Study Notes

Neo-Conservative (Conservatism)

AQA, Edexcel

Last updated 24 Jun 2020

Neo-Conservatives are principally concerned with the fear of social fragmentation, tough on law and order and public morality.

Neo-conservatives are primarily focused upon questions of morality and the need for social order. They adopt a more authoritarian perspective than neo-liberals within the Tory Party.

According to neo-conservatives, there is a very clear distinction between right and wrong based upon religious teachings and social traditions. This contrast is more noticeable within the United States, a society with a high level of religious attendance. Neo-conservatives also seek cultural homogeneity and favour an organic society.

There are also clear differences between the two strands of thought within the field of foreign policy. In the US, neo-liberals tend to adopt an isolationist stance based on an ‘America first’ approach. In contrast, neo-conservatives seek to mobilise military resources in order to promote democracy. In American parlance, neo-liberals are called doves whereas those on the New Right are hawks. These divisions between neo-liberals and the New Right over the direction of foreign policy is less pronounced within the UK.

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