Mauro Barisione : Polar Stars. Why the Political Ideologies of Modernity still Matter

New book out now!


Contrary to the cliché that our age is post-ideological, this book contends that political ideologies are part of  the logic itself  of modernity and continue to permeate ’hyper-modern’ politics. Using a multitude of  primary sources (texts) and data, the author identifies the ‘polar stars’ – guiding principles such as order, freedom and equality – around which ideological fields have developed, mainly in Europe, in recent centuries. In place of  the too reductive concepts of  ‘left’ and ‘right’, this book uses a different strategy to analyse the orientations of  contemporary political movements, parties, policies and voters: it reconstructs the main ideological ‘matrices’ of  modern politics in their historical origins and subsequent phases of  radicalisation and hybridisation, which still continue, both among these political matrices and with ‘metapolitical’ ideologies like populism. In doing so, the book also propounds a broader theory that helps to interpret recent ideological trends as reflecting a distinctive ‘double movement’ of  modernity: the continuous tension between liberalising pressures for greater individual  rights and, vice versa, ’centripetal’ countermovements along either the matrix of  order or that of  socioeconomic equality.

About the author: Mauro Barisione is a Professor of Political sociology at the University of Milan.

The book description and the download link can be found here: The pdf and epub versions are open access.