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Conservatism (seldom conservatism ; from the Latin conservare “to preserve”, “to preserve” or “to preserve something in its context”) is the collective term for political and intellectual social movements that aim to preserve the existing or restore previous social orders . Conservatism is based on the idea of ​​a political and intellectual continuity based on peaceful evolution and an orientation towards proven, historically grown tradition.

In addition to liberalism and socialism , it represents one of the three great political ideologies or worldviews that were conceptually defined in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. In contrast to the other two, political conservatism is more an attitude in a specific historical situation than a closed political philosophy . In its emergence as a political worldview, conservatism was a counter-movement to the era of the Enlightenment and the ideas of the French Revolution and liberalism and radicalism .

In contrast, interpreted Panagiotis Kondylis in his conservatism not study conservatism more than mere counter-movement, but sees it as a reformulation of the ideas of the societas civilis .

On the origin and concept history

As a political trend, conservative ideas first emerged, exemplarily, in the early modern period , in the political struggle of the estates against the claim to power of the early modern absolutist state. It was first supported by the forces of the nobility and the traditional regional ruling classes. His ideas were traced back to the idea of ​​the “ societas civilis ” ( lat. , For example: “bourgeois” or “civil society”). a. taken from the political theory of Aristotle , and which contained the ideal image of a natural, "well-ordered" society in which everyone should receive their appropriate position and no one - not even the monarch - should receive more than this.

In the 18th century, early conservative thinkers fought against the rationalism of the Enlightenment , which propagated the belief in the rational autonomy of man and his ability to reorganize all areas of the political in a purely rational manner, what is called the unlawful and unnatural interference of man in the natural and divine World order. The basic anti-absolutist trait of conservatism continued here, since the practice of rule of " enlightened absolutism " was increasingly justified in a rationalist manner. In the critical examination of the French Revolution and its consequences, the first major political program writings of conservatism emerged (especially with Edmund Burke , Ernst Brandes , Friedrich Gentz , Adam Heinrich Müller and Karl Ludwig von Haller ).

The political term conservative did not emerge until 1800 in England and France ( conservative ; conservateur ) and was adopted in Germany in the early 1830s (after the British Tory Party was renamed Conservative Party in 1832 ). Since the revolution, conservatism has been directed not only against absolutism, but above all - and primarily - against the various forms of revolutionary political theory and practice, to which, in addition to liberalism and early constitutionalism , the ideas of radical democracy and (later) that of socialism counted.

Ideas of conservatism

Basic idea

The following basic positions are fundamentally included in conservatism:

  1. the insight into the inadequacy of human reason
  2. the concrete perception and experience gained from history in contrast to abstract systematics
  3. the diversity of the historically grown society in contrast to the uniform freedom for all
  4. Tradition in the form of the unconscious wisdom of the ancestors
  5. Authority with regard to the natural inequality of people as opposed to egalitarian thinking
  6. the unity of civil liberty and private property

Conservatism as a spiritual and political trend in Europe is at its core a political system that has its roots in medieval and Christian ideas. Conservatism historically assumed that there is an order of natural or divine origin predetermined for human reason , the basic features of which are expressed primarily in the idea of ​​an eternal, transcendently guaranteed and inviolable law ( natural law / divine law). The principle of radical innovation (" avant-garde ") was contrasted with the idea of ​​political and intellectual continuity and an orientation towards proven, historically grown tradition .

The self-designation “conservative” was originally based on the Roman terms conservator rei publicae and conservator populi (German: preserver of the state, preserver of the people), which was understood as averting a dangerous, destructive situation or tendency. Supporters of the conservative idea did not necessarily claim a fundamental opposition to progress, as evidenced by the self-designation of the leading conservative daily newspaper in Vienna around 1880, "Vaterland" (with editor-in-chief Karl von Vogelsang ), which subtitled itself as "conservative-progressive" . The majority of the changes demanded by the revolutionary forces were rejected; Reforms should not be violent, but rather continuous. The conservatives were concerned with maintaining and expanding what they believed was worth preserving (including moral values), and for this purpose their own ideas for shaping society and social reform were often propagated.

Some authors, such as Hans-Joachim Schoeps , also see an “actionist” element of a conservative attitude: According to this, the goal is not preservation as such , but also the creation or renewal of conditions and institutions that are worth preserving: “Conservative attitude is something higher and deeper than the faint-hearted desire to lose what one has as slowly as possible. ” Otto von Bismarck can be seen as an example of this manifestation , whose domestic and foreign policy reforms were based on a conservative attitude.

Edmund Burke and his successors

Edmund Burke (1729–1797)

Against the French Revolution's demand for equality ( egalité ), conservatism emphasizes above all the hierarchical and liberal elements of a harmonious, God-given order ( Edmund Burke ). Burke sees this “natural” social order as an organic whole. In relation to this whole, individualistic-egoistic claims have to recede. The community is positioned against an atomized and lawless society . The community is shaped by tradition , customs , habits and ties. In place of the contract theory of modern natural law comes the idea of ​​a cross-generational continuum. In relation to all past generations , the present generation is always in the position of the minority. So how should the present generation dare to reform and thereby outvote all past generations?

Another root of German conservatism is the political thinking of German-Swiss constitutional lawyer and restorer Carl Ludwig von Haller (1768–1854). In his major work in several volumes, the Restoration of Political Science (1816 ff.), Which became widely known at the time, he represented an at times extreme position of strong, independent princely power, which was designed as a direct counter-draft to the political thinking of the Enlightenment and the revolutionaries of 1789. On the basis of the assertion that revolutionary ideas are simply based on the distortion and obscuration of political and legal reality and that the princes in truth, through their original ownership of the state, also have the undivided right to the highest state authority, he develops a theory of the patrimonial state in which all social and political relationships between people are of a purely private law and not a public law nature. Even if his concept was widely criticized and hardly received even within the later conservative theorization, reading the Restoration had a demonstrable mobilization effect on some conservative politicians of the coming decades (such as Ernst Ludwig von Gerlach ).

In the case of Friedrich Carl von Savigny , the most important jurist of the historical school, the right to legislate is largely denied at the present time. The essential intermediaries between the generations are, of course, tradition and custom, but above all inheritance and inherited property . Freedom and property are therefore always thought of as connected. In addition, there is a great deal of skepticism towards the theory, especially with Burke. The theory is juxtaposed with experience, common sense and well-tried notions. Burke in particular is characterized by neither a systematically well thought-out nor a concise presentation. He would have better called his reflections emotions , as Hermann Klenner says in the afterword to the latest German Burke edition. Change and progress are not categorically excluded, but are subject to social acceptance and integration into the existing value system . With Burke, it is less the traditional power and domination relationships that are to be preserved than the fundamental and ideal network of values; For example, he defends the Glorious Revolution as a legitimate protection of certain values ​​(especially freedom of belief ) against the prevailing, in his view unlawful conditions. Logically, the Glorious Revolution is not defined as a revolution, but a restoration .

Power , rule and state are mostly central categories for later continental European conservatism. As a rule, the state has positive connotations and is often justified in an authoritarian manner, for example when it is thought of as a defense mechanism against the moral depravity of people who are naturally evil ( cf. original sin ; Thomas Hobbes ) and their privatistic egoisms . Conservative orderliness is geared towards the state. The organistically imagined state is the natural place where political power, inappelatable ( irreversible decision-making and social responsibility) converge ( cf. also: monopoly of violence ). In addition, however, there have been and from the beginning there have been positions within conservatism that are critical of the state and its extensive claims to rule (e.g. in the Christian-influenced old conservatism of the 19th century) that tie in with the basic anti-absolutist trend of conservative thought.

Demarcation from political reaction

In terms of the history of ideas, reaction and conservatism have partly common roots. Edmund Burke , who was briefed on the French Revolution by the Abbé Augustin Barruel , was already widely received during his lifetime among the outstanding thinkers of the reaction, such as Louis-Gabriel-Ambroise de Bonald and Joseph de Maistre . Other representatives of reactionary ideas in the sense of a counter-enlightenment were Donoso Cortes and, in the 20th century, Nicolás Gómez Dávila . Reactionary thinking became politically effective in the 19th century, for example through the movement of ultramontanism .

On the one hand, conservatism is distinguished from reaction by referring to the conservatism's claim to shape. In his reflections on the French Revolution , Burke made it clear, among other things, that “a state that lacks the ability to change also lacks the ability to maintain itself.” From their self-image as the forces that support the state, conservatives see a reactionary attitude as not just fundamental , but also problematic from a practical and political point of view: A purely reactionary party, which, without a positive design concept, is purely geared towards resistance to change, can only be a numerically small, politically impotent residual in the long run and therefore make no difference. So declared the Conservative British Prime Minister Lord Salisbury

“It is not, and cannot be, our party's aim to just keep things as they are. First, this endeavor is impossible. Second, there is much in current thinking and action that it is highly undesirable to preserve. What we want is the shaping of public affairs [...] in the spirit of our constitution, which holds the nation together and pools its forces for important national concerns, instead of splitting them into hostile and suspicious parts. "

- Lord Salisbury

The historian Klaus Werner Epstein distinguished the status quo conservatism and reform conservatism from reaction. The former may delay the changes over time, but the conservative reformist will accompany their change institutionally, while the reactionary wants to reawaken a golden age. Accordingly, the reactionary represents a static, the conservative an evolutionary conception of time. The second difference lies in the utopian design of the reaction. The American political scientist Mark Lilla regards the positive basic attitude towards the existing and the effort to develop it step by step as central characteristics of conservative politics. In contrast, the political reaction was marked by a fundamental and militant rejection of the existing order:

“Conservatives have always viewed society as some kind of legacy entrusted to us and for which we are responsible. The most beneficial kind of change, the conservative believes, is achieved through negotiation and a gradual transformation of custom and tradition, not by proclaiming radical reforms or inventing supposedly inalienable individual rights. [...] Reactionaries have nothing to do with this conservative worldview. They are just as radical in their own way as the revolutionaries, and no less destructive. Reactionary narratives always begin with a happy, well-ordered state where people freely share a common fate. Then this harmony is undermined by intellectuals and outsiders [...]. Only those who have kept the memories of the old days - the reactionaries - see what happened. It depends on their resistance alone whether society succeeds in repentance or whether it plunges into ruin. "

- Mark Lilla

Anglo-Saxon conservatism

Historically, two main currents can be identified with regard to the continental-European and Anglo-American orientation of conservatism, which can be distinguished by the respective evaluation of the state and the individual:

  • In continental European conservatism, the reference to the state played a relatively strong role, on which conservative orderliness was oriented. The state was seen as the “natural” place of political power and decision-making and also had to take on social responsibility.
  • In Anglo-American conservatism, on the other hand, the individual plays a central, positively valued role, which is to be strengthened through national identity and national symbols through the expression of common values ​​and goals. In contrast, the state is viewed negatively as the embodiment of anonymous power and lack of freedom. Security here is the result of individual strength and assertiveness; individual responsibility and private business principles are positively associated with conservatism.

For Anglo-American conservatism - diametrically opposed to the continental European expression - the individual has a positive function. It moves to the center of the political theory of ideas and is assigned the function of creating order that the state has in European conservatism. Through national identity and political symbols, the individual is committed to shared values ​​and strengthened in his task of creating order. The state, on the other hand, appears as the embodiment of anonymous forces and a source of bondage. Security appears as the result of individual strength and assertiveness. This individualistic expression of conservative thinking goes hand in hand with a strong emphasis on private economic forms and personal increase in prosperity.

Newer theories

According to Erhard Eppler's distinction, a distinction has been made between structural conservatism and value conservatism since the 1970s :

  • Structural conservatism describes a world view that defends a political or organizational order against criticism and protects the distribution of power and resources based on it from change or wants to preserve an idealistic concept of order developed in the past .
  • The conservatism emphasizes substantive aspects specific such as the importance of human dignity , of loyalty and mutual concern in the family or other virtues . In order to preserve these values, value conservatives are ready to change structures, for example by promoting the family through a tax reform.

In terms of the history of ideas (see below, ideas of conservatism ), conservatism is more the position of value conservatism.

Conservatism as a political movement

Before the revolutions of 1848/49 , conservatism in Europe was more of a loose gathering movement of individuals and different political forces than a unified movement. Conservative parties in the modern sense did not usually exist yet; the British Tories are an exception here. Early conservative ideas before the French Revolutions and in the decades afterwards were mainly disseminated by individual political thinkers (such as Justus Möser ), while conservative (i.e., anti-revolutionary) politics were made by outstanding individuals - above all Prince von Metternich during the Restoration period - which, however, cannot yet rely on closed political groups.

Conservatism in Germany

In Prussia, the most important state in northern Germany in the 19th century, a conservative party first developed in the course of the German Revolution of 1848/1849 from the relatively loose cooperation of conservative associations , groups and members of parliament, such as the “Association for the Protection of the Interests of Real estate ".

Since 1848 several conservative parties were represented in the parliaments of the individual German states (especially in Prussia ) and later also in the German Reichstag ; Until 1918 there were three conservative parties there: the East Elbian-agrarian oriented German Conservative Party , the Free Conservative Party (German Reich Party) supported by the high nobility and industrial circles , and from 1871 the German Center Party .

The specifically German form of conservatism is inextricably linked with Bismarck. During his reign he tried to solve the so-called “social question”, i.e. the conflict between the labor movement and economic liberalism , by banning social democracy on the one hand (socialist laws) and establishing his own state security system (social legislation) on the other. In addition, in the Kulturkampf he asserted state interests against traditional secular claims to power by the Catholic Church , also at the expense of the same claims of the Evangelical Church, which is closely linked to the conservatives and which, for example, also lost its influence on the school supervision in elementary schools. Both initiatives were only partially successful and ultimately strengthened both the anti-monarchy SPD and the Catholic Center Party . But they expanded the state's power and set a new development in motion with social legislation.

The stabilization and consolidation of the conservative state idea by Bismarck led to a comparatively late introduction of democratic principles and institutions in Germany. The parliamentary form of government was not introduced until 1918 . Political action by parties was not fully accepted in the German Empire.

Weimar Republic, National Socialism and the Young Federal Republic

With the decline of the monarchy in Germany, conservatism took a turn. The idea of ​​a creative reorganization took the place of tradition. After the First World War (1914–1918) German conservatism gathered in various parties and in intellectual and intellectual currents.

As chairman of the German National People's Party ( DNVP ), the conservative media entrepreneur Alfred Hugenberg promoted the rise of Hitler from 1929 . Conservative politicians like Franz Seldte converted to the NSDAP . Franz von Papen's advisor , Edgar Julius Jung , planned to form a conservative revolutionary state on a Christian authoritarian basis. This early conservative opposition was eliminated by the National Socialists in 1934. Many a conservative tried to come to terms with National Socialism, some went into exile. Others were in active resistance (especially in the resistance group of July 20, 1944 ).

After 1945, classical conservatism initially had no future. After the experience of the totalitarian dictatorship , he mostly acknowledged the principle of the democratic constitutional state . The small conservative German Party ( DP ) was one of the ruling parties of the Adenauer era from 1949 to 1960 . Above all, the denominational differences between Protestants and Catholics who met in the CDU were gradually overcome.

Since then, the CDU has been the most important party with a conservative, interdenominational and democratic character in the Federal Republic of Germany . She succeeded in integrating large parts of conservatism and integrating them into the democratic opinion-forming process. Members of the German National People's Party (DNVP), the right-wing liberal German People's Party ( DVP ) and the liberal DDP joined it and enabled the creation of a people's party.

In the young Federal Republic the concept of technocratic conservatism was strengthened. Representatives of technocratic conservatism such as Hans Freyer and Helmut Schelsky criticized the prevalence of practical constraints, but viewed the rule of independent material processes as less harmful than the rule of ideologues.

Conservatism in Germany today

There is no genuinely conservative party in Germany. Conservative currents are represented in the popular CDU and CSU parties , the AfD and small parties such as Alliance C , the LKR that emerged from the AfD , the Bavaria party and the Free Voters .

According to its self-image, the CDU has moved from the center-right to the political center since 1972. The traditional strands of Christian democracy in Germany include a mixture of the value conservatism of Catholicism (and Catholic social doctrine ), currents of political Protestantism as well as economic, regulatory and national conservatism . The term “conservative” is in fact not further specified by the Union parties , although it is not infrequently mentioned as an important political characteristic.

With the dwindling of traditional groups of voters, conservative positions partially disappeared from the parties' programs over time. The parties now called conservative deviate from historical conservatism on important points. So in today is Christian Democracy of technological progress seen mostly positive. There is also an important wing that is economically liberal . The FDP is often seen since the 1980s as a "natural" coalition partner of the Christian Democrats, although the history of ideas foundations liberal and conservative currents is historically contrary. It was the basic idea of liberalism that led to the social-liberal coalition under Willy Brandt (SPD) and Walter Scheel (FDP) at the federal level in 1969 . In response to the German student movement of the 1960s, the Christian Democrats demanded a strong state that was incompatible with liberalism. The Free Voters pursue ecological, liberal and conservative politics, while the AfD represents economically liberal, national-conservative and right-wing populist positions.

In the SPD , especially the Seeheimer Kreis is assigned a conservative position regarding foreign, domestic and social policy. Both in the SPD and in the Greens there are currents that argue value-conservatively. This is partly due to the fact that the term has lost much of its previously existing delimitation function. Only the German Conservative Party , founded in 2009, puts conservatism at the center of its agenda. The Ecological Democratic Party , founded in 1982, is also classified as conservative.

Conservatism in Austria

From the pre- March period until the fall of the monarchy in 1918, Austrian conservatism was shaped by the “alliance of throne and altar”, the commitment to the House of Habsburg and the Catholic Church . Representatives of a conservative conception of the state based on the Josephine administration were for example Klemens Wenzel von Metternich , Friedrich von Gentz and later Eduard Graf Taaffe and Karl Sigmund von Hohenwart . After the First World War, a legitimist movement developed , some of which was politically organized in the conservative national paramilitary home guard . In the Second Republic , the Catholic, conservative element was still represented by organizations such as the Paneuropean Union under the presidency of Otto von Habsburg, as well as individual intellectuals (e.g. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn ).

From the experience of the supranational order of the monarchy, conservative concepts of European unification have been developed since the 1920s, mainly by Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi and Karl Anton Rohan . These concepts, like the efforts to create a new Austrian patriotism (cf. Austrian Action ), served to ward off greater German efforts.

As a political mass party, the Christian Social Party (CSP) was the determining force in Austrian politics in the late phase of the monarchy and during the First Republic . In contrast to the traditional conservative elite, the CSP was peasant or petty-bourgeois and, under the leadership of Ignaz Seipel, declared itself to be a republic and - with certain reservations - democracy. From the experience of the world economic crisis , under the influence of the encyclical Quadragesimo, ideas of the corporate state developed anno , for example by Othmar Spann and Odo Neustädter-Stürmer . In the unity party Patriotic Front , which ruled authoritarian from 1933 to 1938 , the various strands of tradition of the Christian-Social, old-conservative-monarchist and conservative-national camps briefly merged. In the Austrian resistance against National Socialism , conservative, Catholic and legitimist circles played an essential role.

The Austrian People's Party (ÖVP), founded in 1945, sees itself as a broad gathering party of the bourgeois camp and also represents conservative ideas. Well-known conservatives within the People's Party were or are u. a. Karl Gruber , Heinrich Drimmel , Josef Klaus , Wolfgang Schüssel and Sebastian Kurz . Intellectual impulses for conservative politics were formulated by Josef Riegler ( eco-social market economy ) and Andreas Khol ( civil society ).

Conservatism in Switzerland

At the beginning, conservatism in Switzerland saw itself as a counter-movement to liberalism and radicalism and took on ideological and organizational form in the unification, constitution and church conflicts of the 1830s and 40s. During this time of the democratic constitutional struggles in the cantons, the term conservative also found its way into the everyday political language of Switzerland as a term for party-like associations. The Catholic Conservatives, also known as “rural democrats”, although they were among the political losers ( Sonderbund War ), together with the early Socialists played an important role in making Switzerland a federal and direct democratic state. With their conception of popular sovereignty, they had opposed the liberal, anti-clerical and, in some cases, centralist elements and reached a federal compromise .

A fundamental distinction must also be made between utopian - restorative and realistic - evolutionary conservatism. The former was based on the utopia of the pre-revolutionary class order . The latter, more moderate conservatives, however, adopted liberal principles and called for social , economic and educational reforms.

In the Federal Assembly in 1882, the Catholic Right officially named itself the Catholic Conservative Party of Switzerland (KK) and the predicate conservative only disappeared in 1971 when it was renamed the Christian Democratic People's Party (CVP).

Conservatism in Britain

The dominant tendency of British conservatism and the Conservative Party since the late 1970s has been Thatcherism , which is understood to be an economically liberal, individualistic and EU-skeptical program. In addition to the eponymous Margaret Thatcher , Keith Joseph and Enoch Powell in particular should be mentioned as masterminds. A substantial minority of the conservative party and public takes the opposite position of one-nation conservatism . This is a more consensus-oriented, Keynesian and welfare state-oriented variant of conservatism, which advocates national and social solidarity and is considered to be more pro-European. Well-known representatives were or are Ian Gilmour and Kenneth Clarke .

Conservatism in the US

In contrast to Europe, the state that emerged from the thirteen colonies does not know the historical development from a feudal being to absolutism and later to a constitutional monarchy or republic. There was no aristocratic backing that sought to restore the old regime. Modern conservatism has its roots in the market-driven resistance to the social reforms of the early 20th century, especially the New Deal . The civil rights movement and its success in the Civil Rights Act led the once democratic South to identify with the Republican Party , which made it a libertarian-conservative party. Social liberalization in the second half of the century transformed the Christian denominations. While the evangelicals were concerned with the salvation of the soul in the 19th century, the legal safeguarding of social liberalization and its implementation drew resistance from Christian groups. However, there are also followers of other religions, such as B. Orthodox Jews who identify with the conservative movement. Most of them are anti-abortionists and call themselves pro-life activists. The right to bear arms , which is enshrined in the constitution, is supported and a liberal economy is propagated. Another current widespread in the US is neoconservatism , which advocates military interventions abroad.

The most important conservative publisher in the USA is Regnery Publishing (founded 1947).

Conservatism in Turkey

At the beginning of the 18th century the technological, military and economic inferiority of the Ottoman Empire against the Tsarist Empire and the Habsburg Monarchy became evident, and at the beginning and in the middle of the 19th century the empire suffered numerous territorial losses due to successful independence movements. The loss of economic independence from British and French financiers weakened the empire. The sultans responded with westernization and the import of Western European technology and education (military advisers, bridge builders, etc.), but in contrast to the reforms of Tsars Peter I and Nicholas I in Russia, these were not far-reaching. Traditionalism and conservatism with partial modernization efforts as expressed in the Tanzimat shaped the Ottoman Empire until the beginning of the 20th century, while the reactionary conservatism of the Wahhabis emerged on its southern outer border as early as the middle of the 18th century. In 1865, the Young Ottomans, like the Russian Decembrists and Young Italy, gathered for the first time a serious radical (liberal) force that demanded the introduction of a constitutional monarchy. After Yavuz Sabuncu, they were interested in a reconciliation of Islam and constitutionalism, but feared that the reforms would further accelerate the non-Muslim population's striving for independence. In 1878 Sultan Abdülhamid suspended the constitution and persecuted the Young Ottomans, including the masterminds Ziya Pascha and Namık Kemal .

The old conservatism finally got into trouble with the defeats in the Balkan War and the Young Turks enforced a military dictatorship in 1913. In the next few years they carried out the nation-state process with a homogenization of the state people. The faithful forces under Mehmed VI. ultimately failed out of the interest of maintaining personal power over the elementary state interests, because while they were forced to accept the peace provisions of the victorious powers, the troops under the leadership of the military Mustafa Kemal fought for the unity of the country in the Turkish Liberation War of 1921/22. Regardless of the fact that failure to accept the peace dictate would have led to an occupation and thus to the impossibility of Mustafa Kemal's success, the monarchist-conservative forces were no longer able to act politically, precisely because nationalism had already reached a reservoir of activists and sympathizers exceeded the number of sultans.

In 1924 the caliphate was abolished. In the following decades Ataturk began to reorganize the state and society on the model of the liberal industrialized countries of the West. The reforms led to uprisings in 1925 and 1930, some of which were Islamist-motivated. In Islamism, the interests of the old monarchist elites were articulated less than those sections of the population who were either pious and did not want to support Ataturk's anti-religious policies, or, in contrast to the urban population, who because of the occupation (expulsion of the Greeks, genocide of the Armenians) and access to higher educational opportunities was privileged, could not participate in the new state and was therefore economically and socially marginalized. Kemalism, an authoritarian ideology of modernization and a successful counter-model to democratic liberalism such as the totalitarianism of National Socialism and Stalinism, was to determine the country's politics for the next few decades. The most important conservative party, the Democratic Party , sought a balance between the Kemalist and traditional, mostly religious forces such as the promotion of the private sector. After the coup of May 27, 1960, the Prime Minister and Finance Minister and Foreign Minister were executed . In 1975, several parties, including the Islamist Millî Selamet Partisi and the far-right Milliyetçi Hareket Partisi , formed a conservative front against the Kemalist Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi . In 1980 the military followed a general ban on political parties. From the Islamist party, the Refah Partisi , later Fazilet Partisi and finally, after a split, the AKP , the party of incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan emerged. The Millî Görüş movements such as the Nurculuk , which can be traced back to Said Nursî , and the Gülen movement of his pupil Fethullah Gülen are further conservative forces.

Thought leaders and key players in conservatism

18./19. century

See also


Main writings of conservatism

  • Edmund Burke : Reflections on the Revolution in France. And on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event . J. Dodsley, London 1790.
  • Adam Müller von Nitterdorf : The elements of statecraft . Sander, Berlin 1809.

New programmatic writings


Lexicon article

  • Torsten Oppelland: Conservatism. In: Gerlinde Sommer, Raban Gra von Westphalen (Hrsg.): Citizens lexicon. State, politics, law and administration in Germany and the European Union. Oldenbourg Verlag, Munich / Vienna 2000, pp. 494–497.
  • Henning Ottmann: Conservatism. In: Staatslexikon. ed. from the Görres Society. Vol. 3, Freiburg 1987, pp. 636-640.
  • Theo Schiller: Conservatism. In: Dieter Nohlen, Rainer-Olaf Schultze (Hrsg.): Lexicon of political science. Theories, methods, terms. CH Beck, Munich 2002, pp. 433-438.
  • Rudolf Vierhaus : Conservative, Conservatism. In: Otto Brunner u. a. (Ed.): Basic historical concepts. Historical lexicon on political and social language in Germany. Volume 3, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1982, ISBN 3-608-91500-1 .

Monographs and Articles

  • Johann Christoph Allmayer-Beck: Conservatism in Austria (= Conservative series. Vol. 4). Isar Verlag, Munich 1959.
  • Klaus von Beyme : Conservatism: Theories of conservatism and right-wing extremism in the age of ideologies 1789-1945 . Springer, Wiesbaden 2013.
  • Katharina Bluhm: New Conservatives in Russia and East Central Europe . Routledge, London / New York 2019.
  • Frank Bösch : The conservative milieu. Wallstein, Göttingen 2002, ISBN 3-89244-501-X , (A social history of German conservatism in the 20th century) .
  • Raimund von dem Bussche: Conservatism in the Weimar Republic. The politicization of the apolitical . C. Winter, Heidelberg 1998.
  • Rossiter Clinton: Conservatism in America . Knopf, New York 1956.
  • Felix Dirsch : Authentic Conservatism. Studies on a Classical Current in Political Thought . Lit Verlag, Berlin 2012.
  • Robert Eccleshall et al. (Ed.): Political Ideologies. An Introduction . Routledge, London 2003.
  • Klaus Epstein : The Origins of Conservatism in Germany. The starting point: the challenge posed by the French Revolution 1770–1806 . Propylaen-Verlag, Berlin 1973, ISBN 3-550-07288-0 (first in English as: The genesis of German conservatism . Princeton University Press, Princeton 1966).
  • Florian Finkbeiner: National hope and conservative disappointment. On the change in the conservative understanding of nations after German unification , Transcript Verlag, Bielefeld 2020, ISBN 978-3-8376-5321-2 .
  • EHH Green: Ideologies of conservatism. Conservative political ideas in the twentieth century . University Press, Oxford 2002.
  • Bernd Heidenreich (Ed.): Political Theories of the 19th Century. Volume 1: Conservatism. Wiesbaden 1999. (anthology of the Hessian State Center for Political Education) .
  • Peter Uwe Hohendahl, Erhard Schütz: Perspectives on Conservative Thought. Germany and the United States after 1945 (= publications for the magazine for German studies . Vol. 26). Bern 2012, ISBN 978-3-0343-1139-7 .
  • Russell Kirk : The Conservative Mind. 7th edition. 2001, ISBN 0-89526-171-5 .
  • Panajotis Kondylis : Conservatism. Historical content and decline. 1986.
  • Kurt Lenk : German Conservatism . Frankfurt 1989, ISBN 3-593-34074-7 .
  • Sanford Levinson et al. (Ed.): American conservatism . University Press, New York 2016.
  • Ronald Lora: Conserative minds in America . Rand McNally, Chicago 1971.
  • Wolfgang Loring: Neconservative thinking in the Federal Republic of Germany and in the USA . Opladen 1988.
  • Markus Porsche-Ludwig , Jürgen Bellers (ed.): What is conservative? A search for traces in politics, philosophy, science, literature . Verlag Traugott Bautz, Nordhausen 2013, ISBN 978-3-88309-785-5 .
  • Heinz Dietrich Löwe: Anti-Semitism and reactionary utopia. Russian conservatism in the fight against d. Change of state and Society, 1890-1917 . Hoffmann and Campe, Hamburg 1978.
  • Karl Mannheim : Conservatism. A contribution to the sociology of knowledge (= Suhrkamp Taschenbücher Wissenschaft . No. 478). Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1984, ISBN 3-518-28078-3 .
  • Johann Baptist Müller : Conservatism - Contours of a concept of order. Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, ISBN 978-3-428-12336-0 .
  • Thomas Noetzel: The Conservative Revolution. England in the Thatcher era . Junius, Hamburg 1987.
  • Sabine Pfeffer: Political conservatism in England and in the Federal Republic of Germany after 1945. A comparison of conservative principles. Lit Verlag, Münster u. a. 1989, ISBN 3-88660-499-3 .
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  • Axel Schildt : Conservatism in Germany. From the beginnings in the 18th century to the present. CH Beck, Munich 1998.
  • Richard Saage : return to the strong state? Studies on Conservatism, Fascism and Democracy. Suhrkamp, ​​Frankfurt am Main 1983, ISBN 3-518-11133-7 , (essays on Carl Schmitt , Ernst Forsthoff , Hans Freyer and others).
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  • Martina Steber: The guardians of the concepts. Political Languages ​​of the Conservatives in Great Britain and the Federal Republic of Germany, 1945–1980. de Gruyter, Berlin 2017.
  • Bernd Volkert: American neoconservatism. Origin, ideas, intentions . Lit Verlag, Berlin 2006.
  • Michael Weinzierl : Freedom, property and no equality. The transformation of English political culture and the beginnings of modern conservatism 1791–1812 (= Ancien Régime, Enlightenment and Revolution . Vol. 26). Oldenbourg, Vienna a. a. 1993, ISBN 3-7029-0355-0 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b Urs Altermatt, Martin Pfister: Conservatism. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland .
  2. Conservatism Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung , accessed on December 18, 2019.
  3. ^ Cf. Martin Greiffenhagen : The Dilemma of German Conservatism . Piper, Munich 1971, pp. 40-44.
  4. ^ Panajotis Kondylis: Conservatism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1986, p. 11.
  5. ^ Panajotis Kondylis: Conservatism . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1986, p. 16.
  6. ^ Sven-Uwe Schmitz: Conservatism . VS Verlag, Wiesbaden 2009, p. 22 ff.
  7. Gustav E. Kafka : Article “Conservatism” in: Staatslexikon, 6th exp. Ed., Vol. 4, Freiburg i. Br. 1959, Sp. 1239.
  8. ^ Hans-Joachim Schoeps: Conservative renewal. Stuttgart 1958, p. 51.
  9. Klaus von Beyme: Conservatism. Theories of Conservatism and Right-Wing Extremism in the Age of Ideologies 1789–1945 . Springer, Wiesbaden 2013, p. 35.
  10. Original: " A state without the means of some change, is without the means of its conservation. "; Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France . James Dodsley, Pall Mall (London) 1790, p. 29.
  11. ^ Ian Gilmour : Inside Right. A Study of Conservatism . Hutchinson, London 1977, ISBN 0-7043-3238-8 , p. 122ff.
  12. Mark Lilla: betrayed by history. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . November 21, 2016, accessed December 25, 2019 .
  13. ^ Klaus Schubert, Martina Klein: Das Politiklexikon. 4th, updated Edition. Dietz, Bonn 2006, online in the policy dictionary of the Federal Agency for Civic Education .
  14. ^ "Association for the protection of the interests of property and for the maintenance of the prosperity of all classes", founded in 1848, cf. also Junker Parliament .
  15. Sven-Uwe Schmitz: Conservatism (= textbook. Elements of politics ). Wiesbaden 2009, p. 155.
  16. ^ Schmitz: Conservatism. P. 144.
  17. See Schmitz: Conservatism. P. 143.
  18. Jürgen Wüst: Conservatism and Ecological Movement. An investigation into the tension between party, movement and ideology using the example of the Ecological Democratic Party (ÖDP) . IKO - Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation, Frankfurt am Main 1993, ISBN 3-88939-275-X .
  19. ^ Karl Vocelka: Austrian history . CH Beck Verlag, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-50869-1 , pp. 77f.
  20. ^ John W. Boyer: Viennese conservatism from the empire to the republic: Ignaz Seipel and the Austrian politics. In: Ulrich E. cellsberg (ed.): Conservative profiles. Ideas and practice in politics between FM Radetzky, Karl Kraus and Alois Mock. Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz / Stuttgart 2003, ISBN 3-7020-1007-6 , pp. 341–362.
  21. ^ Robert Rill: The Austrian People's Party - a chance for conservatism in Austria? In: Robert Rill, Ulrich cellsberg: Conservatism in Austria. Movements, ideas, people and associations from the beginning until today. Leopold Stocker Verlag, Graz / Stuttgart 1999, ISBN 3-7020-0860-8 , pp. 273-290.
  22. World Week of February 19, 2015: Thanks be to the conservatives .
  23. ^ Emil Huebner, Ursula Münch: The political system of Great Britain. An introduction. CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-45651-0 , p. 47 f.
  24. Petra Beckmann-Schulz: The new right in the USA. The influence of their Political Action Committees on the American Senate (= dissertation ). Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag, Berlin 1992, pp. 8–9.
  25. ^ Johann Baptist Müller: Conservatism. Contours of a concept of order . Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2007, p. 130.
  26. Yavuz Sabuncu: The idea of ​​national sovereignty in Turkey. In: Otto Depenheuer (ed.): German-Turkish forum for constitutional law. Vol. 3, Berlin 2006, p. 103.
  27. Udo Steinbach: History of Turkey (= CH Beck knowledge ). Munich 2007, p. 34.
  28. Mahmut Bozkurt: The relationship of Turkey to the European Union . Peter Lang, Berlin 1995, p. 117.