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.
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