1st Edition

Ideologies in Action Morphological Adaptation and Political Ideas

Edited By Mathew Humphrey, David Laycock, Maiken Umbach Copyright 2020
    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    120 Pages
    by Routledge

    Ideologies in Action: Morphological Adaptation and Political Ideas explores how political ideas move across geographical, social and chronological boundaries.

    Focusing on North American and European case studies ranging from populist tax revolts through parenting advice manuals to online learning environments, the contributors propose new methods for understanding how political entrepreneurs, intellectuals and ordinary citizens deploy and redefine ideologies. All of these groups are consumers of ideology, drawing on pre-existing, transnational ideological concepts and narratives in order to make sense of the world. They are also all producers of ideology, adapting and reconfiguring ideological material to support their own political aims, desires and policy objectives. In doing so, they combine common conceptual elements – interpretations of freedom, order, national identity, democracy, community or equality – with sentiments and imaginations deeply embedded in cultural and social practice. To render these ideological practices intelligible, the contributors to this volume blend conceptual morphology, which emphasizes how meaning emerges in and through connections between political ideas, with close readings of the vernacular and experiential dimensions of ideologies in action.

    This book offers new insights into how ideologies in varied social and political settings can be decoded, and challenges hierarchical distinctions between ideological ‘producers’ and ‘consumers’. The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Political Ideologies.

    Introduction, Mathew Humphrey, David Laycock and Maiken Umbach
    1. The political is personal: an analysis of crowd-sourced political ideas and images from a Massive Open Online Course, Mathew Humphrey, Maiken Umbach, and Zeynep Clulow
    2. Cross-border influences or parallel developments? A process-tracing approach to the development of social conservatism in Canada and the US, Jim Farney
    3. Tax revolts, direct democracy and representation: populist politics in the US and Canada, David Laycock
    4. Inventing America, again, Howard Brick
    5. Democratic babies? Françoise Dolto, Benjamin Spock and the ideology of post-war parenting advice, Richard Bates


    Mathew Humphrey is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Nottingham, UK, and co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies. His books include Ecological Politics and Democratic Theory and Authenticity: The Cultural History of a Political Concept.

    David Laycock is Professor of Political Science at Simon Fraser University, Canada. His books include The New Right and Democracy in Canada and Political Ideology in Parties, Policy and Civil Society: Interdisciplinary Insights.

    Maiken Umbach is Professor of Modern History at the University of Nottingham, UK. Her books include Private Life and Privacy in Nazi Germany, Photography, Migration, and Identity: a German-Jewish-American Story and Authenticity: the Cultural History of a Political Concept.