Ideology is one of the most controversial terms in the political vocabulary, exciting both revulsion and inspiration. This book examines the reasons for those views, and explains why ideologies deserve respect as a major form of political thinking. It investigates the centrality of ideology both as a political phenomenon and as an organizing framework of political thought and action. It explores the changing understandings of ideology as a concept, and the arguments of the main ideologies. By employing the latest insights (...) from a range of disciplines, the reader is introduced to the vitality and force of a crucial resource at the disposal of societies, through which sense and purpose is assigned to the political world. (shrink)
The chapter examines the recent approach to ideology as an actual and ubiquitous combination of decontested political concepts, whose micro-morphological arrangements are the key to the specific meaning each ideological family contains. Shifting proximities and relative weights accorded to those concepts produce multiple ideological variants. Ideologies are pivotal to the discipline of political theory, discernible both in professional and vernacular thinking, and serve as discursive competitions over the control of public political language. Notions of essential contestability, theories of symbolic mapping, (...) and a focus on actual rather than normative political thinking shed light on their semantic significance. Ideologies are permanent phenomena ranging from the flexible to the rigid, and the boundaries that seem to separate one ideology from another may be loose and mutating, challenging the traditional association of ideologies with political parties. In parallel, the study of ideology involves decoding and interpretation, not its juxtaposition with truth. (shrink)
Recent years have witnessed a resurgence of the "end of ideology" thesis, not as a theoretical stance but as a reaction to what appears to have been the decline of major ideological families, such as socialism, in a changing world order. Globalization, as well as internal national fragmentation of belief systems, have made it difficult to identify ideology in its conventional formats. This volume challenges the notion that we are living in a post-ideological age. It offers a theoretical framework for (...) exploring some of the new manifestations of ideologies, and combines this with a series of case-studies relating to recent ideational phenomena, such as populism, environmentalism and Islamic fundamentalism. It reassesses some typologies, such as the left-right axis, as an explanatory device. This volume is unique in using ideology research to bring together different scholarly perspectives including party-political analysis, the history of ideas, postmarxism, and movement politics. The purpose of the essays is to revitalize the scholarly understanding of ideology as central to the concerns of political science. Recent political movements are reinterpreted through using new approaches to the analysis of ideology. In so doing we seek to bridge the gap between empirical and theoretical research in the field. This book was previously published as a special issue of The Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy. (shrink)
Ideologies are still very much in evidence, although some of their configurations are novel. Their denial typifies utopian and neutralist approaches, but those are instances of misrecognition. Liberal epistemology (as distinct from liberal theory) has contributed to an awareness of ideological diversity, but also to the possibility of choice among ideologies, as items of eclectic ? and occasionally inventive ? consumption. Pluralism may hence become fragmentation, albeit a constrained one. Liberalism also encourages uncertainty and multiple future paths, endorsing the impermanence (...) and non?doctrinaire nature of much contemporary political thinking. The mass media, social movements and networks, and popular political language have disseminated new vehicles and forms of ideology, and the notion of a ?post?ideological? age is itself a masking device. Ideologies mutate regularly, their boundaries are porous, and ideological delocalization is countered by cultural decentralization. Yet the fragility of particular ideological arrangements must not be confused with ideological fragility in general. (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between the fields of moral and political philosophy and the study of ideology. It begins by addressing a number of reservations philosophers usually have regarding the scholarly status of ideology research. It then proceeds to highlight the distinct style of philosophical inquiry, namely, its seamless continuity between the study of philosophy and the arguments it examines, which contrasts with the professional language of the study of ideologies, clearly distinguished from that of ideologues. The paper then (...) presents a conceptual perspective for the study of ideologies that complements the contributions from moral and political philosophy. Arguably, moral and political philosophy and ideology studies can fruitfully share methods and insights. (shrink)
After examining different liberal narratives and suggesting that liberalism is open to a range of legitimate methodologies, the fluidity of liberalism is offered as a basis for a study in comparative political thought. Ten propositions on liberalism's structural and semantic features are listed and brought to bear on its adaptations, appropriations and misappropriations in Europe. They are tested in relation to various combinations of liberal components within and outside the family of liberalisms. Different views about the role of the state (...) in Eastern and Western Europe are considered, as is the distinction between constitutional and welfare liberalism in Western Europe. Individual development versions are contrasted with market versions, and the problematic role of civil society is discussed. Finally, some misappropriations are explored with a view to assessing their claims to represent liberal positions. European liberalism emerges as a loosely assembled yet durable ideology around a strong core of value-commitments. (shrink)
J. A. Hobson was one of the most influential social, economic and political theorists of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Britain. In this volume, first published in 1990, eight scholars reassess the importance and relevance of his work today and affirm him as a major British thinker. These original studies place Hobson in context by explaining his intellectual antecedents: Cobden, Ruskin, nineteenth-century social and psychological theories and economic thought. The book provides an overview of the novelty and incisiveness of Hobson's (...) contribution to British liberal theory and radical practice. Historians, economists, social and political theorists and students of international affairs will find this an important book for a fuller understanding of early twentieth-century British progressive thought. (shrink)
This book is a high-level examination of each of the major ideologies that have shaped political thinking, action and conflict. Each chapter provides a critical overview of the current state of the major ideologies and a retrospective assessment of the strengths, weaknesses, developments and transformations of these ideologies over the past century. The volume poses a strong challenge to those who have loudly proclaimed the "end of ideology", by demonstrating that it is impossible to understand current political developments without an (...) appreciation of their ideological context. It features internationally respected contributors who are authorities in their fields, and will be an invaluable resource for both students and specialists in areas including Politics and International Relations. (shrink)
This Oxford Handbook will be the definitive study of political ideologies for years to come. The diversity of ideology studies is represented by a mixture of the range of theories that illuminate the field, combined with an appreciation of the changing complexity of concrete ideologies and the emergence of new ones.
This is the first comprehensive volume to offer a state of the art investigation both of the nature of political ideologies and of their main manifestations. The diversity of ideology studies is represented by a mixture of the range of theories that illuminate the field, combined with an appreciation of the changing complexity of concrete ideologies and the emergence of new ones. Ideologies, however, are always with us.