Social conservatism

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Social conservatism is the belief that society is built upon a fragile network of relationships which need to be upheld through duty, traditional values and established institutions. [1] This can include moral issues. [2] Social conservatism is generally skeptical of social change, and believes in maintaining the status quo concerning social issues such as family life, sexual relations, and patriotism. [3]

Contents

Social conservatism encompasses a range of what may be thought of as bourgeois positions on social issues. [4] [5] It developed as a reaction to what was perceived as dangerous tendencies within the liberal movements toward political radicalism and a wholesale rejection of "western values". [6] In North America, since the mid to late 20th century, social conservatism arose as a response to federal action on social issues—such as freedom of religion, the reduction in criminal penalties, freedom of conscience and abortion—which members perceived as a threat to conservative values and societal order. [7] [5] Social conservatives also value the rights of religious institutions to participate in the public sphere, thus supporting accommodationism, and opposing state atheism. [8] [9]

Social conservatism and other ideological views

There is no necessary link between social and fiscal conservatism;[ citation needed ] some social conservatives such as George W. Bush [10] and Michael Gerson [11] are otherwise apolitical, centrist or liberal on economic and fiscal issues. Social conservatives may sometimes support economic intervention where the intervention serves moral or cultural aims. Many social conservatives support a balance between protectionism and a free market. This concern for material welfare, like advocacy of traditional mores, will often have a basis in religion. Examples include the Christian Social Union of Bavaria, the Family First Party and Katter's Australian Party, and the communitarian movement in the United States.

There is more overlap between social conservatism and paleoconservatism, in that they both have respect for traditional social forms. [12] [ self-published source ]

Social conservatism is not to be confused with economically interventionist conservatism, where conservative ideas are combined with Keynesian economics and a welfare state, which is practised by some European conservatives, e.g. one-nation conservatives in Britain or Gaullists in France.

Social conservatism in different countries

Islamic world

Most Muslim countries are somewhat more socially conservative (such as Sudan, Malaysia and Gambia) than neighbouring countries that are not Muslim. However, due to their interpretation of Islamic law also known as Shariah, they differ from social conservatism as understood in western nations.

Arab world

The Arab world has recently been more conservative in social and moral issues due to the rising influence of western liberalism.

Arab States of the Persian Gulf

Saudi Arabia is the home of Islam and its two holy shrines, the king's (Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud) title is "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques". Saudi Arabia's role in the Islamic world enforces it to adhere to strict interpretation of Islam, of which it follows the most strict madhab of Islamic jurisprudence imam Hanbal.[ citation needed ]

India

Hindu social conservatism

Hindu social conservatism in India in the twenty first century has developed into an influential movement. Represented in the political arena by the right-leaning Bharatiya Janata Party. Hindu social conservatism, also known as the Hindutva movement, is spearheaded by the voluntary non-governmental organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The core philosophy of this ideology is nativism and sees Hinduism as a national identity rather than a religious one. Due to an inclination towards nativism, much of its platform is based on the belief that Islamic and Christian denominations in India are the result of occupations, and therefore these groups should not receive concessions from the state. [13]

In terms of political positions, Hindu social conservatives in India seek to institutionalise a Uniform Civil Code (which is also a directive under Article 44 of the Constitution of India) for members of all religions, [14] over the current scheme of different personal laws for different religions. For instance, polygamy is legal for Muslims in India but not Hindus.

Muslim social conservatism

There are several socially conservative Muslim organisations in India, ranging from groups such as the Indian Union Muslim League which aim to promote the preservation of Indian Muslim culture as a part of the nation's identity and history.[ citation needed ]

Canada

In Canada, social conservatism, though widespread, is not as prominent in the public sphere as in the United States. It is prevalent in all areas of the country but is seen as being more prominent in rural areas. It is also a significant influence on the ideological and political culture of the western provinces of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia.

Compared to social conservatism in the United States, social conservatism has not been as influential in Canada. The main reason is that the neoliberal or neoconservative style of politics as promoted by leaders such as former Liberal Party of Canada Prime Minister Paul Martin and Former Conservative Party of Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper have focused on economic conservatism, with little or no emphasis on moral or social conservatism. [15] Without a specific, large political party behind them, social conservatives have divided their votes and can be found in all political parties. [16]

Social conservatives often felt that they were being sidelined by officials in the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada and its leadership of so-called "Red Tories" for the last half of the twentieth century and therefore many eventually made their political home with parties such as the Social Credit Party of Canada and the Reform Party of Canada. Despite the Reform Party being dominated by social conservatives, leader Preston Manning, seeking greater national support for the party, was reluctant for the party to wholly embrace socially conservative values. This led to his deposition as leader of the party (now called Canadian Alliance) in favor of social conservative Stockwell Day. [17] The party's successor, the Conservative Party of Canada, despite having a number of socially conservative members and cabinet ministers, has chosen so far not to focus on socially conservative issues in its platform. This was most recently exemplified on two occasions in 2012 when the current Conservative Party of Canada declared they had no intention to repeal same-sex marriage or abortion laws. [18]

South Africa

Social conservatism had an important place in Apartheid South Africa ruled by the National Party. Pornography, [19] gambling [20] and other activities that were deemed undesirable were severely restricted. The majority of businesses were forbidden from doing business on Sunday. [21] Abortion was illegal, except in case of rape, and danger to the mother's life.[ citation needed ]

Despite the legalisation of same-sex marriage and polygamy, in modern-day South Africa, the population remains heteronormative on issues such as homosexuality with 80% of the population against homosexuality. [22]

United States

Social conservatism in the United States is a right-wing political ideology that opposes social progressivism. It is centered on the preservation of what adherents often call 'traditional' or 'family values', though the accepted aims of the movement often vary amongst the organisations it comprises, making it hard to generalise about ideological preferences. There are, however, a number of general principles to which at least a majority of social conservatives adhere, such as opposition to abortion and opposition to same-sex marriage.

The Republican Party is the largest political party with socially conservative ideals incorporated into its platform. Other socially conservative parties include the Constitution Party and the Prohibition Party.

Social conservatives are strongest in the South, where they are a mainstream political force with aspirations to translate those ideals using the party platform nationally. In recent decades, the supporters of social conservatism played a major role in the political coalitions of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. [23]

List of social conservative political parties

Albania

Argentina

Armenia

Australia

Austria

Bangladesh

Belgium

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Brazil

Croatia

Canada

Colombia

Costa Rica

Czech Republic

Denmark

Faroe Islands

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Hungary

Iceland

India

Indonesia

Iran

Ireland

Northern Ireland

Israel

Italy

Japan

Liechtenstein

Luxembourg

Malaysia

Mexico

Moldova

Netherlands

New Zealand

Nigeria

Norway

Pakistan

Paraguay

Philippines

Peru

Poland

Portugal

Romania

Russia

Slovakia

Slovenia

Spain

Serbia

South Africa

South Korea

Sweden

Switzerland

Turkey

United Kingdom

Northern Ireland only

United States

Social conservative factions of political parties

See also

Related Research Articles

Conservatism is a political and social philosophy promoting traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. The central tenets of conservatism include tradition, organic society, hierarchy, authority, and property rights. Conservatives seek to preserve a range of institutions such as religion, parliamentary government, and property rights, with the aim of emphasizing social stability and continuity. The more traditional elements—reactionaries—oppose modernism and seek a return to "the way things were".

The Christian right or the religious right are Christian political factions that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Christian conservatives seek to influence politics and public policy with their interpretation of the teachings of Christianity.

Christian democracy is a political ideology that emerged in 19th-century Europe under the influence of Catholic social teaching, as well as Neo-Calvinism. Christian democratic political ideology advocates for a commitment to social market principles and qualified interventionism. It was conceived as a combination of modern democratic ideas and traditional Christian values, incorporating the social teachings espoused by the Catholic, Lutheran, Reformed, and Pentecostal traditions in various parts of the world. After World War II, the Protestant and Catholic movements of the Social Gospel and Neo-Thomism, respectively, played a role in shaping Christian democracy. Christian democracy continues to be influential in Europe and Latin America, although it is also present in other parts of the world.

Political colour

Political colours are colours used to represent a political ideology, movement or party, either officially or unofficially. Parties in different countries with similar ideologies sometimes use similar colours. For example, the colour red symbolises left-wing ideologies in many countries, while the colour orange symbolizes Christian democratic political ideology, and the colour yellow is most commonly associated with liberalism and right-libertarianism.

Pro-Europeanism political ideology

Pro-Europeanism, sometimes called European Unionism, is a political position that favours European integration and membership of the European Union (EU). It includes European federalists, who seek to create a federal European Union known informally as a United States of Europe. A related term is ’Europhile’.

Liberal conservatism is a political ideology combining conservative policies with liberal stances, especially on economic, social and ethical issues, or a brand of political conservatism strongly influenced by liberalism.

This article gives information on liberalism worldwide. It is an overview of parties that adhere to some form of liberalism and is therefore a list of liberal parties around the world.

Conservative liberalism is a variant of liberalism, combining liberal values and policies with conservative stances, or simply representing the right wing of the liberal movement. It is a more positive and less radical variant of classical liberalism. Conservative liberal parties tend to combine liberal policies with more traditional stances on social and ethical issues. Neoconservatism has also been identified as an ideological relative or twin to conservative liberalism, and some similarities exist also between conservative liberalism and national liberalism.

National conservatism is a variant of conservatism common in Europe and Asia that concentrates on upholding national and cultural identity, while mixing conservative elements with purely nationalist ones.

The Democratic Party of the United States is composed of various factions, with significant overlap and enough agreement between them to coexist in one party.

LGBT conservatism refers to a socio-political movement which embraces and promotes the ideology of conservatism within an LGBT context. Gay conservatives may also refer to lesbian or gay persons with socially and economically conservative political views. The number of openly LGBT advocates for conservative policies has only become increasingly apparent since the advent of the modern LGBT civil rights movement in the 1970s while many more LGBT conservatives remain closeted in countries where other socially conservative politicians have led the most organized opposition to LGBT rights efforts as well as the backlash from liberal and left-leaning LGBT social activists. The situation and ideology for LGBT conservatives varies by each country's social and political LGBT rights climate.

Social conservatism in the United States is a political ideology focused on the preservation of traditional values and beliefs. It focuses on a concern with moral and social values which proponents of the ideology see as degraded in modern society by social democracy and liberalism.

Centre-left politics or center-left politics, also referred to as moderate-left politics, are political views that lean to the left-wing on the left–right political spectrum, but closer to the centre than other left-wing politics. Those on the centre-left believe in working within the established systems to improve social justice. The centre-left promotes a degree of social equality that it believes is achievable through promoting equal opportunity. The centre-left has promoted luck egalitarianism, which emphasizes the achievement of equality requires personal responsibility in areas in control by the individual person through their abilities and talents as well as social responsibility in areas outside control by the individual person in their abilities or talents.

References

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Bibliography

Further reading