Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Both politicians and historians have circled nervously around the precise relationship between political ideas and political actions in the past 200 years. This chapter evaluates the different ways in which historians have considered the role of ideas within politics and, in particular, challenges the unhelpful dichotomy of framing politics as either an ‘ideological’ or a ‘pragmatic’ activity. It is concerned, therefore, with the interactions between ideas and action, or theory and practice, and the ways in which political ‘ideas’ may be historicized, reflecting too on the implications of this for framing political action as ‘high’ or ‘low’ (or ‘popular’). Attention is paid to the importance of language in shaping political thought and action.

Keywords: politics, political history, Britain, intellectual history, ideology

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.