Political Ideologies

A political ideology is a set of ethical ideals, principles, doctrines, myths or symbols of a social movement, institution, or a large group. These political ideologies explain how society should function, and offers a blueprint for a certain social order.

This article on political ideologies will be of great use in the GS 2, GS 4 and essay papers of the IAS Exam.

To know more about the topics in this segment, be sure to visit the UPSC Syllabus page.

Political Ideologies:- Download PDF Here

List of Political Ideologies

The following table will give a list of political ideologies along with their subtypes.

List of Political Ideologies

Political Ideology  Subtypes of Political Ideology
  • Classical anarchism
  • Individualist anarchism
  • Libertarianism
  • Social anarchism
  • Insurrectionary anarchism
  • Absolute monarchism
  • Autocracy
  • Despotism
  • Dictatorship
  • Imperialism
  • Oligarchy
  • Police-State
  • Totalitarianism
  • Plutocracy
  • Theocracy
  • Communitarian corporatism
  • Mutualism
  • Distributism
  • Eurasianism
  • Barracks communism
  • Leninism
  • Stalinism
  • Marxism
  • Naxalism
  • Authoritarian conservatism
  • Bioconservatism
  • Black conservatism
  • Civic conservatism
  • Classical conservatism
  • Absolutist corporatism
  • Communitarian corporatism
  • Conservative corporatism
  • Economic corporatism
  • Mutualist movement
  • National syndicalism
  • Neo-feudalism
  • Associative democracy
  • Bioregional democracy
  • Bourgeois democracy
  • Cellular democracy
  • Majoritarianism
  • Producerism
  • Sortitionism
  • Bright green environmentalism
  • Deep green environmentalism
  • Light green environmentalism
  • Free-market environmentalism
Fascism and Nazism
  • Classical fascism
  • Crypto-fascism
  • Eco-fascism
  • Neo-fascism
  • Neo-Nazism
Identity politics
  • Age-related rights movements
  • Animal-related rights movements
  • Disability-related rights movements
  • Neo-feminism
  • Radical feminism
  • First-wave feminism
  • Second-wave feminism
  • Third-wave feminism
  • Fourth-wave feminism
  • Neoclassical liberalism
  • Neo-liberalism
  • Ordoliberalism
  • Secular liberalism
  • Social liberalism
  • Technoliberalism
  • Secularism
  • Classical liberal radicalism
  • Eco-socialism
  • Free-market anarchism
  • Paleolibertarianism
  • Propertarianism
  • Bourgeois nationalism
  • Civic nationalism
  • Cultural nationalism
  • Diaspora nationalism
  • Conservative populism
  • Economic populism
  • Liberal populism
  • Reactionary populism
  • Social populism
  • Economic progressivism
  • Social progressivism
  • Techno-progressivism
  • Transnational progressivism
  • Democratic socialism
  • Reformist socialism
  • Marxist revisionism
  • Revolutionary socialism
  • Ba’athism
  • Nasserism

Definition of Political Ideologies


From the Civil Services Examination perspective; aspirants should know the meaning of the famous political ideologies. Many such terms are often seen in the news.

A brief definition of such political ideologies is given below:

1. Anarchism: Anarchism is a type of political philosophy and movement that is against all forms of authority and rejects involuntary and forceful notions of hierarchy. Anarchism calls for the abolition of the state, which it holds to be undesirable, unnecessary and harmful. Historically, it is commonly associated with anti-capitalism and socialism.

2. Authoritarianism: Authoritarianism is a form of a political ideology that rejects political pluralism. It employs strong central power to preserve its political status. Authoritarianism  regimes may be either autocratic, oligarchic and military in nature. Military dictatorships are the most common examples of Authoritarianism.

3. Communitarianism: Communitarianism is an ideology which stresses on the connection between the individual and the community. Its main belief is that an individual’s identity and personality is shaped by relationships within the community, with a smaller degree of development being stressed upon individualism.

4. Communism: Communism is a social, philosophical, political and economic ideology whose main objective is the formation of a society where there is common ownership and the means of production are owned by the common masses without the presence of social classes, money and the state.

5. Conservatism: Conservatism, is a cultural, social and political philosophy that promotes and seeks to preserve traditional social institutions. The core principles of conservatism may vary from region to region depending on the traditions and practices of the region, but they all oppose modernism and seek a return to traditional values.

6. Corporatism: Corporatism is a political ideology which advocates the organization of society by corporate groups, such as agricultural, labour, military, business, scientific, or guild associations, on the basis of their common interests.

7. Democracy: Democracy refers to a form of government where the people have the power to choose their governing legislators or the authority to decide on the legislation.

8. Environmentalism: Environmentalism is a broad ideology and social movement that is concerned with environmental protection and improvement of the ecology so that both humans and animals can live peacefully in their respective environments.

9. Fascism and Nazism: Fascism a political ideology, which espouses authoritarianism, ultranationalism, with characteristics of dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition and rigidity of society and economy.Nazism, on the other hand, is a form of fascism with a disdain for liberal democracy and parliamentary democracy.

To know more in detail about the difference between Nazism and Fascism, visit the linked article.

10. Identity Politics: Identity politics is an ideological as well as a political approach, where people of a particular race, religion, gender, social background or any other identifying factors develop political agendas that are based on issues which may affect their lives.

11. Feminism: Feminism is a range of social movements, political movements, and ideologies that aim to define and establish the political, economic, personal, and social equality of the genders.

12. Liberalism: Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on liberty, consent of the governed and equality before the law.

13. Libertarianism: Libertarianism is a political ideology with liberalism as a core principle of its core foundation.

14. Nationalism: Nationalism is an idea and movement that holds that the nation should be congruent with the state. As a movement, nationalism tends to promote the interests of a particular nation, especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation’s sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland.

15. Populism: Populism is a political stance which stresses on the idea of “people” and often spins a narrative of people vs a group of elites.

17. Progressivism: Progressivism is a philosophy in politics that supports social reform. It is based on the idea that progress and advancements in science, technology, and economic development are vital to the improvement of humanity as a whole.

Know the difference between Socialism, Capitalism and Communism in the linked article.

Aspirants can find complete information about upcoming Government Exams through the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below

Related Links

Indian Polity Questions for UPSC Prelims (2013-2020) UPSC Calendar 2022
UPSC Polity MCQ Questions GS 3 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus for UPSC Mains
Topic-wise GS 1 Questions for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 2 Questions for UPSC Mains
GS 2 Structure, Strategy and Syllabus for UPSC Mains Topic-wise GS 3 Questions for UPSC Mains



Leave a Comment

Your Mobile number and Email id will not be published.