Question Comfort Politics & International Relations

New Right Ideology

What is new right ideology?

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The New Right emerged out of political and social changes in the 1960s, introducing a new form of conservatism to the ideological spectrum that embraced a nationalist approach to politics (Lyons, 1996). Although there are various New Right movements present in a variety of nation states, they tend to pursue a similar ideological position. For example, Lyons (1996, p. 17) asserts that the New Right presented a renewed sense of family values that "...constructed a more nostalgic community... [based on] the idealized family." As such, at the core of the movement was a determination to create a movement based on reconciliation of morality and family with a resistance to liberal change. However, it does not ideologically align itself with the traditional Old Right, which is defined by a paternalistic, elitist and institutional hierarchical understanding of how society worked (Williams, 2015; Grant, 2003). This was largely perceived as outdated in the United States and the United Kingdom in the 1980s, thus bringing about an identifiable shift within the political mechanism of both nations (Williams, 2015). Instead, it emphasises the role of the free market, freedom for the individual and values that can be described as Victorian in nature. This specifically relates to morality and family values. These elements come together to form an ideological stance that was inherently conservative in nature and challenged liberal ideas but also deviated from more traditional values. As such, New Right ideology can essentially be defined as a conservative position that departed from traditional values in order to emphasise the mobilisation of a new generation in pursuit of a renewed morality and firmly against liberalism.


Grant, M., (2003). Key Ideas in Politics. Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.
Lyons, P., (1996). New Left, New Right and the Legacy of the Sixties. Pittsburgh: Temple University Press.
Williams, B., (2015). The Evolution of Conservative Party Social Policy. Dordrecht: Springer.