Ideology and the Intellectuals

[Co-authored with Michael Kenny] My chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Political Ideologies on the relationship between ideological change and intellectual activity, focusing on the idea of globalisation in 1990s Britain.

handbookThe question of how intellectuals ought to relate to the ideological traditions of the political cultures of modern societies has been a recurrent them of European social and political thought over the last two centuries. This chapter explores earlier traditions of European thinking, associated with the work of Karl Mannheim, Julien Benda and Antonio Gramsci, which established the major lines of debate about the relationship of intellectuals to the political traditions of the polities they inhabited. These ideas form the backdrop to the analysis we provide of the drift towards post-national thinking among important groups of intellectual practitioners in the UK towards the end of the twentieth century. Cosmopolitan thinking, we suggest, has tended to obscure the ideological character of the main lines of political thinking associated with globalisation, and ensured that progressive intellectuals tended to abandon the ‘national-popular’ to their counterparts on the political right, with fateful consequences.

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Image: Oxford University Press

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