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A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central EuropeVolume I: Negotiating Modernity in the 'Long Nineteenth Century'$
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Balázs Trencsényi, Maciej Janowski, Monika Baar, Maria Falina, and Michal Kopecek

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737148.001.0001

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Liberals, Conservatives, and Mass Politics

Liberals, Conservatives, and Mass Politics

(p.395) 10 Liberals, Conservatives, and Mass Politics
A History of Modern Political Thought in East Central Europe

Balázs Trencsényi

Maciej Janowski

Mónika Baár

Maria Falina

Michal Kopeček

Oxford University Press

The mass politics emerging at the turn of the century brought a reconfiguration of liberal and conservative thought. As for the liberals, the possible directions of change seemed to involve either a move closer to the nationalists, or toward the socialists. The third option was to reject this alternative, creating a sort of liberal–conservative synthesis. Simultaneously, the conservatives also became conscious that the social transformation presented them with new dangers, but also with opportunities. One can identify two basic trajectories of change: integral nationalism connected elements of positivist, Social Darwinist, and neo-Romantic thought, while reform conservatism took some ideas from classical liberalism, mixing it with the social reformism of the German Katheder-Sozialisten. However, neither the liberals nor the conservatives managed to retain their intellectual dominance and their political survival eventually depended mostly on their willingness to assume a radical nationalist position, which in many ways contradicted their ideological heritage.

Keywords:   democratization, mass politics, universal suffrage, liberalism, social question, etatism, conservatism, radical right, integral nationalism, Social Darwinism, political Catholicism

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