Conceptualising ideological transition: centre-right neoliberalisation in the UK and post-war West Germany

Thomas, Benjamin (2023) Conceptualising ideological transition: centre-right neoliberalisation in the UK and post-war West Germany. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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This thesis develops an account of how ideologies change by examining two case studies of an established phenomenon of ideological change, the neoliberalisation of centre-right parties. These two case studies, the ordoliberalisation of the Christian Democratic Union of post-war West Germany, 1945-1949 and the rise of Thatcherism in the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom, 1970-1979, present different national contexts, ideological families and periodisation, differences that facilitate analysis of the cases independently, comparatively and transnationally.

The case studies are approached through the historical/archival method read through an amended conceptual morphology. I trace a number of conceptual constellations in the ideological discourse of each case, examining how the contestations of the various concepts relate to a wider phenomenon of ideological change as well as the political developments of the cases. Such a study links ideological morphology to conceptual, intellectual, social and political histories as well as insights from the political sciences and discourse theory.

I argue that ideological communities are bound to political parties and that ideological change happens through the internal, intraparty contestation of concepts by competing forms of an ideological type. These contestations draw on existing ideological affinities, making contestation not just competition between forms but also part of the collaborative formation of new decontestations and ideological coalitions. Such an account presents new narratives for the individual case studies, including analysis of the transnational influence of German ordoliberalism on Thatcherism, the general phenomenon of neoliberalisation and notions of ideological composition and change in ideology theory.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Humphrey, Mathew
Denham, Andrew
Keywords: Ideology, Neoliberalism, Neoliberalisation, Centre-right, Thatcherism, Ordoliberalism, Conservatism, Christian Democracy
Subjects: J Political science > JC Political theory
J Political science > JN Political institutions (Europe)
J Political science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Politics and International Relations
Item ID: 73099
Depositing User: Thomas, Benjamin
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2023 04:40
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2023 04:40

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