New Political Thought: An Introduction

New Political Thought: An Introduction

New Political Thought: An Introduction

New Political Thought: An Introduction

Synopsis

A guide through the maze of contemporary political thought, consisting of an introductory essay, a glossary and examinations of: Conservatism and the New Right (by Mike Harris), Marxism and post-Marxism (David Howarth), Socialism and Social Democracy (Tony Fitzpatrick), The Christian Right (Martin Durham), Contemporary Liberalism (Matthew Festenstein), Communitarianism (Elizabeth Frazer), Green Politics (John Barry), Postmodernism (Simon Thompson) Feminism (Moya Lloyd) and Islamic Thought (Phil Marfleet).

Excerpt

Those who are new to the study of political thought may be surprised to know that there has been a long-running debate within academia about the end of ideology. Since the 1950s, some have argued that ideological confrontation has died out to be replaced by limited technocratic disputes over problem-solving in industrial societies, or, alternatively, a triumphant and global liberal democracy. As this book hopes to show, you are right to be surprised. This volume contains a wide, vibrant and original range of ideas in fierce competition for influence over our lives – not a hint of a dead ideology. Twenty years ago, perhaps, one could have rejected religious fundamentalism, green thought, communitarianism, postmodernism and feminism as the concern only of fringe groups or the academic community but today these are the ideas without which our current world of politics would be unrecognisable. Such a rapid growth in influence for such new streams of thought provides concrete, practical evidence that ideology is far from dead.

Furthermore, despite the claims of Bell and friends to the contrary, these new ideological streams do challenge the very fundamentals of our social and political lives. Indeed the following chapters signify a considerable change in the agenda of debate for political thinkers. New political thought is not new simply in the sense of being recent, it is also new in that it deals with issues and ideas unrecognised and highly challenging to older traditions. Ironically, if any one ideology suffers most at the hands of these new ideological streams, it is liberal democracy itself. To put it simply, many of the concepts which the majority of post-Enlightenment political thought took for granted are now open to debate. Thus, not only is ideology still very much alive, but it seems to have undergone something of a radical revival, with a number of important shifts inspiring new writings and new ideas.

The most striking shift has occurred within the realm of human reason and progress. The Enlightenment launched the notion that . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.