The VDP-triad in Ideational Analysis

Toward a general theory of ideological thought-content in social and political communication, debate, thought and language – beyond the concepts ‘ideology’, ‘culture’, ‘belief-system’, ‘discourse’ and ‘policy’ (Part II)

  • Mats Lindberg


This article is Part Two of a longer essay with the aim to propose a unified analytical framework, or a general theory, of ideological thought content. As we saw in Part One (in Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift 2018:2) I suggest that all social and political communication and language consists of three basic kinds of thought: values (V), descriptions (D) and prescriptions (P). These are connected in quasi-logical sequences of practical reasoning. On these grounds I propose the theoretical model of the VDP-triad. I also present an attached analytical scheme for contentoriented idea-analysis, involving two basic levels of ideological thought, the fundamental level (of philosophical principles, world-views or human nature) and the operative level (of practical analyses of the situation and practical suggestions for action). My general method is presented as that of reconstructive theoretical synthesis, drawing on earlier theories and concepts of the ideational phenomenon in society. Part One consists of Chapter One ‘Bringing ideas back in’ (Sections 1–7) and Chapter Two, ‘Encircling the proposed general theory’ (Sections 8–14).