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Principles of Comparative Politics
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Principles of Comparative Politics

Third Edition
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March 2017 | 888 pages | CQ Press
Principles of Comparative Politics offers the most comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to comparative inquiry, research, and scholarship. In this thoroughly revised Third Edition, students now have an even better guide to cross-national comparison and why it matters. The new edition retains a focus on the enduring questions with which scholars grapple, the issues about which consensus has started to emerge, and the tools comparativists use to get at the complex problems in the field.

Among other things, the updates to this edition include a thoroughly-revised chapter on dictatorships that incorporates a discussion of the two fundamental problems of authoritarian rule: authoritarian power-sharing and authoritarian control; a revised chapter on culture and democracy that includes a more extensive examination of cultural modernization theory and a new overview of survey methods for addressing sensitive topics; a new section on issues related to electoral integrity; an expanded assessment of different forms of representation; and a new intuitive take on statistical analyses that provides a clearer explanation of how to interpret regression results. Examples from the gender and politics literature have been incorporated into various chapters, the Problems sections at the end of each chapter have been expanded, a! nd the empirical examples and data on various types of institutions have been updated. Online videos and tutorials are available to address some of the more methodological components discussed in the book. The authors have thoughtfully streamlined chapters to better focus attention on key topics.

 
Preface
 
PART I. WHAT IS COMPARATIVE POLITICS?
 
1. INTRODUCTION
Overview of the Book

 
The Approach Taken in This Book

 
Key Concepts

 
 
2. WHAT IS SCIENCE?
What Is Science?

 
The Scientific Method

 
An Introduction to Logic

 
Myths about Science

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
3. WHAT IS POLITICS?
The Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Game

 
Solving the Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Game

 
Evaluating the Exit, Voice, and Loyalty Game

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Preparation for the Problems

 
Problems

 
 
PART II. THE MODERN STATE: DEMOCRACY OR DICTATORSHIP?
 
4. THE ORIGINS OF THE MODERN STATE
What Is a State?

 
Somalia and Syria: Two Failed States

 
The Contractarian View of the State

 
The Predatory View of the State

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Preparation for the Problems

 
Problems

 
 
5. DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP: CONCEPTUALIZATION AND MEASUREMENT
Democracy and Dictatorship in Historical Perspective

 
Classifying Democracies and Dictatorships

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
6. THE ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP
Classic Modernization Theory

 
A Variant of Modernization Theory

 
Some More Empirical Evidence

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Appendix: An Intuitive Take on Statistical Analyses

 
Problems

 
 
7. THE CULTURAL DETERMINANTS OF DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP
Classical Cultural Arguments: Mill and Montesquieu

 
Does Democracy Require a Civic Culture?

 
Religion and Democracy

 
Experiments and Culture

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
8. DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS
Bottom-Up Transitions to Democracy

 
Top-Down Transitions to Democracy

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
9. DEMOCRACY OR DICTATORSHIP: DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
The Effect of Regime Type on Economic Growth

 
The Effect of Regime Type on Government Performance

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
PART III. VARIETIES OF DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP
 
10. VARIETIES OF DICTATORSHIP
A Common Typology of Authoritarian Regimes

 
The Two Fundamental Problems of Authoritarian Rule

 
Selectorate Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
11. PROBLEMS WITH GROUP DECISION MAKING
Problems with Group Decision Making

 
Arrow’s Theorem

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Appendix: Stability in Two-Dimensional Majority-Rule Voting

 
Problems

 
 
12. PARLIAMENTARY, PRESIDENTIAL, AND SEMI-PRESIDENTIAL DEMOCRACIES
Classifying Democracies

 
Making and Breaking Governments in Parliamentary Democracies

 
Making and Breaking Governments in Presidential Democracies

 
Making and Breaking Governments in Semi-Presidential Democracies

 
A Unifying Framework: Principal-Agent and Delegation Problems

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
13. ELECTIONS AND ELECTORAL SYSTEMS
Elections and Electoral Integrity

 
Electoral Systems

 
Legislative Electoral System Choice

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
14. SOCIAL CLEAVAGES AND PARTY SYSTEMS
Political Parties: What Are They, and What Do They Do?

 
Party Systems

 
Where Do Parties Come From?

 
Types of Parties: Social Cleavages and Political Identity Formation

 
Number of Parties: Duverger’s Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
15. INSTITUTIONAL VETO PLAYERS
Federalism

 
Bicameralism

 
Constitutionalism

 
Veto Players

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
PART IV. VARIETIES OF DEMOCRACY AND POLITICAL OUTCOMES
 
16. CONSEQUENCES OF DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTIONS
Majoritarian or Consensus Democracy?

 
The Effect of Political Institutions on Fiscal Policy

 
Electoral Laws, Federalism, and Ethnic Conflict

 
Presidentialism and Democratic Survival

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
Problems

 
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Instructor Resources Site

SAGE edge for Instructors supports teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for the course
  • Lecture notes summarize key concepts by chapter to ease preparation for lectures and class discussions

Principles of Comparative Politics is a very comprehensive, rigorous, and detailed text. It is logically and effectively organized, across and within chapters. One of its strengths is the way the text discusses the strengths and weaknesses of different types of institutions and introduces students to debates in the literature. I will continue to assign the textbook so students are made to engage with the heated and continuing debates in political science.”

Tayna Bagashka
University of Houston

“It is both my opinion and a majority of students’ opinion that Principles of Comparative Politics clearly and concisely presents and describes theories and concepts. From my experience, the book is clearer than most of the alternatives focused on Comparative Politics. From the student’s experience, the book is clearer than many similar texts they have read in Political Science and other disciplines. I believe the book manages to cover many of the relevant themes in Comparative Politics within a logical and interesting framework; as part of a more relevant discussion of the differences in democracy and dictatorships.” 

Nick Clark
Susquehanna University

“The key strength to Principles of Comparative Politics is the theoretical approach. This is the best undergraduate text I have found within both Comparative and International Relations for introducing the scientific method and recent research. I feel that students leave this textbook understanding what political science truly is and what differentiates this field from area specialists. In addition, the book also acts as a comprehensive primer to rational choice theory, and is a great text to be used as a supplement to a rational choice class if looking for a substantive example.” 

Christine Mele
University of Arkansas

“After more than 20 years in the profession, Principles of Comparative Politics is truly the first textbook that will pave the way to establish norms on how to teach Introduction to Comparative Politics.  Traditional method is outdated and too historical.  This textbook provides an introduction to the ‘science of politics.’”

Emizet Kisangani
Kansas State University
Key features
NEW TO THIS EDITION:
  • A new intuitive take on statistical analyses and a clearer explanation of how to interpret regression results are included.
  • A thoroughly-revised chapter on culture and democracy includes a more extensive discussion of cultural modernization theory and a new overview of survey methods for addressing sensitive topics.
  • A revised chapter on dictatorships incorporates a principal-agent framework for understanding authoritarian institutions.
  • Examples from the gender and politics literature have been incorporated into various chapters.
  • Empirical examples and data on various types of institutions have been updated.
  • End of chapter problems have been revised and expanded to address new topics.
  • Multiple chapters have been streamlined to highlight key explanations and offer more coherent overview of literature.
KEY FEATURES:
  • Big questions that motivate the field are front and center, and organize the book:
    • Why do some countries have democratic regimes and other have dictatorships?
    • Does the type of a country’s regime affect the well-being of its citizens?
    • How do governments form and what determines the type of governments that take office?
  • Cases and examples are drawn from a variety of countries–not just “the usual suspects”–and are incorporated into the chapters.
  • Clear and abundant explanations of scientific method and game theory with built-in exercises show students how, not just what, and helps bolster the books’ focus on explanation and analysis, not just description.
  • A set of maps allow students to visualize the geographic distribution of various key institutions around the world.
  • The book's outstanding pedagogy includes chapter opener overviews, bolded key terms and a marginal glossary, more than 250 tables and figures, numerous photos and maps, end of chapter questions and problem sets, and a broader set of works cited.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 2

Chapter 7


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