Monday, March 18, 2019

Handy tips for staying happy at work

Stress levels are rising among employed Indians, nearly 80 per cent of working professionals in India complain that they suffer from stress.
'Workplace stress' or 'occupational stress' is identified as a medical hazard, which has serious physical and psychological implications on individuals' well being.

Here is a 2-minute read that can help you in keeping stress at bay.

1.   Worried about deadlines?
Eat and sleep at the same time as much as possible. Disconnect mentally and electronically from work at least an hour before sleep time. Our work is not that important, and folks, before we had infrequent connections and the sky, did not fall.

2.   Difficult Boss, Office Politics and Competition?
Dismount a dead horse. It is difficult to make it work, and far easier to search and settle on another live horse. This is a good mental model for thinking about your relationship with your boss.

3.   Recognize that everyone makes mistakes
Be gentle with yourself when you regret, ask if we are judging too harshly from the benefit of hindsight.

4.   Dealing with a Surfeit of Information?
Reason actively. Construct your core argument and then fill in with information. Running behind the information is wasteful.

5.   Exercises for overcoming anxiety
Engage in joyful attention once every 4 hours in your working day. Sit down to just absorb an object in front of you. Just notice all the details, wonder what caused it, wonder how it will change tomorrow. The idea is to externalize your attention and slowly and deliberately take on the world one object at a time.
You can also list your worries and either take action or take mitigating action or make a choice to face up to it if it happens.

Tips from the book: Happiness at Work

If you have any questions for the author, please write to us at

Click here for the complete list of books which will help you in becoming top-notch professionals.

Follow us on:  


Thursday, March 14, 2019

In a Conversation With Dr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Namakumari, Authors of Marketing Management

Marketing is one of the most sought after fields today. We have a plethora of knowledge available on the internet and texts. In one of our recent attempts of exploring knowledge materials on marketing, we happened to interview Dr. Ramaswamy and Ms. Namakumari, authors of a best-selling textbook on Marketing Management – Marketing Management: Indian Context Global Perspective, SIXTH EDITION published by SAGE Publications India. Here’s what they had to say:

Congratulations on the publication of the 6th edition of Marketing Management. This title is already recognised as a legend, with the previous 5 editions having done so well. How do you see the latest edition?

This book is the pioneer, published 35 years ago; the first Indian text on marketing, presenting a unique, India-centric approach to the discipline of marketing. The previous five editions with forty odd reprints have established the title as a popular text on the subject for the MBA programmes of the universities and B-Schools in India and it has now triumphantly entered its 6th avatar. The teachers and students have solidly stood by the title. Without their support, such achievements would never have been possible. So, the first comment, Ms Namakumari and I would make is, “Thank you so much, dear teachers and students, for making our book such a success”.

To what would you attribute this outstanding success of this title?

It is simple. The title filled a need. When you offer a product that fills a felt need, it sells. In the past, our B-Schools were largely using books written in the North American perspective. This was largely because a quality book on Marketing written in the Indian context was not available. When such a book was made available, the users took to it with gusto. Today, most of our B-Schools are quitting the foreign books on Marketing and preferring Indian ones. And, among Indian texts, this book is considered unique. A book that is wholly India-centric, comprehensive, and apt for the times.

This book has no doubt proved to be a time-tested and distinctive resource for teaching marketing. And, many Professors in leading B-Schools use it as the text. Could you please say “How is the latest edition different from the previous ones”?

I would say “the emphasis on the Value-delivery theme”, is the prime distinctive feature of this edition. Of course, editions 4 and 5 had also laid emphasis on the “Value- theme”. But the present one makes a significant contribution to marketing-teaching by offering the “value concept of marketing”. It strengthens the foundation of marketing-teaching. And, it does not stop with introducing the concept; it integrates it into all the lessons in the book, end to end. It is totally built around the Value theme. It makes the students realise that ‘value delivery to the customer’ is the crux of marketing. The second thing I can say about the latest edition is that it is “the book of the times”. It is very relevant to the contemporary times. These are extra ordinary times for marketing. Marketing has not only been changing rapidly but has also been going through a predicament. Its study and practice need a change, right now. On one hand, this new edition preserves the strengths of previous editions; on the other, it introduces new material to enhance the quality of marketing learning. One important feature is the re-organisation of topics and their integration into more homogeneous modules, optimizing the number of Chapters in the process.

Has the USP of the book undergone any change in the latest edition?

Its USP has not undergone any change in any fundamental way. It, however, has attained an elevation— an elevation from ‘An Indian text’ to ‘The authentically and wholly Indian text’ on marketing. The compelling logic for an Indian text is well understood today and an ‘Indian text on marketing’ is no more a big deal. There are many and the tribe is growing. But this one is the ‘authentically and wholly Indian’ one. To say, it is not a mere adaptation of a text created for an alien student community, is an understatement. It has been written specifically for the Indian student. The Indian setting and the marketing topics covered are woven together like warp and weft. The book has a strong USP in comparison with both the foreign texts and the other Indian texts on the subject. That the foreign can be described as “books with some Indian examples”, this one is an “Indian book”.

Please elaborate a little on the new feature—Marketing Insight—that has been added to the latest edition.

‘Marketing Insight’ is a major new feature of this new edition. It consists of exhibits, spread through all the chapters. These exhibits provide ‘Marketing Insight’ explaining how high-performing companies, Indian as well as Global, are excelling in various aspects of marketing. These are designed to make teaching and learning more concrete as well as more enjoyable. We have tried to make this book a welcome companion for the teacher; teaching marketing through this book and the supporting Instructor resources will make the class room live; and teaching a finer experience. Just as it makes teaching a finer experience for the teacher, it makes learning a fine experience for the students.

How important is it to bridge the gap between learnings in B-Schools and execution in the corporate world? Does your book bridge this gap? 

Why do so many of our youngsters go abroad for higher studies spending so much money? Many of these youngsters go abroad for MBA. One main reason for this is the yawning gap between learnings in our B-Schools and execution in the corporate world. The education they receive in our B-Schools does not equip them with the knowledge and skills needed for managing businesses in the real world. The inadequacy or inappropriateness of the curriculum and the textbooks must take the major part of the blame for this. While this applies to several subjects of management-education, it is especially telling in respect of marketing. Our BSchools, obviously, need to ramp-up the curriculum on marketing and introduce the right textbooks. I hope this new book will help bridge in some way this gap between learnings in BSchools and execution in the corporate world. It will, in any case, equip the students to comprehend marketing in a manner relevant to the Indian setting.

You can check out the book here!

This article was originally published on University Express, on November 28,2018

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Say ‘YES’ More Often – How I Dropped Out of NYU MBA & Became A Successful Entrepreneur

Nistha Tripathi is the bestselling author of No Shortcuts that features the journeys of 15 successful founders from India. She is also the founder of Scholar Strategy, an education counseling company that prides itself in helping 100s of students getting into top universities across the world including Harvard and MIT.

I see many youths influenced by Warren Buffett’s advice – ‘really successful people say NO to almost everything’.

What students miss in that statement is that it is talking about what ‘successful’ people do, not what makes someone successful. Saying NO works only for people like Buffett, Gates etc who have already found a direction in life & whose time is much more valuable than exploring a mediocre opportunity. It does not work for freshers who are just starting out where an opportunity can be life changing.

Your time right now should be spent in exploring opportunities & figuring what works for YOU. For that, you need to say YES much more often. Do this so that you can find out what you should be spending time on eventually.

When I was pursuing MBA at NYU Stern, I knew I wanted to get into startups which do not have a set recruitment path like Investment Banking or Consulting. Full year, I was scrambling & saying YES to things like unpaid internship with a Venture Capitalist, working extra hours in a fellowship program, and organizing Stern’s first Entrepreneurship Summit. All these sucked out my time but this is what helped me get a coveted job offer even before I had graduated.

I again said YES when the Manhattan based startup asked me if I want to start right away. I dropped out of the MBA program & started working with them. That kick started my journey in the world of startups and laid the foundation for me to come back to India, start my own venture Scholar Strategy and write bestselling books.

Indian students can do so much better by developing this killer drive and go getter attitude. Unpaid internships are a great way to learn and develop skills which can immediately give you an advantage over someone who doesn’t do it. We are having a severe employment and skill development crisis in India. One cannot rely on college placement alone to get employed. You need to be creative, reach out to people you look up to, ask for work and if given an opportunity, kill at it.
Say more Yes’s initially so that you can have the luxury to say No later on.

Read the never-heard stories of Freshworks, Faasos, Unacademy, Zerodha, Slideshare, Pulse, Aspiring Minds, Madhouse/Morpheus, Akosha, Ather Energy, Instablogs, Greyb, LikeaLittle, Wingify and Fashiate in this book by Nistha Tripathi.

Click here to browse through complete list of professional titles from SAGE and be future-ready.

Follow us on: 


This article was originally published on University Express, on March 09,2019.

Monday, March 11, 2019

A language is not taught, it is learned.

Santanu Sinha Chaudhuri, a teacher who worked for the British Council Teaching Centre (Kolkata), teaches General English, Business English, and Spoken English to adult learners. He has conducted numerous workshops at renowned institutions on diverse topics such as presentations, International English, and dealing with difficult people. SAGE is the proud publisher of his book Learn English.
While teaching English for the last 18 years, I realised that people do not learn English (or any other second language) in classrooms.

Then how do they learn? 
Learning a language is similar to acquiring any other skill like music, cooking, or driving. Someone has to teach you the basics – formally or informally – but later, how good a musician or cook you became would depend entirely on your own efforts.
Experts say the immersion method of language learning is the best way to learn a new language. If you fall into a community where everyone speaks English, and if your life depends on speaking the language, then you pick it up. For example, if someone with limited English happened to start a career in New York or Brisbane tomorrow, she will have become a fluent speaker of English before a year was over. Period.

An Indian Learner’s Journey
However, the situation is completely different for English learners who don’t live in an English-language environment. For example, Ravi from the beautiful countryside of Kerala spoke only Malayalam in school, and mostly Tamil while he did B.Tech. in Tamilnadu. Presently, he works in an automobile plant in Haryana, where everyone speaks Hindi. Ravi is a confident young man who speaks three languages and “knows” English. But unfortunately, he finds it impossible to secure a corporate job, or enrol in a US university (or a good business school) because he cannot speak and write English effortlessly.
He knows English will open up a wide horizon of possibilities before him. But how does he get there?

Ravi Can, You Can
I am Ravi. Rather, I was. When I began working, I realised that my bookish knowledge of English was of little use in the real world.
The immersion method wouldn’t work for me (just as it wouldn’t for Ravi) because like most places in India, my environment too did not offer a lot of models of good English.  Still, I hung on.
I read as much good English I could – literature, magazines, and op-ed page articles in newspapers, watched English films, and listened to English language radio broadcasts. For Ravi, the opportunities are significantly better. He has access to the Internet, through which he can
  1. Read international magazines and newspapers, The Times, The Guardian, you name it.
  2. He can also listen to the infotainment channels from the BBC to Nat Geo, watch YouTube, School of Life, TED Talks videos, and listen to podcasts and audio books while he drives.
  3. He can also read books.

Also, most importantly for Ravi,
  1. He must jot down in a notebook the interesting new expressions he comes across.
  2. He must also return to his wordbook regularly. Language experts say unless we go back to new words / expressions four to five times, we may not remember them.
  3. Ravi must also practice the new language. First in his head: he should imagine situations where he will be able to apply the new language; and second, in real life, whenever he gets an opportunity.
Therefore, from now on, Ravi should not cut off the intrusive tele-caller. Instead, he should engage her in a long conversation. He should also share his experiences and thoughts on the social media and respond to others’ posts. He could also try to form groups of likeminded people to practise English. Or he could teach someone English.
Additionally, Ravi would find it useful to have a guide to explain to him the inner structures of the English language. Once he understands the structure, it will be much easier for him to identify and remember good English.
I have always thought that while there are millions of self-learners, there is not one good self-learner’s manual in English. When I started teaching English, I also began compiling the essence of the simple processes that I followed to learn English, with particular reference to the points where Indian learners can go wrong.

The result is the book Learn English, A fun book of Functional Language, Grammar, and Vocabulary which will demolish your fear of and troubles with English.

Click here for the complete list of textbooks which will help you in your course and thereon.

I believe the book will help you in your journey of mastering English. All the best.

Follow us on: 


This article was originally published on University Express, on March 08,2019.

Friday, February 22, 2019

Data Storytelling

Data is fact. Stories are fiction.
Data is boring. Stories are interesting.

Then how can these two be combined, is a question that comes to most minds when they hear the term ‘Data Storytelling’. It is in fact, this sheer need to make Data interesting and memorable that compels us to borrow the principles of Storytelling and unleash the true power of data.

Have you cringed when seeing presentations full of coloured graphs and charts which provide no insight into the data?
Ever found charts which need to be analyzed to decipher its meaning tedious and boring?
Have you poured over reports which need to be read and re-read to be understood?
If the answer to the above is a resounding YES, then welcome to the world of Data Storytelling!

THE POWER OF DATA STORYTELLING will transform the way one thinks and communicates with data. It shows how to stop reporting data and start communicating insights that form the base of an impactful story. This book takes one on a storytelling journey. Introducing simple tools, concepts and practical nuances that help build and craft, impactful, written and visual Data Stories. The multitude of practical illustrations also act as a ready reckoner which can be applied right away!

*Author Credits: Sejal Vora, Corporate Trainer

The Power of Data Storytelling

Click here to know more about the book. 
About the author 
Check out the reviews 
Order your copy today!

Follow us on:


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Developing your idea of happiness

R. Anand is a senior HR Professional with 2 decades of experience and presently is, Principal consultant and advisor – HR, HCL Technologies Ltd. and Board Member – National HRD Network. SAGE is the proud publisher of his book “Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis and Well-being”. SAGE has a fast- growing list of high-quality textbooks on political theory and political thought.  Read on to understand the science of happiness.

What sort of a life do I want to lead? 

What will make me happy? 

What do I see myself doing for years together before I pass away from this world? 

Who could be my role models?

We sometimes pose these questions to ourselves. Don’t we? 

Many of us also run away from these questions. We pretend they don’t exist. They do exist and haunt us every day. They make us feel incomplete and agitated with a nameless, formless ailment. We laugh with our friends but mostly we only pretend. We party but wonder what after this? We wonder if the uncertainty of the future that is making us unbearably anxious? Can we do something about these things? 

The science of happiness says, yes, we can do something about this unsettling situation. In fact, a rational response will help us be present more when we laugh with our friends. It will help us put our best foot forward when we plan our future careers. We will work when we have to, sleep fully when we sleep and more zestfully engage with our lives. We can experience a higher sense of mastery and simultaneously, novelty and awe.

The science of happiness draws from multiple disciplines. They draw lessons from: anthropology – a study of our social and cultural selves; psychology – the study of our psyche and its make-up; neurology – our brains, spines, the chemicals that mediate their interactions all the way to our feelings; evolutionary biology – how evolution pre-disposes us to certain modes of processing the world; behavioral economics – how we make choices and sometimes irrationally; body language – how we express, come to feel and even create mental states with our bodies and of course philosophy – what is true, beautiful, right and valuable to navigate through life.

Systematic diagnostic through analysis and helpful practices can enhance our sense of well-being. My own experience in counselling several professionals have convinced me that there is a science behind happiness. That many of us can become happier. In the space of this article and keeping my readers’ in mind, I humbly offer the following thoughts for their consideration

Are we seeking affirmation or doing our own rational experimentation?

The perspective that we have many chances, and that we can experiment our way into finding what works is a useful one to have. Gandhiji who aptly titled his autobiography as “his experiments with truth” exemplified this very mindset. The renowned professor of psychology, Tal Ben Shahar alludes to this when he explains the success and happiness of Israel. The Israeli society believes that there are many chances that one has. The family always supports the Son or Daughter who wants to experiment a different way at any stage in their life. If they fail, they can start all over again. The support can just be emotional and psychological.

Contrast this with the anxiety to get accepted by peers. This desperation dissolves any sense of our individuality. It dissociates us from ourselves. “Likes” and “comments” then take over our life and torment us. If we look back, we are sadder than happier for seeking affirmation from others. 

At this age, it is not surprising. Evolution made us extra-ordinarily sensitive to what others think, feel and express about us. From the teenage to early adulthood is when we got selected as mates. Many studies of brain responses in this age group have confirmed this extra-ordinary sensitivity. However, technology companies have smartly used this psychological hook of ours to keep us addicted!

The journey to discover who we truly are, what are our true preferences and thoughts is a journey to well-being. Just as when we act impulsively we can be indecent to others, when we suppress we can be indecent to ourselves. We need to surface and acknowledge our innermost thoughts and anxieties. The psychologist Carl Jung calls it individuation. 
When we create a buffer zone where we will be with ourselves and away from devices and networks, we heal. When we record our night time dreams in a private diary and wonder what latent thoughts maybe hidden in them, we are fast tracking our journey to well-being

Wish you reach the next orbit of well-being in 2019!

Read the SAGE Response book Happiness at Work: Mindfulness, Analysis and Well-being by R. Anand and understand how rigorous science and psychology can be applied to remain happy at work.

If you have any questions for the author, please write to us at

Click here for the complete list of books which will help you in becoming top-notch professionals.

This article was originally published on University Express,

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Macroeconomics by Sreejata Banerjee & P. Nandakumar Warrier

Sreejata Banerjee teaches financial mathematics in the Master in Application of Mathematics programme at Chennai Mathematical Institute as an adjunct professor, and is visiting professor  Madras School of Economics. P. Nandakumar Warrier has been a regular visitor at the School of Business Economics, Södertörns Högskola, Stockholm after retiring from IIMK. SAGE is the proud publisher of their book “Macroeconomics”. SAGE has a fast- growing list of high-quality textbooks on Economics.  Read on to understand what is important in this volatile economic environment.

When we are in a never-ending search to identify factors that unite the diverse populations and regions of this vast land, it seems almost trivial to state that such an effort is needed also for the various approaches to the subject of macroeconomics that deals with the creation of wealth and higher living standards. Have you as a student ever wondered about the roles played by all-important entities like the Reserve Bank and the Finance Ministry? Do you as a student want to identify them, thus becoming aware of the possibility of conflicts of interests between these organizations that could even lead up to the resignation of chiefs.

A sound knowledge of macroeconomics, clear of cobwebs and illusions, is a prerequisite for leadership in today’s corporate and government world. It may be observed that when a famous CEO delivers the convocation address in an Indian Institute of Management, she/he does not talk about personnel problems or software problems in industry; she/he talks about the state of the economy, the prospects for growth, the initiatives needed from the government to facilitate growth etc.  Indeed, a number of CEOs of multinational corporations have gone on record stating that a sound knowledge of the basic theories and principles of economics has been one of the more precious contents in their armoury.

But books in this area have always tended to present the various models and approaches in a sequential manner without really making clear the applicability of these in differing economic scenarios.

Reading this book on Macroeconomics by Sreejata Banerjee & P. Nandakumar Warrier is almost like a cool burst of rain on a hot summer day. It is that refreshingly different from standard, existing macroeconomic text books which present the same array of models without clarifying any unifying element across them.

It highlights the differences and similarities between the various macroeconomic models (based on varying theoretical standpoints), also showing that these break down into one another when underlying model assumptions are changed.  We also discuss the suitability of the various models to represent different states of the macro-economy, and, importantly, distinguish between macroeconomic models applicable to developed nations and those for emerging market nations like India. Case studies in the Indian context are also another unique feature of this book.

Students are introduced to models of increasing complexity through this textbook. Not only that, a reverse process is carried on simultaneously, showing how varying certain assumptions break the complex models into a more basic model. In this way, the relationships between the various streams of economic thought and theory are specifically laid down. 

This article was originally published on University Express,

Thursday, February 07, 2019

HOW DO YOU GET WHAT YOU REALLY WANT? Is it a myth or is it possible?

I do for YOU what NASA did to get a man on the moon. I lift you up one league. And I want to leave you with a question; “Do you always feel energized and in balance?” – Anne-Mette Røsting

Anne-Mette Røsting is an intuitive visionary, philanthropist, and a changemaker. With a Masters of Business Administration degree, specializing in marketing and organizational management, she has over 15 years of experience in managing large international companies and mentoring at the Norwegian Business School. 

SAGE Publishing is the proud publisher of her book The Law of Possibilities. SAGE has a fast-growing list of high-quality books to help you ace. Read on to understand how to be an achiever.

How many times have you wanted something else than what you really got?

How many times have you talked yourself down?

Do you feel good enough?

Can you have the feeling of studies stressing you?

Are you capable of leading yourself to the results that you want in studies and life?

The answer to all of these questions is: It´s all about how you lead yourself. It is all about how you meet the world with your thoughts, feelings and actions, and I have found a hidden key to it all that I gladly share. The key has changed many peoples life and my life forever.

Life is challenging from time to time, but the biggest challenge is that there is a human crisis in the world today. We spend too little on our talents. Many people go through life without being close to their talent - and many never find it. Among these are many of our leaders today, and they once where students. I meet many people in my practice who do not have fun in life. They just stick with it. At the same time I also meet people who love what they do. It's not what they do they love, that's who they are that they really love. They are authentic - they are sensational leader stars and not leader sheep, following the footsteps of others.

Remember that knowledge is only other people’s findings. The future is wisdom, and wisdom is learning from and acting on what you believe in. Whether the result is good or bad, what do you think is the downside of this way of living? I only have one answer: The worst that can happen is that you learn and grow as a student and human.

In the beginning of 2002, I found a formula that changed my work and life. I found that a great leader is the master of manifestation, who can call on all humans to serve the greater good. When the power to co-create is used with integrity, great beauty and benefit flow to all. When the power to manifest is used only for personal gain, everyone suffers. Never forget that the world is only mirroring back to you the condition of your love and intent, so a great student or leader changes from within before they take any action. You can never lead others until you have learned to lead yourself.

What is the difference between a good and a great student or leader?
What you focus on and give your energy and attention to will become a reality, whether you want it or not. So, what do you really want as a student or a future leader?
The proven difference is emotional intelligence. And it can be learned. To learn emotional intelligence, there are valuable tools that I found are working out for everyone. It is all about reprogramming and refreshing your thinking to become a great student and get great results. When you know that what you give focus, energy, and attention becomes a reality, then the important question to ask yourself is: “How can I then grow as a student or leader from where I am in the now?”

This article was originally published on University Express,

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Millennial lens: What do they expect from their employers?

Currently, we have about 2 billion millennials in the world. Engaging this cohort for businesses, societies and nations is no more a matter of choice but rather a compulsion. Companies need to rethink their strategy when it comes to hiring and engaging millennials.

The 2016 millennial survey by Deloitte presents an alarming scenario that shows majority of the millennials or Gen Y workers are likely to change their companies by 2020. The survey also points to the fact that this lack of loyalty may be a sign of poor levels of engagement of millennial workers around the world turning out to be a huge red flag for all companies.

What would a millennial look for when choosing a company to work? What are the factors that will bear more weightage than others? If companies wants to attract millennials, then they must take into consideration what they really expect from their workplace.

Dr Debashish Sengupta, Director, Alliance School of Business Alliance University, Bangalore, India in his book “The Life of Y” writes about engaging millennials at the workplace providing insights on how businesses and organizations can redesign the strategy to build attractive workplaces that appeal to these young workers.

Read the full article here.

Order your copy of the book @

Follow us on: 


Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Why Learn about Ideologies?

Dr. Arvind Sivaramakrishnan, an Adjunct Professor and former visiting Professor in the Department of Humanities at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, brings his academic and wider experience to bear on the need to learn and understand ideologies.

Very often, we hear people say things like these:

‘You’re a fascist.’
‘That’s a neoliberal economic policy.’
‘This is truly radical feminism.’
‘They’re a bunch of marxists.’
‘This is a postmodern novel.’
‘We’re facing a techno-managerialist takeover of a public institution.’

We hear, or read, or use, ideological terms such as ‘liberalism’, ‘feminism’, environmentalism’, and many others all the time. They are used as shorthand descriptions, or to help us reach conclusions about policies or events, or - sometimes entertainingly - as insults, and of course in many other contexts.

But what would people say if we asked them what exactly they meant, or in what way a policy is neoliberal, or precisely how a particular moral attitude is fundamentalist? What would we ourselves say if people asked us why we think a conservative response to, say, a national educational reform plan makes good sense and raises significant challenges to the plan?

There are at least two good reasons for learning about political ideologies. The first is that we can ask for - or insist on - and understand the explanations we are given, or we can show that the people using ideological labels do not know what those terms mean, or that they have seriously misunderstood the words they are using.

The second is that we would be much better placed to understand the wider forces that shape our lives, that is, to understand and question our elected representatives and our public-service officials much better about what they plan to do, about what they actually do, and about why they do things the way they do them. We would gain a deeper and clearer understanding of the answers they give us, or of where they are evading our questions, and of how and why policies succeed or fail. 

That is essential to our being citizens in any form of democracy, and in other systems it can be crucial to our very survival. In democracies, we can see how the state often recognises the importance of public accountability, in the form of laws which give the public rights to official information. Indeed, we could start to see how even those kinds of laws are different in different countries, and how the laws themselves express or embody different political ideologies; we would learn different ways of reading our world, of making sense of events, institutions, and political cultures.

Those are just some of the ways in which even reasonable knowledge of political ideologies - of the ideas they express of human nature, and of society and politics - helps us to understand our world better, and even to act with deeper knowledge of it. Indeed it says something about our current political condition that we so often use ideological terms freely but with almost no idea of what they mean.

We would, furthermore, make some startling discoveries For example, the neoliberal thinker Friedrich von Hayek, who argued all his life against state planning and state intervention in the economy, favoured a public welfare safety net - which, by implication, would expand as an economy expands. We might also wonder what Hayek would have said about the fact that major governments committed to neoliberalism poured something like $3 trillion into rescuing private banks whose own actions had caused the 2007-9 global financial crash. As for Karl Marx, it is not widely recognised that he hated violence and walked out of organisations which advocated violence. We would find that many extreme fundamentalist sects which loathe everything about modern society are also very skilled in using the internet, advertising and PR techniques, and high-tech weaponry to spread and enforce their messages to great, even global, effect - and that they could not do without the latest technologies. 

If you want to read a clear, direct, and accessible textbook which aims to aid the reader to identify and evaluate the assumptions underlying a wide range of public matters read the SAGE textbook Introduction to Political Ideologies by Arvind Sivaramakrishnan.

If you have any questions for the author, please write to us at

Click here for the complete list of textbooks on Political theory and thought.

This article was originally published on University Express, on December 29, 2018.

Follow us on: