American Political Ideologies

An Introduction to the Major Systems of Thought in the 21st Century

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About the Book

For many people, the world of politics is defined by ideologies. The average voter rarely takes time to research a policy issue, thoroughly relying instead on a set of beliefs set forth by his or her chosen political organization to make important decisions. These publicly promoted ideologies play an important role in international as well as domestic political development, yet many adherents to a particular belief may have a poor understanding of competing ideologies.
From right wing to the far left, this text dissects eight prominent political ideologies: traditional conservatism, classic liberalism, libertarianism, conservative extremism, contemporary liberalism, communism, dependency theory and Islamism. In plain terms it describes the basic doctrine and inherent contradictions of each creed along with its particular relevance to today’s political landscape. An in-depth discussion of the political socialization processes that form and perpetuate ideologies is also included.
Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.

About the Author(s)

Brian R. Farmer is a professor of Social Sciences at Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

Brian R. Farmer
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 231
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2585-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8052-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface     1

Introduction: The Continued Preeminence of Ideology     5

1. American Political Socialization, Theory, Values, and Beliefs      11

2. Traditional Conservatism      38

3. Classic Liberalism      64

4. Libertarianism      75

5. Conservative Extremism      87

6. Contemporary Liberalism      99

7. Communism      125

8. Dependency Theory      149

9. Islamism      172

Bibliography      201

Index      217