For many people, the world of politics is defined by ideologies. The average voter rarely takes time to research a policy issue, thoroughly relying instead on a set of beliefs set forth by his or her chosen political organization to make important decisions. These publicly promoted ideologies play an important role in international as well as domestic political development, yet many adherents to a particular belief may have a poor understanding of competing ideologies. From right wing to the far left, this text dissects eight prominent political ideologies: traditional conservatism, classic liberalism, libertarianism, conservative extremism, contemporary liberalism, communism, dependency theory and Islamism. In plain terms it describes the basic doctrine and inherent contradictions of each creed along with its particular relevance to today’s political landscape. An in-depth discussion of the political socialization processes that form and perpetuate ideologies is also included.