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In social studies, a political ideology is a certain set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, class or large group that explains how society should work and offers some political and cultural blueprint for a certain social order. A political ideology largely concerns itself with how to allocate power and to what ends it should be used. Some political parties follow a certain ideology very closely while others may take broad inspiration from a group of related ideologies without specifically embracing any one of them. The popularity of an ideology is in part due to the influence of moral entrepreneurs, who sometimes act in their own interests. Political ideologies have two dimensions: (1) goals: how society should be organized; and (2) methods: the most appropriate way to achieve this goal.

An ideology is a collection of ideas. Typically, each ideology contains certain ideas on what it considers to be the best form of government (e.g. autocracy or democracy) and the best economic system (e.g. capitalism or socialism). The same word is sometimes used to identify both an ideology and one of its main ideas. For instance, socialism may refer to an economic system, or it may refer to an ideology which supports that economic system. The same term may also be used to refer to multiple ideologies and that is why political scientists try to find consensus definitions for these terms. For example, while the terms have been conflated at times, communism has come in common parlance and in academics to refer to Soviet-type regimes and Marxist–Leninist ideologies, whereas socialism has come to refer to a wider range of differing ideologies which are most often distinct from Marxism–Leninism.[1]

Political ideology is a term fraught with problems, having been called "the most elusive concept in the whole of social science".[2] While ideologies tend to identify themselves by their position on the political spectrum (such as the left, the centre or the right), they can be distinguished from political strategies (e.g. populism as it is commonly defined) and from single issues around which a party may be built (e.g. civil libertarianism and support or opposition to European integration), although either of these may or may not be central to a particular ideology. There are several studies that show that political ideology is heritable within families.[3][4][5][6][7]

The following list is strictly alphabetical and attempts to divide the ideologies found in practical political life into a number of groups, with each group containing ideologies that are related to each other. The headers refer to names of the best-known ideologies in each group. The names of the headers do not necessarily imply some hierarchical order or that one ideology evolved out of the other. Instead, they are merely noting that the ideologies in question are practically, historically and ideologically related to each other. As such, one ideology can belong to several groups and there is sometimes considerable overlap between related ideologies. The meaning of a political label can also differ between countries and political parties often subscribe to a combination of ideologies.

Anarchism

Main article: Anarchism

Anarchy symbol
Anarchy symbol

Further information: Anarchist schools of thought, Glossary of anarchism, and Outline of anarchism

Political internationals

Classical

Main article: Classical anarchism

Post-classical

Main article: Post-classical anarchism

Contemporary

Main article: Contemporary anarchism

Opposition

Religious variants

Main articles: Religious anarchism and Anarchism and religion

Regional variants

Main article: List of anarchist movements by region

African

Main article: Anarchism in Africa

American

Main article: Anarchism in America

Asian

Main article: Anarchism in Asia

European

Main article: Anarchism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Anarchism in Oceania

Authoritarianism

Main article: Authoritarianism

General

Other

Opposition

Religious variants

Regional variants

African

American

Asian

European

Communitarianism

Main article: Communitarianism

General

Other

Regional variants

Communism

Main article: Communism

Political internationals

Main article: Authoritarian communism

Leninism

Main article: Leninism

Marxism–Leninism

Main article: Marxism–Leninism

Libertarian

Main article: Libertarian communism

An Anarchist A laid over a Communist Hammer and sickle.
An Anarchist A laid over a Communist Hammer and sickle.

Marxism

Main article: Marxism

Other

Main articles: Marxist revisionism, Non-Marxist communism, Post-capitalism, and Pre-Marxist communism

Opposition

Religious variants

Main article: Religious communism

See also: Communism and religion

Regional variants

African

Main article: Communism in Africa

American

Main article: Communism in America

Asian

Main article: Communism in Asia

European

Main article: Communism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Communism in Oceania

Conservatism

Main article: Conservatism

Political internationals

General

Reactionary

Main article: Reactionary

Opposition

Religious variants

Main article: Theoconservatism

Regional variants

African

Main article: Conservatism in Africa

American

Main article: Conservatism in America

United States

Main article: Conservatism in the United States

Asian

Main article: Conservatism in Asia

European

Main article: Conservatism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Conservatism in Oceania

Corporatism

Main article: Corporatism

Further information: Capitalism

General

Other

Religious variants

Main article: Corporatism in the Roman Catholic Church

Regional variants

Western Europe

Democracy

Main article: Democracy

General

Other

Direct democracy movements

Main article: Direct democracy

Pirate politics

Pirate politics
IdeologyAnti-corruption
Civil libertarianism
Civil rights
Direct democracy
E-democracy
Participatory democracy
Social liberalism

Main article: Pirate politics

Political internationals

Opposition

Religious variants

Main article: Religious democracy

Christian democracy

Main article: Christian democracy

Further information: History of Christian democracy

Political internationals
General

Further information: Catholic social teaching

Other

See also: Conservatism, Corporatism, and Liberalism

Other

Regional variants

African

Main article: Democracy in Africa

Asian

Main article: Democracy in Asia

American

Main article: Democracy in America

European

Main article: Democracy in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Democracy in Oceania

Environmentalism

Main article: Environmentalism

Political internationals

Bright green environmentalism

Main article: Bright green environmentalism

Deep green environmentalism

Main article: Deep ecology

Light green environmentalism

Main article: Sustainable development

Other

Main article: Green politics

Opposition

Religious variants

Main article: Environmentalism and religion

Regional variants

African

Main article: Environmental movement in Africa

American

Main article: Environmental movement in America

Asian

Main article: Environmental movement in Asia

European

Main article: Environmental movement in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Environmental movement in Oceania

Fascism and Nazism

Main article: Fascism

General

Other

Opposition

Main article: Anti-fascism

Further information: Criticism of fascism

By country

Religious variants

Main article: Fascism and religion

Regional variants

Main article: List of fascist movements

African

Main article: Fascism in Africa

American

Main article: Fascism in America

Asian

Main article: Fascism in Asia

European

Main article: Fascism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Fascism in Oceania

Identity politics

Main article: Identity politics

Political internationals

Age-related rights movements

Animal-related rights movements

Disability-related rights movements

Feminism

Main article: Feminism

General

Opposition

Chronological variants

Main article: History of feminism

Ethnic and social variants

Religious variants

Main article: Religious feminism

Regional variants

African

Main article: Feminism in Africa

American

Main article: Feminism in America

Asian

Main article: Feminism in Asia

European

Main article: Feminism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Feminism in Oceania

LGBT social movements

Main article: LGBT social movements

Men's movement

Main article: Men's movement

Regional variants

Main article: Fathers' rights movement by country

Self-determination movements

Main article: Self-determination

African-American

Main article: Black pride

Indigenous peoples

Main article: Indigenism

Latin American

Main article: La raza

Separatist and supremacist movements

Main articles: Separatism and Supremacism

Ethnic

Main articles: Ethnic separatism and Ethnic supremacism

Black
White
Regional variants
African

Main article: Separatism in Africa

American

Main article: Separatism in the Americas

Asian

Main article: Separatism in Asia

European

Main article: Separatism in Europe

Oceania

Main article: Separatism in Oceania

Gender

Main articles: Gender separatism and Sexism

Religious variants

Main articles: Religious separatism and Religious supremacism

Student movements

Main article: Student rights

General

Regional variants

Liberalism

Main article: Liberalism

Further information: Age of Enlightenment

Political internationals

General

Other

Opposition

Regional variants

Main article: Liberalism by country

African

Main article: Liberalism in Africa

American

Main article: Liberalism in America

Asian

Main article: Liberalism in Asia

European

Main article: Liberalism in Europe

Oceanian

Main article: Liberalism in Oceania

Libertarianism

Main article: Libertarianism

Political internationals

Left-libertarianism

Main article: Left-libertarianism

Right-libertarianism

Main article: Right-libertarianism

Other

See also: Classical liberalism

Opposition

Religious variants

Regional variants

African

American