Ideology is one of the most controversial terms in the political vocabulary, inciting both revulsion and inspiration. This book explains why ideologies deserve respect as a major form of political thinking, without which we cannot make sense of the political world. The reader is introduced to their vitality and force, utilizing insights from a range of disciplines, and through examining the arguments of the main ideologies.
This book, though physically small, is large in intellectual stature...For students of politics or lay readers wishing to know about ideology, one could not wish for a better text. It is a splendid model of consicison and clarity...an excellent little book that provides the best introduction available to the 'concept of ideology.' It is to be highly recommended.
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 is the 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.