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
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- One 100-level POLS paper or 72 points
- Schedule C
- Arts and Music
- Teaching staff
(provisional) Andrew Vincent, 2009, Modern Political Ideologies. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
- Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Scholarship, Critical thinking, Communication, Research, Self-motivation.
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- 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.