Ideologies or fragments of ideological beliefs often determine perceptions as to whether there is a policy problem or opportunity and the willingness either to support, and implement, a policy initiative or to oppose and undermine its development. According to the Italian thinker Antonio Gramsci ideologies ‘create the terrain on which men move, acquire consciousness of their position (and) struggle’ (Gramsci 1971: 337). Ideology is, however, a contested concept that has many definitions. In populist sentiment ideology can be used as a pejorative term that condemns organised political views as dangerous and divisive excesses that underpin the rationale for authoritarian non-pluralist governments. However, as used by political researchers it is a term that can encompass both authoritarian views of political systems and also those that support democratic representative systems such as the predominant values within the United States or Britain. As a normatively neutral description it can simply be defined as ‘any more or less coherent systems of beliefs or views on politics and society’ (Leach 1991: 10).