Convergence and Divergence in the Study of Ideology: A Critical Review
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 March 2016
Dedicated research on ideology has proliferated over the last few decades. Many different disciplines and methodologies have sought to make a contribution, with the welcome consequence that specialist thinking about ideology is at a high-water mark of richness, diversity and theoretical sophistication. Yet this proliferation of research has fragmented the study of ideology by producing independent communities of scholars differentiated by geographical location and by disciplinary attachment. This review draws together research on ideology from several disciplines on different sides of the Atlantic, in order to address three questions that appear to be of great relevance to political scientists: (1) What do we mean by ideology? (2) How do we model ideology? (3) Why do people adopt the ideologies they do? In doing so, it argues that many important axes of debate cut across disciplinary and geographic boundaries, and points to a series of significant intellectual convergences that offer a framework for productive interdisciplinary engagement and integration.
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Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford (email: firstname.lastname@example.org); Department of Political Science, University of California Santa Barbara (email: email@example.com). The authors would like to thank Michael Freeden, Tobias Schroeder, Thomas Homer-Dixon, M. Kent Jennings, and audience members at the University of Oxford, the University of Waterloo and the 2014 International Studies Association conference for feedback on earlier versions of this article. This article was supported in part by funding from the Waterloo Institute for Complexity and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.