Education and Training Unit for Democracy and Development

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Ideology and policy

This course teaches the basics of political ideology and targets progressive activists, policy-makers and politicians who have not studied political ideology or philosophy. It focuses on the history of political ideologies and the differences between the world’s main ideologies.

The course will help you to understand the positions of different ideologies on policy areas such as the economy, the role of the state, social welfare and human rights.  It provides an opportunity to assess and consider your own political ideas and how to engage with the many ideologies around you. Modern variants of classic ideologies are also explained.

The course consists of three modules and will take about 12 hours to complete. It is best to do the three modules in sequence, but they can also be done as stand-alone mini-courses, or used as lessons on specific topics.

You will only get a certificate if you complete all three modules and achieve a pass mark of 60%in the assessment at the end of each module.

The modules and issues dealt with are:

  1. The roots of ideology. Module 1 defines ideology and looks at the history of ideological thinking, particularly the development of ‘left’ and right’, and beyond.

  2. Understand the leading ideologies. This module describes the main ideologies and offshoots or variants that have developed over time. It considers how the ideology views human rights, the economy, the role of the government and the kind of development policies it promotes. It looks at other ideas which influence and shape ideologies. The module also challenges participants to consider their own ideological standpoint and which ideas and values affect their views.

  3. Applying ideology to policy. The last module considers some practical applications of ideology through policy development. It looks at case studies which represent modern variants of classic ideologies and requires participants to identify the ideological roots of different policy decisions. It ends with an opportunity to reflect on the policies of participants’ own parties and more deeply understand the relationship between ideology and policy in practice.

You can do the course on your own and in your own time or you form study groups and do it together. Please register and follow the instructions.

You can do the course on-line or download the off-line version and do it in your own time. If you struggle with data you can order the off-line version on a USB disk.

The quizzes to get your certificate must be done on-line, after registering on-line. You will receive a certificate of completion when you complete all three modules of the course and achieve a 60% pass mark for the quizzes.

Course Features