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British conservatism and bureaucracy

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A distinction between ‘consensual’ and ‘critical’ Conservatism would seem to provide a useful framework for analysing the intellectual approaches of conservative thinkers to the question of bureaucracy in Britain in the modern period. It is suggested here that, although in the nineteenth century there quickly emerged a dominant, liberal/conservative consensual approach to bureaucracy, there has also been a lively, countervailing and critical set of conservative ideas and concerns. This critical approach itself contains many strands; it has contributed to the vitality of conservative ideas on the subject and many of the concerns of contemporary right wing critics of bureaucracy have their antecedents far back in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century ideas.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of East Anglia.

Publication date: January 1, 1992


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