chapter  7
27 Pages

Conservative Governments and the Welfare State Since 1945

ByRobert M. Page

The Conservative Party dominated British government for much of the second half of the twentieth century, and while the most signifi cant welfare reforms are often seen as associated with the post-war Labour government, there have also been major shifts in the direction of policy under the Conservatives. It is therefore important to consider the attitudes and impact of Conservative thinking over the years. This chapter therefore covers the following topics:

■ the nature of conservatism;

■ One-Nation Conservatism and its role in the post-war period;

■ the emergence of a radical Neo-Liberal Conservatism;

■ Conservative social policy during the Thatcher and Major governments;

■ Conservative approaches to social policy under David Cameron’s leadership.