File(s) not publicly available
From Georges Sorel to Peter Costello: Peter Coleman and the Making of Australian Liberal Conservatism
journal contributionposted on 2023-02-14, 03:42 authored by Geoffrey RobinsonGeoffrey Robinson
Peter Coleman was the most significant intellectual advocate of a liberal-conservative politics in Australia from the mid-twentieth century well into the early twenty-first century. His worldview drew upon John Anderson, Michael Oakeshott, and Georges Sorel rather than Edmund Burke or John Stuart Mill. Coleman's work demonstrates that Australian liberal-conservatism is not a coalition but a fusion in which liberal and conservative concepts were translated into a programme for political action. Coleman argued that neoconservatism, in particular the examples of Irving Kristol and Edward Shils, best represented this fusion, but Coleman was also drawn to the traditionalist conservatism of James McAuley. This article applies a morphological approach, as pioneered by Michael Freeden, to the analysis of Coleman's ideological position and focuses on his understandings of liberty, order, and progress. It not only draws upon Coleman's Masters' dissertation upon Sorel, his published writings, parliamentary speeches, but also considers his performance as a government minister and Liberal Party leader in New South Wales and his influence upon Peter Costello.