Centre for Ideology and Discourse Analysis

Part of Department of Government

We focus on the systematic study of contemporary ideologies and discourses

Today we face unprecedented social, economic, technological and environmental change, not to mention major societal crises and dangers of various types.

This has resulted in fundamental challenges to mainstream political ideologies, the rise of new myths and collective social imaginaries, and the creation of novel discourses and languages. Populisms and nationalisms of various sorts, the rise and consolidation of neoliberalism, the philosophies of radical environmentalism and multiculturalism, are just a few of the ideological systems that currently jostle for power and influence.

The Centre for Ideology and Discourse Analysis (CIDA) is focused on the systematic study of contemporary ideologies and discourses, and their impact on institutions, movements and policies. Rooted in the work of Ernesto Laclau, who was a founding figure of the Centre, and other members of the Essex School of Discourse Analysis, we gather together experts and critics to analyse and evaluate the key problems and promises of the current age.


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Our aims and research

We have a unique plural and transdisciplinary focus on the study of ideologies and political discourses, and their embodiment in particular practices and regimes, using a range of critical and explanatory idioms of analysis. Our research underpins theoretical, empirical and evaluative research in this field.

We aim to provide a platform for cross-disciplinary collaborations across the departments of the University and with other benchmark universities both in the UK and Europe. We have close ties with Essex Business School, the Department of Sociology, the School of Law, the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and Philosophy, in the School of Philosophy and Art History.

We also provide links between research and education by actively integrating our students in research projects, hosting seminars, academic visits and working with other institutions.

We want to become a prominent home for humanities and social science fellows, projects, dialogue and debates. We aim to build this intellectual community through regular activities, organised within related clusters:

  • poststructuralist, post-Marxist and psychoanalytic theories of ideology and discourse
  • contemporary democratic theory and governance
  • research methods in critical political theory and analysis
  • populism and radical democracy
  • democracy, justice and social movements
  • mass media, communication and political agency
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Read our research

Visit our research repository to view our publications and discover the very latest research from the Centre for Ideology and and Discourse Analysis.

Visit our research repository
Get in touch
Get in touch
Centre for Ideology and Discourse Analysis University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ 
Department of Government University of Essex
Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, CO4 3SQ
Telephone: 01206 872759