`Progressive' turns in post-1945 Conservative social policy

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This paper explores the diverse ways in which the Conservative Party has responded to the notion of progress in relation to social policy during its periods in government since the Second World War. It identifies three distinctive approaches – one nation progressive conservatism (1945–74), neo-liberal (anti-progressive) conservatism (1979–97) and progressive neo-liberal conservatism (2010–present), highlighting the dilemmas and difficulties the party has faced in engaging with a concept that it has always found to be problematic.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-28
Number of pages12
JournalPolitical Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Progressive, Conservative party , post-war welfare state, one nation progressive conservatism, neo-liberal conservatism, progressive neo-liberal conservatism, Social Policy, welfare state