"My motivation for writing a book called Using Political Ideas originally was, and still is, the belief that ideas underpin and animate political debate and action, even when it mainly seems to operate on the basis of rhetoric and spin. I think that we all need a clear understanding of ideas and their ideological underpinnings to help us evaluate and discuss political issues; we specially need this clarity as a basis for effective political interaction and political activism."
The purpose of the book is to introduce students to ideologies in an analytical and critical way and, second, to suggest how they should investigate political ideas and concepts in the context of those ideologies. This approach of combining the analysis of both ideas and ideologies distinguishes this book from some other contemporary texts, which tend to focus on one or the other.
Using Political Ideas has sold some 50,000 copies since first publication and has been used widely in universities at all levels of undergraduate study and for some postgraduate courses; it is also often used for A level Politics teaching.
A new edition, the sixth, is needed because politics does not stand still. There are always new controversies and ideological conflicts and the climate of discussion changes. For example, in the light of growing extreme right-wing politics in parts of Europe (including Britain) it is important to look in more detail at the ideas which galvanized fascists in the 1930s - ideas which are being revived in the context of multicultural societies. Religious fundamentalism is also growing in strength and some of its adherents directly oppose the liberal-democratic tradition. So fundamentalism and fascism are discussed at some length in the new chapter on authoritarian ideologies.
This edition contains a number of new learning features in this edition: key definitions appear in text boxes and the most important terms and concepts are concisely explained in the text itself. There is also a comprehensive glossary at the end of the book. Each chapter concludes with a list of further reading recommendations and a list of questions for discussion, which are intended to be useful for debates in class and may also form the basis of written assignments.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationChichester, England
Number of pages453
ISBN (Electronic)9781118818299
ISBN (Print)9781118708385
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

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