The Conservative Party and Social Justice Policy 1997–2010: An Historical Institutionalist Analysis
Supervisors: Dr Peter Kerr and Dr Stephen Bates
My research uses historical institutionalism (HI) to explain why social justice policy became an important focus for change in the 1997-2010 Conservative Party, how this policy changed, and why radical ideological change did not take place.
Utilising interviews with mid- and elite-level Party actors, and analysis of policy publications, I have mapped the restrictive and enabling effect of material and ideational institutional structures upon a political party.
Using newly defined and present mechanisms in HI, I attempt to offer an explanation that down-plays Cameron as a significant break from past ideological practice: rather there has been broad continuity throughout the opposition period, which, rather than being restrictive, has facilitated incremental policy change, largely emerging slowly from mid-level actors in the Party.
My research intends to contribute to debates in the study of British politics by offering a theoretical and institutionally focused explanation of change rather than prioritising descriptive and personality focused work. It also develops HI, improving its explanation of incremental change in a non-crisis institutional environment.
I arrived at POLSIS in 2007 to begin an MA in Political Science (Research Methods. I then received an ESRC +3 studentship in 2008, which allowed me to proceed onto a PhD. My thesis was passed in February 2013.
BA Political Studies (Leeds)
MA Political Science (Research Methods) (Birmingham)
PhD Political Science (Birmingham) (to graduate June 2013)
The Conservative Party
Social Justice Policy
2012–2013 POLS 201: Political Analysis
2008–2011 POLS 101: Introduction to Politics
Political Studies Association
Monahan, M. (2010) ‘How historical institutionalism can aid an understanding of change in the post-Major Conservative Party’. Paper presented at the PSA Conference, Edinburgh.
Monahan, M. (2009) ‘An historical institutionalist analysis of the post-Major Conservative party: a research overview’. Paper presented at the graduate colloquium, University of Birmingham.