Behavioural thatcherism and nostalgia: tracing the everyday consequences of holding thatcherite values
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AbstractWith the passing of time and the benefit of hindsight there is, again, growing interest in Thatcherism – above all in its substantive and enduring legacy. But, to date at least, and largely due to data limitations, little of that work has focussed on tracing the behavioural consequences, at the individual level, of holding Thatcherite values. That oversight we seek both to identify more clearly and to begin to address. Deploying new survey data, we use multiple linear regression and structural equation modelling to unpack the relationship between ‘attitudinal’ and ‘behavioural’ Thatcherism. In the process we reveal the considerably greater behavioural consequences of holding neo-liberal, as distinct from neo-conservative, values whilst identifying the key mediating role played by social, political and economic nostalgia. We find that neo-liberal values are positively associated with Behavioural Thatcherism, whilst neo-conservative values are negatively associated with Behavioural Thatcherism. In exploring the implications we also reveal some intriguing interaction effects between economic nostalgia and neo-conservative values in the centre-left vote for Brexit. In the conclusion we reflect on the implications of these findings for our understanding of the legacy of Thatcherism and, indeed, for Brexit itself.
CitationFarrall, S., Hay, C., Gray, E. and Jones, P. J., (2020). 'Behavioural Thatcherism and nostalgia: tracing the everyday consequences of holding Thatcherite Values'. British Politics, pp. 1-21. DOI: 10.1057/s41293-019-00130-7.