Print this page Share

Using Political Ideas, 6th Edition

December 2016, ©2014
Using Political Ideas, 6th Edition (EHEP003107) cover image


Using Political Ideas is a unique blend of political philosophy, political theory and history of political thought. It combines a critique of the major ideologies of recent and contemporary society with an analysis of the ideas that form the very stuff of political debate. By exposing the interplay between ideas and ideologies, it shows why political opponents often speak at cross-purposes and why rational agreement is so hard to achieve in politics.

The sixth edition of this well respected and widely known text will be welcomed by those interested in questions such as:

  • Is equality more important than personal freedom?
  • Does the majority have the right to dictate to the minority in multicultural society?
  • Is nationalism a progressive force in the world?

Politics does not stand still, there are always new controversies and ideological conflicts and the climate of discussion changes. The 6th edition of this best-selling book is fully updated and includes a new chapter on authoritarian ideologies to reflect the growing extreme right-wing politics in parts of Europe. This edition also provides a variety of new learning features, a comprehensive glossary, detailed lists of further reading and a list of questions for discussion.

See More

Table of Contents

About the Author xiii

Preface to the Sixth Edition xv


Chapter 1 What is Political Theory? 3

Chapter 2 Ideology 19

Marx on Ideology 20

‘Ideology’ Since Marx 23

Conceptual Problems 29


Chapter 3 Liberalism 39

The Ingredients of Liberalism 41

The Liberal Model: Perpetual Motion? 51

Why Does the Liberal Value the Individual so Highly? 55

Do I Know My Own Interests? 58

Liberals and Welfare States 61

Liberalism Today 65

Chapter 4 Marxism 73

Problems in Reading Marx 74

The Vocabulary of the Dialectic 76

Marx’s Economics 79

The Social Consequences 82

History and Revolution 84

Communist Society 89

Criticizing Marx 91

The Evolution of Marxism 96

Revisionism and Recantation 102

Chapter 5 Socialism 107

The Nucleus of Socialism 108

The Changing Face of Socialism 117

Objections to Socialism 124

The Contradictions of Social Democracy 127

Chapter 6 Anarchism 133

The Critique of Authority 135

The Anarchist Order 138

The Moral Basis of Anarchist Society 138

Freedom within Society 141

Order without Dependence 143

Anarchist Individualism 146

Anarchist Values 148

Contemporary Anarchism 149

Objections to Anarchist Theory 151

The Ethics of Violence 152

Chapter 7 Conservatism 161

Against Change 162

The Virtues of Tradition 166

Human Imperfection and Inequality 168

Conservative Politics 171

The Conservative Mentality 174

Conservatism Today 177

Ideology or Intuition? 179

Chapter 8 Authoritarian Ideologies: 183

Contrasting Dystopias 185

The Term ‘Totalitarianism’ 188

The ‘Phenomenological’ Approach 189

The ‘Essentialist’ Analysis 191

Fascism as Totalitarianism 198

Fascism as Ideology 199

The Psychological Roots of Totalitarianism 203

Fundamentalist Authoritarianism 205

Totalitarianism Reconsidered 209

Chapter 9 Feminism 217

The Demonization of Women, and of Feminism 218

Feminists and Human Nature 220

Gendered Society 223

Patriarchal Society 225

Women and Capitalism 228

Oppression 232

Feminist Strategies 239

Feminism as Ideology 247

Chapter 10 Green Ideologies 253

Shades of Green 255

Economic Arguments 257

Anti-Pollution Arguments 262

Moral Arguments 264

Green Utopias 267

Problematic Questions 271

Green Successes 277

Chapter 11 Beyond Ideology: Nationalism 281

What is a Nation? 283

The Incoherence of Nationalism 285

The Origins of Nationalism 289

Is Nationalism an Ideology? 291

Nationalism, Liberalism and Democracy 294

Rights of Secession 295

Objections to Nationalism 298


Chapter 12 Democracy 305

The Classical Ideal 306

Elitists and Pluralists 311

‘Radical’ Democracy 315

Democracy’s Paradox 320

The Problem of Minorities 322

Democracy and Liberalism 325

Democracy and Truth 328

The Will of the People 331

New Forms of Democracy 333

Chapter 13 Power, Authority and the State 341

What is Power? 342

What Creates Authority? 346

Power and Authority 350

The State Leviathan 351

Chapter 14 Freedom and Rights 361

The Meaning of Freedom 362

Varieties of Freedom 364

Freedom and Illusion 368

The ‘Rights of Man’ 371

Human Rights 373

Special Rights for Women? 377

Rights and Liberty 380

The Climate of Tolerance 382

Chapter 15 Citizenship, Obligation and Protest 389

Contractual Obligation 391

The Just Government 396

Self-Interest and Gratitude 398

Why Do I Obey the Law? 400

The Right to Protest 402

The Scope of Protest 406

The Right of Revolution 410

Chapter 16 Social Justice and Equality 415

The Criteria for Justice 417

Liberal, Socialist and ‘Natural’ Justice 420

Retributive Justice 428

What is Justice? 430

Nations and Generations 432

Justice and Equality 435

Chapter 17 New Political Dimensions 443

Religion and Politics 444

Multiculturalism, Diversity and Identity Politics 447

Globalization and Global Terrorism 450

Glossary 455

Index 469

See More

Author Information

Barbara Goodwin is Emeritus Professor of Politics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Her books include Justice by Lottery (2005) and Ethics at Work (2000) and several books on the political importance of utopian ideas. She has broadcast two series of programmes about democracy on the BBC World Service. Her interests range widely in politics, philosophy and social science.

See More

Professor Reviews

‘A gem of a book, with clear and insightful explanations of ideological positions with informed and thought-provoking case studies. Goodwin cleverly interweaves real-world examples and the influence of key thinkers in a discursive dialogue with the reader to ensure conceptual ideas are retained without losing any of the academic rigour. The format of this book is particularly useful for tutorial discussions on political theory or politics in practice.’
Jonathan Kirkup, Politics Lecturer, Cardiff University

 ‘Comprehensive, and covers the main ideologies in an interesting way . . . takes a critical and engaging perspective . . . framed in the context of debates around the meaning and purpose of theoretical enquiry . . . a more rewarding read than its competitors.’
Madeleine Davis, Department of Politics, Queen Mary, University of London

‘This book is pitched at a good level for bright and interested undergraduates . . . the combination of ideologies and concepts in one book is a major selling point.’
Paul Taggart, Professor of Politics, University of Sussex

‘It's great to see another edition of this excellent text book which gets to the heart of matters in a direct and student-friendly way.’
Mark Donovan, Senior Lecturer in Politics, Cardiff University

See More
Instructors Resources
Wiley Instructor Companion Site
Digital evaluation copy available for this title
Request Copy
Contact your Wiley Representative
Find Your Rep
See More
See Less
Students Resources
Wiley Student Companion Site
See More
See Less
Purchase Options
Using Political Ideas, 6th Edition
ISBN : 978-1-118-70838-5
496 pages
December 2016, ©2014
$59.95   BUY

Back to Top