The Role of Ideas in Political Analysis: A Portrait of Contemporary Debates, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

The Role of Ideas in Political Analysis

A Portrait of Contemporary Debates, 1st Edition

Edited by Andreas Gofas, Colin Hay


224 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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Despite the proliferation of ideational accounts in the last decade or so, the debate over the role of ideas remains caught up in a series of disputes over the ontological foundations, epistemological status and practical pay-off of the (re)turn to ideational explanations. It is thus unsurprising that there is still little clarity about just what sort of an approach an ideational approach is and about what it would take to establish the kind of fully-fledged ideational research programme many seem to assume has already been developed.

The contributors in this volume address these dilemmas in diverse but engagingly complementary ways. They argue that what plagues most attempts to accord ideas an explanatory role is the persistence of the perennial dualities in political analysis. In aspiring to eschew the current vogue for dualistic polemic, the present volume reveals elements of dualistic thinking in the ideational turn and assesses the impact of the persistence of these perennial dualisms in the attempt to accord ideas an explanatory role.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION The Ideational Turn and the Persistence of Perennial Dualisms Andreas Gofas and Colin Hay PART I: REFLECTIONS ON THE IDEATIONAL TURN 1. Varieties of Ideational Explanations Andreas Gofas and Colin Hay 2. Ideational Analysis, Political Change and Immanent Causality Lars Tønder 3. Everyday Legitimacy and Institutional Change Leonard Seabrooke PART II: IDEAS, DISCOURSES AND POLICY ANALYSIS 4. Narratives of Neoliberalism: The Role of Everyday Media Practices and the Reproduction of Dominant Ideas David Hudson and Mary Martin 5. Beyond the Rationalist Bias: On the Ideational Construction of Risk Oliver Kessler 6. Examining Ideas Empirically: The Political Discourse of Globalization in Ireland Nicola Jo-Anne Smith PART III: RESPONSES 7. Some Reflections on Ideas, Ontology, and Where We Go Next Mark Blyth and Vivien Schmidt 8. On Setting and Upsetting Agendas: Blyth on Gofas & Hay, Tønder, and Seabrooke Mark Blyth 9.On Putting Ideas into Perspective: Schmidt on Kessler, Martin & Hudson, and Smith Vivien Schmidt

About the Editors

Andreas Gofas is a Lecturer in International Relations at Panteion University in Athens, Greece.

Colin Hay is Professor of Political Analysis at the University of Sheffield.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Globalisation

The Routledge Studies in Globalisation series is edited by André Broome (University of Warwick, UK) and Leonard Seabrooke (Copenhagen Business School, Denmark).

Based in the Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation at the University of Warwick (, the Routledge Studies in Globalisation series examines key questions related to the theory and practice of globalisation and regionalisation. The Series has an interdisciplinary focus and publishes research that is methodologically and theoretically rigorous and which advances knowledge about the changing dynamics of globalisation and regionalisation, global governance and global order, and global civil society.

Associate Editors:

Shaun Breslin, University of Warwick, UK

Sophie Harman, Queen Mary University of London, UK

Richard Higgott, University of Warwick, UK

Manuela Moschella, Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy

Helen Nesadurai, Monash University, Malaysia

Andreas Nölke, Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory