- Robert Garner
This chapter examines a range of contemporary ideologies which challenge the traditional ones. Contemporary ideologies differ from traditional ideologies in a number of ways. First, they are less optimistic about the ability of ideology to construct an overarching explanation of the world. Second, they respect difference and variety, a product of social and economic change that has eroded the ‘Fordist’ economy, gave rise to a number of powerful identity groups based on gender, culture, and ethnicity, and raised question marks over the environmental sustainability of current industrial practices. The chapter starts with a discussion of Francis Fukuyama's ‘end of history’ thesis that declares the triumph of liberalism. It then considers a number of contemporary ideologies such as postmodernism, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism. It argues that these ideologies represent a challenge to the state.