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Ideology and International Institutions$
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Erik Voeten

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691207322

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691207322.001.0001

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Global Ideological Conflict

Global Ideological Conflict

Concept and Measurement

(p.17) Chapter Two Global Ideological Conflict
(p.iii) Ideology and International Institutions

Erik Voeten

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the definition of institutions and then of ideology. Ideology is a set of widely understood more or less cohesive and stable ideas about how a set of issues should be resolved and who should resolve them. It is a vehicle not just for spreading values but also for transmitting information. This information is especially valuable in contexts where actors care deeply about the future intentions of others, including international institutional politics. The chapter then assesses how this definition differs from other treatments in the international relations literature, how ideology constrains policy positions, and what global ideological debates are about. It also outlines an approach to estimate the ideological positions of states from votes in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). It evaluates the validity of this measure. For example, changes in UNGA ideal points correlate strongly with various indicators of liberalism: such as changes in government ideology, regime type, and capital openness.

Keywords:   ideology, institutions, international institutional politics, international relations, global ideological debates, United Nations General Assembly, liberalism, government ideology, regime type, capital openness

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