The PSA Conservatism Studies Group aims to encourage the creation and dissemination of high-quality research on all aspects of conservatives and conservatism.

We also aim to create a sense of identity and common purpose among those interested in a part of the political spectrum that has attracted far less scholarly interest than its obvious electoral and philosophical importance merits, and to that end we take a supportive approach in order to encourage engagement with conservatives and conservatism studies across the many levels of academic development.

Conservatism is one of the oldest and most influential philosophical positions in the world. In the UK, the Conservative Party is the most successful but probably the least studied major party in British politics. Similarly, conservative political thought and the ideology of the centre-right has been somewhat neglected relative to the left of the political spectrum. The PSA specialist group for the study of Conservative politics and conservatism (C&C) was set up in late-2008 by Professor Tim Bale (the first convenor) as a much-needed step towards addressing these deficiencies. This was a timely decision as conservatism and the Conservative Party were seeking to renew themselves in anticipation of a return to government at the national level, leading to heightened scholarly and public interest in the subject. The result of the 2010 general election ensured the continuing centrality of this field of academic enquiry to the study of British politics and public policy.

The advent of Brexit and the Trump presidential campaign demonstrate how conservative politics has significant potential to impact. These recent events highlight the importance of research in the area of conservatives and conservatism.

The PSA Conservatism Studies Group is a supportive collection of thinkers dedicated to encouraging the creation and dissemination of high-quality research on all aspects of conservatives and conservatism.

In October 2016, the group announced its new team.

New convenors Dr Anthony Ridge-Newman, Lecturer at the University of Roehampton; and Dr Alan Convery, Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, have published extensively on conservative politics.

Anthony’s two monographs, with Palgrave Macmillan, analyse the role of new media in Conservative Party change across distinct periods in its history.

Alan’s work on the Scottish and Welsh Conservatives includes a recent book on devolution and party change with Manchester University Press.

The convenors are supported by publicity and communications officer Nina Rogers, Liverpool Hope, and treasurer David Jeffery, University of Liverpool.

The new team have a range of fresh ideas for the group.

These include developing opportunities for research impact and knowledge exchange between scholars, political actors, conservative parties and think tanks.

While maintaining the group’s traditions, the new team sees an opportunity to expand the scope of the group and broaden the understanding of what conservatism is.

It is an interesting time to be studying conservatism, which is not only changing in the UK and US, but also across Europe and other regions of the world.

Less obvious political actors, like, for example, the conservative wings of religious organisations, can play roles in influencing agendas and public policy. Moreover, the powerful conservative media conglomerates are thought to dominate global discourse. These examples alone provide opportunities for much need analysis.

The group aims to take a supportive approach in order to encourage engagement with conservatives and conservatism studies across the many levels of academic development.

If you would like to join the group and be added to the mailing list, please contact the convenors: and/or


The Group Constitution


The Group shall be called the PSA Conservatism Studies Group (CSG)

(First Amendment, group name change, 9 May 2018 – previously known as: The UK Political Studies Association Conservatives and Conservatism Specialist Group)



The objectives of the Group are:


  1. To bring together and create a stronger sense of identity and common purpose among those political scientists, political theorists, historians and other scholars who currently study the ideas and practices of conservatism, and to encourage those who may want to do so in the future.
  2. To organise specialist group panels at the PSA Annual
  3. To encourage and facilitate the creation and dissemination of high quality research on all aspects of conservatism (theoretical and empirical) through a web presence and by specialist conferences and
  4. To encourage a comparative as well as a British dimension to the study of conservative politics and



Membership shall be open to all members of the UK Political Studies Association (PSA) and others with an active research and/or teaching interest in conservative politics, broadly defined.

Membership of the Group will normally be open by right to full members of the PSA. Specialist group membership for non-PSA members will be at the discretion of the Convenor(s).



The group shall have a minimum of two and a maximum of five Officers. At least one Officer will be elected as Convenor of the group, although the role of Convenor can also be held jointly.

The Convenor(s) and other Officers will hold office for three years and shall be elected by a vote among the members of the group, conducted either at the group’s AGM or by electronic means (for example via e-mail). To ensure impartiality in the event of an electronic ballot, an individual not standing for election (for example a retiring Officer) must be appointed to act as a returning officer for the election.


The roles and titles of the other Officers of the Group will be determined by the Convenor(s) in consultation with the other elected Officer(s). Such roles might include Publicity Officer, Events Officer, Treasurer, or Secretary.

The Convenor(s) and other Officers of the Group shall be eligible for re-election. All Officers of the Group must be full paid up members of the PSA.

Officers of the Group will at all times act with integrity, and in accordance with the rules and objectives of the PSA.



Records shall be kept by the Convenor(s) and/or other delegated Officer(s) of the Group. These records will include minutes of any meetings and the annual report. A current membership list shall be maintained. An annual report will be compiled by the Convenor(s) and submitted to the PSA each year. The annual report will be made available to any member of the PSA that requests it.


Vacation of office

The Convenor(s) and other Officer(s) of the Group shall vacate his or her office upon resignation; upon the instruction of the PSA Executive Committee, as agreed and recorded at a meeting of that Committee; or upon dismissal by resolution of a general meeting of the Group.



The Group shall normally hold at least one annual meeting. Meetings can be held, at the discretion of the Convenor(s), using telephony or other electronic media instead of an actual gathering. The annual general meeting shall be held during the PSA annual conference each year or at another time, at the discretion of the Convenor(s). At least two weeks’ notice of an annual general meeting shall be given. Other general meetings shall be called at the discretion of the Convenor(s) or at the written request of no fewer than six members of the Group. Notice of at least seven clear days shall be given.



Applications by the Group to the PSA and/or to other organisations for grants of money shall be made at the discretion of the Convenor(s).

The Convenor(s) and Officer(s) of the Group are responsible for ensuring that the financial resources of the Group are used to further its objectives, as laid out in this constitution. Appropriate uses may include, but are not limited to, the organisation conferences, workshops, lectures or other symposia (including costs related to travel, accommodation, subsistence, hospitality etc); grants for PhD students, Early Career Researchers, or other scholars who may be financially disadvantaged to enable their participation at such events or at the PSA Annual Conference; publicity costs related to Group activities; website maintenance; the award of an annual prize.

The Convenor(s) of the group must keep accurate financial records, and as part of the annual report to the PSA will account for the Group’s expenditure.

On vacating office, the Convenor(s) of the Group shall hand over the records to his or her duly elected successor.

Only PSA members are eligible to receive funding from the Group for any activity. If a conference or other event is organised for which a fee is charged, normally non-PSA members will be charged a higher fee.



The Group will normally award a prize or prizes totalling a value of up to £100 for the best publication(s) on conservatism/conservative politics in the previous year. The prize will be judged by the Convenor(s), or they may delegate the task to suitably qualified members of the Group. The judging panel will consist of at least two people. No Officers of the Group, and no members of the

judging panel, will be eligible for a prize. In the event that the prize winner is not a paid-up member of the PSA, the cash prize will not be paid (in accordance with the principle that only PSA members are eligible to receive funding from the group).



The Group shall maintain a website to publicise its activities and disseminate relevant information to members.



(Second Amendment, new partnership, 9 May 2018)

The PSA Conservatism Studies Group will work in partnership with the related, but separate, Tory Research Impact Network (TRIN) Committee at the discretion of the TRIN chair(s) and the CSG convenor(s). The future convenor(s) of the PSA Conservatism Studies Group shall be entitled to a place on the TRIN committee at the discretion of the TRIN chair(s). The chair position(s) of the TRIN Committee is/are ongoing until the incumbent resigns (or becomes incapacitated) and the TRIN Committee elects a new chair from the TRIN.

PSA Constitution

The Group shall be governed by the appropriate clauses of the PSA constitution with regard to any matter not covered by this constitution.


Amendment of the Constitution

This constitution may be amended or altered only by a resolution supported by two-thirds of the members present and voting at a general meeting, provided that no alteration shall contravene any part of the PSA’s Constitution.   This constitution shall be made available to all members of the

Group on request, and posted on the Group’s website.