Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies

Postgraduate Study

If you are interested in joining us as a research student a good place to start is with the staff pages, in order to find a centre member with broadly similar interests to your own. Staff are always pleased to talk to potential postgraduate students, and can offer advice on elements of your application such as the research proposal.

More information about postgraduate study and the application process may be found in the postgraduate prospectus.

pg study

We welcome applications for PhD study in any area of political ideology, broadly conceived. This includes work on the 'traditional' ideological families of liberalism, conservatism, socialism, fascism, feminism, ecologism etc, but also work on new ideological configurations that may be emerging, or the breakdown of traditional ideological forms. We also very much welcome work on methods and the study of political ideologies, and work that tracks changing ideological patterns over time.

Comparative Political Thought

Much existing work on political ideologies is highly focused on Europe and America. Work in the emerging field of comparative political thought has sought to understand ideological forms of thought and conceptual vocabularies in a much more comprehensive fashion, in particular engaging in the study of political thought in parts of the world previously neglected by western scholars of ideology, and looking at how these have developed, and at how cross-cultural currents of political thought impact upon local forms of ideology and how these local forms then exert influence back into these cross-cultural currents.

Culture and Politics

The study of political ideologies encompasses all forms of political thought, from the philosophical and abstract to the embedded and vernacular. It also engages with the multiple modes of dissemination of political ideas - textual, verbal, and visual - the image, the film or television programme, the pamphlet or newspaper article. We welcome proposals to work in this area of interface between cultural and political forms. How should we understand 'culture' and its relationship to politics? What explains the choices made in how to articulate political ideas? Is it possible to assess the effectiveness of different forms of dissemination?

The Temporal Dimensions of Political Thought

We also welcome applications to work on the historical dimension of political ideologies; the way historical political ideas and ideologies are mobilised, appropriated, and brought into the present. How are historical tropes incorporated into contemporary ideological discourse? How do 'ideological entrepreneurs' move through the historical and cultural landscape, mobilising certain themes and ideas, and ignoring others? How do ideologies exploit historical and cultural capital?  

Current and recently completed CSPI PhD projects

“Site-Seeing: Postcards of Palestine/Israel and the Visual Construction of Place, 1890-1990”, by Seonaid Rogers, on an AHRC CPD award with the British Museum, supervisors: Maiken Umbach and Nicholas Baron (successfully completed 2018)

“Photographs of People Persecuted by the Nazi Regime: Building a Collection and Interrogating its Meaning”, by Alice Tofts, on an AHRC CPD with the Imperial War Museum, supervisors: Maiken Umbach and Elizabeth Harvey (in progress, to be completed 2020)

“The Sceptical Foundations of Hayek’s Political Thought” by Aref Ebadi (successfully completed 2018)

'Ideological Transformation through Refraction: Neo-liberalisation in the UK, USA, and FRG' by Ben Thomas (in progress, to be completed 2021)

Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

+44 (0)115 846 8135