My list of the 50 most significant modern and contemporary political ideologies. Students and teachers may find it especially valuable (it worked well in a class I guest-taught in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department at UC-Berkeley in April 2010).
Along with each ideology below, I’ve suggested two readings. Most are by co-creators or advocates of the ideology at issue, and nearly all were written in our 21st century. All are freely available on the Web -- just click on the blue titles below.
Needless to say, no reading is – or can be – perfectly representative of a political ideology, which is typically the construction of a myriad of scholars and activists and is anyway never finally set in stone; hopefully, each reading here will prompt you to dig deeper in the literature.
Example of what is there (sans links).
A. Why Ideology?: Slavoj Zizek, “20 Years of Collapse,” New York Times, 9 Nov. 2009
B. Human Nature, I (quasi-tragic vision): Steven Pinker interviewed by John Brockman, “A Biological Understanding of Human Nature,” Edge Foundation website, 9 Sept. 2002
C. Human Nature, II (blue-sky vision): Dacher Keltner, pp. ix-xii & 3-15 in Keltner, Born to Be Good, 2009
A. Understanding Ideology: Manfred Steger, “Introduction: Political Ideologies and Social Imaginaries,” pp. 1-5 in Steger, The Rise of the Global Imaginary, 2008 [after you click on this link, you’ll need to type “Social Imaginaries” into the search box]
B. Creating Ideology, I (bottom-up): Lawrence Goodwyn, “The Alliance Develops a Movement Culture,” pp. 20-35 in Goodwyn, The Populist Moment, 1978
C. Creating Ideology, II (young turks): Todd Gitlin, “‘Name the System,’” pp. 171-88 in Gitlin, The Sixties, rev. 1993 [after you click on this link, you’ll need to type “Name the System” into the search box]
D. Creating Ideology, III (top-down): Cheng Chen, “Post-Communist Russia’s Search for a New Regime Ideology,” conference paper, American Political Science Association, Aug. 2009 [after you click on this link, you’ll need to click on the box marked "One-Click Download" and then on the box marked “Chicago Booth”]