Conservative Dispositions in Continental Thought: From Post-Revolutionary France to the Resurgence of Nationalism in the 21st Century

Pedro T. Magalhães

Research output: Conference materialsAbstractpeer-review


Conservative thinkers on the European continent have generally been less prone to compromise with political Enlightenment than their Anglo-American counterparts. If such an uncompromising stance towards the main tenets of progressive thought constituted a liability in the aftermath of the Second World War, soon their fundamental questioning of liberal principles acquired a new – and perhaps unexpected – audience among left-leaning democratic theorists and critics of modernity. Nowadays, with the resurgence of nationalism, nativism and particularistic conceptions of ‘the people’, it is safe to argue that such a thinking is far from being old news.

This panel engages in a discussion of conservative topics and thinkers from 1789 to the present. It addresses such issues as attitudes towards change, conceptions of time, sovereignty and democracy, the role of conflict, the limits of reason, and the relation between the individual and the community, as they have been interpreted and reinterpreted from conservative points of view on the European continent. In addition, close attention is paid to the links of conservative thought to late modern strands of Continental philosophy – nihilism, relativism and historicism, among others – and to its permeation by ideational components stemming from the universes of liberalism, socialism, nationalism and fascism. Methodologically, the papers draw on the resources of political philosophy, conceptual history and ideological analysis. Substantively, they assess the relevance of the Continental varieties of conservatism for – and their impact on – contemporary discussions in and beyond Europe. The main aim of the panel is to shed new light on the conservative intellectual lineages of various topical notions in today’s political disputes.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeNot Eligible
EventIPSA World Congress - Virtual
Duration: 10 Jul 202115 Jul 2021


ConferenceIPSA World Congress
Internet address

Fields of Science

  • 5171 Political Science

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