Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © 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: 13 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter argues that the famous ‘Mannheim paradox’ regarding the ideological understanding of ideology in Ideology and Utopia merely serves as a preparation for a far more complex and persistent paradox that poses a recurrent problem for any political science seeking to understand the relation of political ideologies to political reality: namely, when we try to understand contending political ideologies at any one historical moment and test them for their ‘congruence’ with historical and sociological ‘reality’, our construction of this context is itself informed by these ideologies or our partisan understanding of them. To deal with this paradox Mannheim suggests a new political science based on Marx and Weber. This political science seeks to construct fields of competing ideologies—such as conservatism, liberalism, and socialism—and play off the insight and blindness of each to create a momentary ‘synthesis’ of the relation between political ideas and a dynamic political reality.

Keywords: ideology, utopia, Mannheim, ‘Mannheim paradox’, political science, Marx, Weber, conservatism, liberalism, socialism, synthesis, dynamic political reality

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.