Dr Marius Ostrowski

BA (Hons), MPhil, DPhil, FRHistS FRSA
Quondam Fellow since 2020

I am a social theorist and political researcher, working primarily within the fields of political thought and the history of ideas. My primary research focus is on the study of ideologies, in particular how ideologies gain influence among the population, reflected in how public opinion is formed and expressed. Through my research, I aim to help contemporary progressive movements respond better to the rising salience of identity politics and sustainability, and the threat of authoritarianism and populist nationalism. In this vein, I am a passionate supporter of widening access and diversity in higher education to include all those discriminated against on grounds of income, gender, race, sexual orientation, or disability.

At the heart of my work lies an innovative 'social morphology' approach to ideology analysis, which synthesises insights from conceptual morphology, conceptual and intellectual history, social psychology, and structuralist and poststructuralist social theory. This approach has closely informed my work on the principled basis of cooperation between progressive ideologies, and the formulation of specific policies that can bridge current areas of acute polarisation—including a proposal for a European-level Universal Basic Income. My work draws on two historical case-studies: (1) the emergence of social democracy as an independent ideology, including the writings of the foundational social-democratic thinker Eduard Bernstein (18901930); (2) the rise of competing visions of European unification put forward during the immediate prehistory of the European project (191957).

Alongside my research, I have written articles for press and media outlets including The Times, New Statesman, The Conversation, and Justice Everywhere. I am the Online Editor of the Journal of Political Ideologies, and founding Editor of its affiliated blog Ideology Theory Practice. My research on contemporary and historical progressive ideologies is designed to maintain close engagement with current policy debates, and I have built up extensive relationships with progressive policy research bodies at the UK, European, and global level. I am a policy consultant for Compass and Engage Britain; a member of the research networks for Policy Network (now Progressive Britain) and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies; and I am co-authoring a report on ‘resilient democracy’ for the international Progressive Alliance.