Ideology, History, and Politics

Sheri Berman

in Ideas and Politics in Social Science Research

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199736430
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866106 | DOI:
Ideology, History, and Politics

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After years of neglect, scholars have once again begun studying the role played by concepts such as ideas, norms, and culture in political life. While this literature has advanced our understanding of political actors and outcomes in critical ways, it is also plagued by a number of problems, one of which is the focus of this chapter: its status quo bias. The chapter presents a reexamination of social democracy as a reminder of the need to analyze carefully the role played by both structure and agency, and the need for different types of historical analysis and process tracing in order to understand the two-stage process by which ideologies rise and fall. A better understanding of how and why ideologies develop, in turn, can critically contribute to the ideational “wave” currently sweeping through the social sciences.

Keywords: ideas; norms; culture; political life; status quo; ideologies; social democracy

Chapter.  10407 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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