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Article

Современный британский консерватизм: на пути к адаптации?

The article analyzes the political and ideological development of modern British conservatism in the context of the ongoing political and institutional transformation of the United Kingdom. The author considers the concept of adaptation to be a key one for understanding the development of modern conservatism. An important role in this process is played by the relationship between the two main conservative traditions (in the British variation - the conservatism of “one nation” and Thatcherism), which creates opportunities and limitations for conservative adaptation. The post Thatcherism crisis of British conservatism was characterized by the difficulty of the processes of intra-party renewal in view of the ideological inertia caused by the success of Thatcherism and its ideological dominance in the conservative camp. After the failures of post Thatcherism leaders, David Cameron proposed an adaptation strategy based on tactical maneuvering and appealing to two conservative traditions for the integration of middle-class voters and right wing representatives of his party, however, Brexit acted as a limitation of the adaptation process. The article concludes that adaptation as the essence of conservative liberal policy succeeds under Therese May’s government. New government of Boris Johnson, moving to the right-wing populist Brexit Party, gives rise to talk about a possible transition from adaptation to the evolution of conservatism during the long and multifaceted Brexit process.