This second edition of an established textbook on political ideology provides a comprehensive, up-to-date introduction to the powerful and persuasive ideas which have motivated the actions of both political leaders and the electorate. Political ideology today begins with an explanation of the nature of ideology and the part it plays in political life, and then looks at each of the main ideologies in turn. The book takes a broadly historical approach to show how each ideology has evolved as a tradition with a variety of sometimes conflicting forms. Liberalism, socialism, conservatism, Marxism, anarchism and fascism are all discussed, together with more recent developments in religious and sexual politics, environmentalism and animal rights. All of these are discussed in the light of recent important events, including the Asian financial crisis, the Balkan wars and the election of the New Labour government. The book also takes into account the growing importance of post-Marxism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, and postmodernism.
Adams shows that contemporary ideological thinking is thriving, despite the 'end of ideology' proclaimed after the capitalist West's triumph in the Cold War. He also discusses prospects for future ideological developments, including the growth of small scale and local ideologies. This book is suitable for A level and undergraduate students of contemporary politics and political theory.