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date: 15 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter examines the recent approach to ideology as an actual and ubiquitous combination of decontested political concepts, whose micro-morphological arrangements are the key to the specific meaning each ideological family contains. Shifting proximities and relative weights accorded to those concepts produce multiple ideological variants. Ideologies are pivotal to the discipline of political theory, discernible both in professional and vernacular thinking, and serve as discursive competitions over the control of public political language. Notions of essential contestability, theories of symbolic mapping, and a focus on actual rather than normative political thinking shed light on their semantic significance. Ideologies are permanent phenomena ranging from the flexible to the rigid, and the boundaries that seem to separate one ideology from another may be loose and mutating, challenging the traditional association of ideologies with political parties. In parallel, the study of ideology involves decoding and interpretation, not its juxtaposition with truth.

Keywords: ideologies, morphology, concepts, decontestation, essential contestability, semantics, political parties, interpretation

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