I recently took part in a seminar, organised by Political Quarterly, to discuss the work of Andrew Gamble, author of numerous works on political science, including The Conservative Nation, and a colleague when I was at the University of Sheffield. My paper was titled ‘The Conservative Nation Redivivus?’ and will appear in a forthcoming issue of the journal. It has already been published online. Here is the abstract:
“This article addresses the relationship between Andrew Gamble’s study of the Conservative nation and his more recent advocacy of a social democratic constitution. It argues that the former—the nature of the Conservative Party, mobilising support successfully—may serve to prevent the realisation of the latter, the Conservative view of the constitution prevailing over pressures for a new constitutional settlement for the United Kingdom. Whereas the analysis of the Conservative nation is grounded in, and can only be understood by reference to, an appreciation of political realities, the approach to constitutional change embraced by Gamble is largely apolitical, concerned primarily with ends to the neglect of means.”
I hope that may whet the appetite to read the article. The analysis draws on my previous typology of Prime Ministers as well as the criteria I have advanced in earlier works both for Conservative success and for achieving desired outcomes.