By Andrew Heywood
Introduction: Understanding Ideology 1. The role of ideas 2. What is ideology? 3. Left, centre and right 4. The rise and fall of ideologies
All people are political thinkers. Whether they know it or not, people use political ideas and concepts whenever they express their opinions or speak their mind. Everyday language is littered with terms such as ‘freedom’, ‘fairness’, ‘equality’, ‘justice’ and ‘rights’. In the same way, words such as ‘conservative’, ‘liberal’, ‘socialist’, ‘communist’ and ‘fascist’ are regularly employed by people either to describe their own views, or those of others. However, even though such terms are familiar, even commonplace, they are seldom used with any precision or a clear grasp of their meaning. What, for instance, is ‘equality’? What does it mean to say that all people are equal? Are people born equal, should they be treated by society as if they are equal? Should people have equal rights, equal opportunities, equal political influence, equal wages? Similarly, words such as ‘communist’ or ‘fascist’ are commonly misused. What does it mean to call someone a ‘fascist’? What values or beliefs do fascists hold, and why do they hold them? How do communist views differ from those of, say, liberals, conservatives or socialists? This book examines the substantive ideas and beliefs of the major political ideologies. This introductory chapter considers the role of ideas in politics, the nature of political ideology, the value of the left/right spectrum in classifying ideologies, and the main challenges that confront ideologies in the twenty-first century.
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By C. Christine Fair, Assistant Professor, Georgetown University’s Security Studies Program
MUMBAI — When it was obvious that Narendra Modi would become India’s prime minister, Pakistan grew alarmed. Modi’s party, the Bharatiya Janata Party, is the party that gave India its nuclear status. Indians voted for Modi and the brave India he promised in hopes that his government would not indulge Pakistani predations, and punish them instead.
Pakistan has developed one core strategy in dealing with India over the decades: deploy Islamist militants to attack India while seeking cover from retaliation under its nuclear weapons. It should be noted that while Pakistan is most notorious for supporting Islamist terrorists, it also supports religious and ethnic insurgencies within India as well. Pakistan not only seeks to use terrorism to illegitimately acquire territory in Indian Kashmir, it also wants to resist India’s rise in the international system. Until the Modi administration, Pakistan has remained fairly confident that India will not respond militarily to punish Pakistan for its state-sponsored terrorism or to deter it from doing so in the future.
Modi’s election prompted Pakistan to wonder how India will respond to a bold Pakistan-backed terrorist attack. Would it follow the path of the previous prime minister, Manmohan Singh, and defuse public demands for revenge in effort to avoiding any skirmish with Pakistan that would impede India’s economic growth? Or would it embrace a more hawkish approach that would punish Pakistan?
Read more » The Huffington Post
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