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    A comprehensive exploration of the meaning and function of ideology, and a survey of the political ideologies that have shaped and continue to shape our world, including liberalism, socialism, anarchism, populism and conservatism.

    Even as political ideologies are common features of political discourse and practice they are often used unreflectively and as a general term of abuse. This paper will critically explore the ways in which ideologies operate, evolve and organize political life. It will offer a survey of the dynamics and contours at work within specific ideologies. This will include more mainstream ideologies, such as those of liberalism, nationalism and conservatism; those that have been gaining increasing prominence in contemporary politics, such as populism, feminism and ecologism, and those which have had important – and potentially recurring – historical importance, such as fascism, communism and anarchism. Finally, it will reflect on the status of ideologies as persistent aspects of politics, asking whether ideologies are the kind of thing politics can, or even hope to, transcend.

    About this paper

    Paper title Political Ideologies
    Subject Politics
    EFTS 0.1500
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    One 100-level POLS paper or 72 points
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music

    Teaching staff

    Dr David Jenkins


    (provisional) Andrew Vincent, 2009, Modern Political Ideologies. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised

    Scholarship, Critical thinking, Communication, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

    Learning Outcomes

    This paper will help students:

    • Explain and assess the role of political ideas and ideologies in contemporary political life.
    • Understand the histories and development of the major political ideologies.
    • Critically analyze and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of these ideologies.
    • Make and defend effective arguments in political theory.


    Not offered in 2024

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system
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