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April 25, 2018 / C H Thompson

New Right social theory

  • New Right theory views people as free individuals able to make informed choices through market signals, eg maketisation, parentocracy and school league tables.
  • New Right ideas stress the importance of this individual responsibility rather than relying on the state eg private welfare provision.
  • Such a policy allowed Mrs Thatcher to introduce the principle of cuts in welfare provision which has accelerated since 2010
  • New Right thinkers question the value of so much state welfare and instead prefer the state to encourage self-reliance instead of welfare dependence
  • By rolling-back the state people will have greater individual freedom by having to pay less taxes, because the state has been ‘rolled-back’

Continues to more detail, or read evaluative points below.


  • New Right ideas have been used to solve real social problems such as CCTV in crime prevention strategies and improved street lighting to reduce crime levels in certain areas. However, critics argue these methods don’t solve the causes of crime, and instead displaces crime to other less wealthy areas eg Zones of Transition
  • New Right social theory is not seen as a real or coherent social theory because they never support their ideas with empirical evidence.
  • Some commentators argue New Right theory is too politically driven to be objective (strong links with Conservative Party)
  • New Right’s emphasis on traditional values mean it resists social change

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