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Chapter

Cover Politics

8. Ideologies  

This chapter considers a range of traditional and contemporary ideologies. Traditional ideologies are associated with the Enlightenment and have had a significant impact on the development of world politics in the last 200 years. The claims of the traditional ideologies are challenged by more contemporary ideologies; the latter should therefore be seen in the context of growing scepticism about the utility of Enlightenment ideologies. The chapter first describes the general characteristics of an ideology before discussing traditional ideologies such as liberalism, socialism, conservatism, and fascism. It also examines contemporary ideologies, namely: feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism. The chapter argues that contemporary ideologies represent a challenge to the state, as seen in the greater emphasis on the supranational dimension observed, in particular, in multiculturalism, environmentalism, and religious fundamentalism.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies  

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 and given 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 general discussion of how the ideologies covered in this chapter differ from those considered in Chapter 6 before examining a number of contemporary ideologies—postmodernism, feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism—in detail.

Chapter

Cover Introduction to Politics

7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies  

Robert Garner

This chapter examines a range of contemporary ideologies which challenge the traditional ones identified in ~Chapter 5. They differ from traditional ideologies in a number of ways. They are, first, less optimistic about the ability of ideologies to construct an overarching explanation of the world, not surprisingly since they emerged in the aftermath of the catastrophic impact of some traditional ideologies. They also respect difference and variety. This is a product of social and economic change which has eroded the ‘Fordist’ economy, brought into being a number of powerful identity groups based on gender, culture, and ethnicity, and raised question marks over the environmental sustainability of current industrial practices. Two modern political currents – postmodernism and populism – are considered and it is questioned whether they can be properly described as ideologies. The chapter then considers a number of contemporary ideologies such as feminism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and religious fundamentalism.