Theorising Cameronism

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Abstract

This article represents an early and, largely speculative, attempt to make sense of Cameronism as a distinctive political project. Herein, we present three separate, but potentially overlapping, narratives that could be employed to locate the significance of Cameronism within broader trends in British and global party politics. In this respect, we view Cameronism as: a continuation of Thatcherism; a development in the unfolding of forms of neo-liberal governmentality, linked to the process of depoliticisation; and as a movement towards the cartelisation of political parties. We conclude the article by arguing that these three potential interpretations of Cameronism are compatible with one another and, taken in combination, can provide a starting point towards a more holistic understanding of the type of politics characteristic of David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative party.

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