Abstract and Keywords
This chapter first introduces the concept of ideology, how it is distinct from similar concepts, and how its content can be described. Ideologies are defined as socially shared systems of beliefs about the ideal arrangement of society. The chapter then reviews research on the relations between ideology and violent conflict at the individual, group, and societal levels of analysis. It suggests that: at the individual level, ideological beliefs of authoritarianism and social dominance are related to variables associated with violent conflict; at the group level, ideological groups (groups based on shared ideological beliefs) engage in collective action, which can spur violent conflict once a legitimate target of violence is identified; and at the societal level, particular ideological climates can make societies more prone to engage in violence. Finally, the chapter proposes an integrative multilevel framework for understanding the role of ideology for violent conflict, and identifies directions for future research.
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