In my Ph.d-project I study the Norwegian Conservative Party from the interwar period to the mid-1960s. The thesis analyzes how the Norwegian Conservative Party adapted and developed its political ideology and ideas during a period in the 20th century, from 1930-1965 which in Norway was largely marked by the rise and success of the Labour Party and the Labour Movement, and the establishment of a social-democratic welfare state. It is thus a study of the Conservative Party in a long period as an oppositional party against the Labour Party.
The project has an explicit ideas-oriented approach to the study of politics, investigating how Conservative and liberal political ideas from Britain and Scandinavia were discussed, transmitted and adapted by the Conservative Party during this period. It traces and examines the discussions on ideas and topics such as state intervention in the economy, the emerging welfare state, international cooperation and human Rights, and asks how these ideas and concepts have been disseminated by Conservative politicians within the Norwegian political sphere.
Secondly, the thesis examines the emerging transnational party cooperation between Nordic Conservative parties, and the Nordic and European Conservative and Christian democratic parties during the period 1945-1965. It studies Norway’s Conservative Party’s role within these political networks, and how the party developed and changed its attitude towards such cooperation in tandem with European integration processes. Thirdly, the thesis studies the arenas for intellectual- and ideological debates within the party.