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Foundations of Comparative Politics
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Foundations of Comparative Politics

First Edition


September 2018 | 456 pages | CQ Press
Adapted from the groundbreaking bestseller, Principles of Comparative Politics, Third Edition!

Foundations of Comparative Politics presents a scientific approach to the rich world of comparative inquiry, research, and scholarship, providing students a guide to cross-national comparison and why it matters to them. This condensed, more accessible format introduces students to the key questions in comparative politics, using brief insights from tools such as decision, social choice, and game theory to help them understand clearly why some explanations for political phenomena are stronger than others. Foundations concentrates on describing the core features of regimes and institutions and on analyzing how these fundamental attributes drive variation in the economic and political outcomes we care about most. This approach more closely replicates what comparative scholars do: constructing and testing theories on political phenomena over basic memorization of country-specific facts—to explain, rather than describe. Illustrated with current examples that show the application of theory, students gain invaluable real-world skills in critical thinking and empirical analysis that they will carry with them long after the course is over. 

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Bundle with Global Issues for only $5 more! 
Students receive the 2018 Edition of Global Issues: Selections from CQ Researcher for only $5 when bundled with the print version of Foundations of Comparative Politics
Use Bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-4442-3

 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
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

 
 
3: WHAT IS POLITICS?
The Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (EVL) Theory of Politics

 
What Happens in the EVL Theory?

 
Insights from the EVL Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
PART II: The Modern State: Democracy or Dictatorship?
 
4: THE ORIGINS OF THE MODERN STATE
What is a State?

 
Syria: A Failed State

 
How Unusual Is Syria?

 
The Contractarian View of the State

 
The Predatory View of the State

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
5: THE ECONOMIC DETERMINANTS OF DEMOCRACY AND DICTATORSHIP
Democracy in Historical Perspective

 
Modernization Theory and Democracy

 
A Variant of Modernization Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

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

 
Does Democracy Require a Civic Culture?

 
Are Some Religions Incompatible with Democracy?

 
Experiments and Culture

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
7: DEMOCRATIC TRANSITIONS
Bottom-Up Transitions to Democracy

 
Top-Down Transitions to Democracy

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
PART III: Varieties of Democracy and Dictatorship
 
8: VARIETIES OF DICTATORSHIP
A Common Typology of Authoritarian Regimes

 
The Two Fundamental Problems of Authoritarian Rule

 
Selectorate Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
9: PROBLEMS WITH GROUP DECISION MAKING
Problems with Group Decision Making

 
Arrow's Theorem

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
10: PARLIAMENTARY, PRESIDENTIAL, AND SEMI-PRESIDENTIAL DEMOCRACIES
Classifying Democracies

 
Governments in Parliamentary Democracies

 
Governments in Presidential Democracies

 
Governments in Semi-Presidential Democracies

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
11: ELECTIONS AND ELECTORAL SYSTEMS
Elections and Electoral Integrity

 
Electoral Systems

 
Legislative Electoral System Choice

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

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

 
Party Systems

 
Where Do Parties Come From?

 
Types of Political Parties and Social Cleavages

 
Number of Parties: Duverger's Theory

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
13: INSTITUTIONAL VETO PLAYERS
Federalism

 
Bicameralism

 
Constitutionalism

 
Veto Players

 
Conclusion

 
Key Concepts

 
 
PART IV: Varieties of Democracy and Political Outcomes
 
14: 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

 
 
References
 
Index

Supplements

Student Study Site

Student Study Site (Open Access)

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts. 
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material.
Instructor Resource Site

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your 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 your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 
  • An answer key is provided for end-of-chapter problems.
  • All tables and figures from the textbook are available for use in class lectures.
Key features

KEY FEATURES: 

  • The core material of Principles of Comparative Politics, Third Edition has been condensed by almost 40% into a briefer, more accessible format that not only resonates with students but also allows instructors to more easily cover all material in a single semester. 
  • Fourteen chapters have been updated and pared down to present only the most necessary information enhanced with plentiful visual features and connections to real-world examples.
  • The “What is Science?” chapter provides students with a foundational understanding of science and the scientific method so students can apply the lessons learned to survey the latest research in comparative politics and examine competing theoretical claims in later chapters. 
  • A focus on essential characteristics of regimes and institutions help students develop a deep understanding of the foundational principles of comparative politics.
  • Reoccurring theories and empirical results appear throughout the book to examine and explain political phenomena—enabling students to build a steady accumulation of theoretical and empirical knowledge. 
  • SAGE edge provides students helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, a customizable action plan, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment. 

Preview this book

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 8: Varieties of Dictatorship


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