Ideology: A Very Short Introduction

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Ideology is one of the most controversial terms in the political vocabulary, exciting both revulsion and inspiration. This book examines the reasons for those views, and explains why ideologies deserve respect as a major form of political thinking. It investigates the centrality of ideology both as a political phenomenon and as an organizing framework of political thought and action. It explores the changing understandings of ideology as a concept, and the arguments of the main ideologies. By employing the latest insights from a range of disciplines, the reader is introduced to the vitality and force of a crucial resource at the disposal of societies, through which sense and purpose is assigned to the political world. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

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Personally I find the VSI series to be among the best of the "short introduction" formats available out there. Rather than oversimplification or reducing ideas to a comic strip format (as opposed even ... Read full review

Review: Ideology: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #95)

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A clear and short path for understanding Ideology! Read full review


1 Should ideologies be illreputed?
how ideologies came to stay
3 Ideology at the crossroads of theory
4 The struggle over political language
the new boys on the block
the macroideologies
the microideologies
8 Discursive realities and surrealities
seeing and feeling ideology
why politics cant do without ideology
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About the author (2003)

Michael Freeden is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Nottingham and Emeritus Professor of Politics, University of Oxford. His books include The New Liberalism: An Ideology of Social Reform (Oxford, 1978); Liberalism Divided: A Study in British Political Thought 1914-1939 (Oxford, 1986); Ideologies and Political Theory: A Conceptual Approach (Oxford, 1996); Ideology: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford, 2003);Liberal Languages: Ideological Imaginations and 20th Century Progressive Thought (Princeton, 2005); The Political Theory of Political Thinking (Oxford, 2013), and The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies (co-edited, Oxford, 2013). He isthe founder-editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies. In 2012 he was awarded the Sir Isaiah Berlin Prize for Lifetime Contribution to Political Studies by the UK Political Studies Association and the Medal for Science of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Bologna University.

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