1st Edition

Ideology Studies New Advances and Interpretations

By Michael Freeden Copyright 2022
    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    218 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book comprehensively collects the thinking - over the last 25 years - of one the most important contemporary scholars in the field of ideology studies.

    Clearly organised, it expounds on the changing nature of the sub-discipline, its components and methods of investigation. As such, it serves the need for a general, well-informed identification and elaboration of thematic possibilities in current ideology studies and represents the most developed and productive methodological approach to the study of ideologies in the last three decades. Freeden presents ideology studies as an evolving and vibrant field, encountering and surmounting a series of challenges in its successful path towards recognition as a fully legitimate and respected branch of political theory.

    This book will be of key interest to students and scholars of political ideologies, political theory, political philosophy and more broadly to sociology, political science, anthropology, human geography, international studies and the humanities.


    Part 1: Staking out the macro-agenda


    1. Ideology and political theory

    2. What is special about ideologies?

    3. Fundaments and foundations in ideology

    Part 2: Unfolding vistas and paradigms


    4. Interpretative realism and prescriptive realism

    5. The ‘political turn’ in political theory

    6. The resurgence of ideology studies: Twenty years of the JPI

    7. The coming realignment in ideology studies

    Part 3: Boundaries and intersections


    8. The ‘beginning of ideology’ thesis

    9. Ideologies and conceptual history

    10. Emotions, ideology, and politics

    11. What fails in ideologies?

    12. On pluralism through the prism of ideology

    Part 4: Lived ideology


    13. The politics of ceremony: The Wootton Bassett phenomenon

    14. After the Brexit referendum: Revisiting populism as an ideology

    15. Liberalism in the limelight

    16. Loose talk costs … nothing: The rise of the ideolonoids

    17. Democracy dis-integrated: The current conceptual confusion


    Michael Freeden is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford and Emeritus Professorial Fellow at Mansfield College Oxford, UK.

    "Michael Freeden has brought a depth, analytical rigour and conceptual creativity to the study of political ideologies that is unrivalled. His latest book brings together a series of immensely original essays from the last two decades. These chart the development of his own interpretative thinking in these years, and include fertile reflections on some of the key trends, debates and concerns at the heart of the wider, inter-disciplinary field of ideology studies."

    Michael Kenny, University of Cambridge, UK

    "In this magisterial survey of the concept, Freeden explodes the widespread assumption that ideology is mere false consciousness and delusion. Guiding us skilfully through myriad debates on the topic, he develops a distinctive account of ideology not as a negative force but as a generative, creative one that galvanises political thinking. His case studies of ideology-in-action are fascinating stand-alone analyses of pressing political issues as well as staking out an important research agenda for political theorists in the future. This is a rich, thought-provoking and indispensable book."

    Lois McNay, University of Oxford, UK

    "What is the relation between a system of thought and political power? For decades Michael Freeden has addressed this question by developing a philosophically sophisticated and theoretically rigorous program for the political analysis of ideology. In both form and content this book offers the most accessible exposition of Freeden’s capacious approach to the study of ideological thinking as a mode of political thinking. It is a major research contribution with the virtue that it can be taught and read in undergraduate and graduate classrooms alike."

    Davide Panagia, UCLA, USA, and Co-Editor of Political Theory

    "Written by the leading scholar of political ideologies in the world today, this seminal collection of essays ranges from brilliant philosophical reflections on the power of ideas to timely assessments of recent political developments such as the resurgence of national populism in the age of Brexit. Michael Freeden's 'Greatest Hits' will define the field of ideology studies for many years to come."

    Manfred B. Steger, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, USA, and Western Sydney University, Australia