British Politics

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 2–19

The role of small ‘c’ Christianity in the Conservative Party since the 1990s

  • Martin Monahan
Original Article

Abstract

Though not dominant, the prominence of Christianity in the forming of Conservative party policy has increased since the 1990s – the touchstone organisation for this rise is the Conservative Christian Fellowship. Using interviews with mid- and elite-level actors, and policy documents, this article traces the activity of small ‘c’ Christianity in the Conservative party under the leaderships of William Hague, Iain Duncan Smith and Michael Howard, in the forming of the Centre for Social Justice and, in Cameron’s early leadership around social justice policy. It is argued that Christianity became a minor but important influence within a party undergoing a period of uncertainty after the election defeat of 1997. Key to this analysis is the understanding that parties cannot be easily changed by leaders alone; rather change in policy emerges, in part, from mid-level actors before filtering up to the leadership.

Keywords

Christianity Conservative Party Conservative Christian Fellowship Centre for Social Justice 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Monahan
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International Relations, University of NottinghamNottinghamUK

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