Consensus Politics and more key terms on ideologies


Consesus Politics

Consesus Politics:

  • This is the overlap of ideological positions between 2 or more parties.

  • It is an agreement about fundamental policy goals that permits disagreement on matters of detail and emphasis.

  • A period of consensus politics was created in the 1950s, when the Conservative party accepted the key reforms introduced by Atlee’s Labour govt.

  • This was brought about by the prominence of One Nation thinking within the party, making them more sympathetic to social reform.

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Adversary Politics

  • This is a form of politics, that is characterised by deep ideological conflicts between major parties.

  • In other words, the parties offer rival ideological visions.

  • Adversary politics took over Consensus politics in the 1980s, because anti-interventionist Conservative govt confronted a clearly pro-interventionist Labour opposition.

  • As a result of the challenge of Thatcherism, Labour drove more to the left because they tried to protect its social democratic heritage, adopting more radical ‘socialist’ policies. E.g. Unilateral nuclear disarmament, withdrawal from the EC, nationalisation and increased investment in the welfare state.

  • Labour’s shift to the left, created serious ideological divisions within the Labour Party, which led to the formation of the breakaway Social Democratic Party in 1981, later turning into the Liberal Party.

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Individualism is the belief:

  • that all humans are indivudals who are self reliant creatures.
  • It impies that people are self interested and largely self reliant.
  • This was included inThatcherism.
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Collectivism is a belief that:

  • people work togrther and support one another.
  • This is often linked to state intervention.
  • This was included in social Thatcherism.
  • The 'middle way' rejected the 2 ideological extremes of free market liberalism and socialist state planning, and attempted to draw a balance between individualism and Collectivism.
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