Political Science: An Introduction / Edition 10

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Exceptionally up-to-date and rich in cross-national examples, Political Science offers an unbiased and thorough introduction to the basic concepts and theories of political science. With a critical look at the major theories, it exposes students to many ways of thinking, and challenges them to think critically. Emphasizing both U.S. and comparative politics provides students with a solid foundation for connecting their studies on what is happening in the world around them.

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Editorial Reviews

The new edition of a textbook for an undergraduate introductory political science course. Chapters cover classic and modern theories, nations and government, individuals and constitutions, democracy and authoritarianism, political ideologies, political culture, public opinion, political communication and the media, interest groups, political parties and party systems, elections, institutions of government, bureaucracy, the courts, political economy, violence and revolution, international relations, and the global system. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780132425766
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/12/2007
  • Series: MySearchLab Series for Political Science Series
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 10
  • Pages: 456
  • Product dimensions: 7.48 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Table of Contents

1 A Science of Politics? 1
2 Nations, States, and Governments 26
3 Individuals and Constitutions 44
4 Democracy, Totalitarianism, and Authoritarianism 61
5 Democracy in Practice: Pluralist and Elitist Views 81
6 Political Ideologies 98
7 Political Culture 123
8 Public Opinion 143
9 Political Communication and the Media 165
10 Interest Groups 184
11 Political Parties and Party Systems 203
12 Voting 223
13 The Basic Structures of Government 243
14 Legislatures 263
15 Executives 283
16 Administration and Bureaucracy 303
17 Legal Systems and the Courts 322
18 Public Policy 344
19 Violence and Revolution 361
20 International Relations 380
Index 397
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IT IS INDEED GRATIFYING to see a book one has worked on reach an eighth edition; it means one is doing something right. It also means that the editors at Prentice Hall recognize that the approach used in the first edition of 1974 was sound and should not be greatly altered. The success of the book owes something to the fact that it is neither a U.S. government text nor a comparative politics text. Instead, it draws from both U.S. and comparative examples to introduce the whole field of political science to new students.

The eighth edition continues an eclectic approach that avoids selling any single theory, conceptual framework, or paradigm as the key to political science. Attempts to impose a methodological grand design are both unwarranted by the nature of the discipline and unconducive to the broadening of students' intellectual horizons. Instructors with a wide variety of viewpoints have no trouble using this text. Above all, the eighth edition still views politics as exciting and tries to communicate that feeling to young people approaching the discipline for the first time.

Instructors familiar with earlier editions will see some changes in the eighth edition. I have come to recognize the importance of introducing methodologies early in an undergraduate's career. I'm not thinking of high-level numbers crunching—which I neither engage in nor advocate—but of a reality-testing frame of mind that looks for empirical verifiability. I often discuss methodologies in class in connection with student papers, but decided for this edition to insert them—one methodological point per chapter—in the text in feature boxes entitled "How To." Theseboxes include thesis statements, endnotes, quotations, tables, cross-tabs, percentages, graphs, and other standard fare, all at the introductory level. I hope instructors find this useful and I am open to suggestions to alter or add to these points. I also added some vocabulary words to the Key Terms throughout the chapters. The definitions are in the context under discussion; change that context and you may need another definition. There is a difference, for example, between the governing elites discussed in Chapter 5 (a tiny fraction of 1 percent of a population) and public-opinion elites discussed in Chapter 8 (probably several percent).

Some material—such as Key Concepts, Case Studies, and Classic Works—continues to appear in feature boxes, both to highlight the material and to vary the text format, making the text reader-friendly. The discussion of electoral systems has been consolidated from Chapter 11, "Political Parties and Political Systems," and Chapter 13, "The Basic Institutions of Government," into Chapter 12, "Elections." Those who have used previous editions will have no trouble using the eighth edition, as the overall structure of the text stays the same.



— This Website brings an online study guide to students and a valuable tool to professors. When students log on, they will find a wealth of study and research resources. Chapter outlines and summaries with special features from the book, true/false tests, fill-in-the-blank tests, and multiple-choice questions, all with immediate feedback and chapter page numbers, give students ample opportunity to review the information. The site also includes a large variety of links to sites pertaining to material covered in each chapter of the text. For professors, there is a faculty resource section that includes links to helpful sites, graphics to download from the book, and textual PowerPoint slides to use in presentations.


An instructor's manual with test item files on diskette are available to instructors from their Prentice Hall representative.


Prentice Hall's testing software program permits instructors to edit any or all items in the Test Item File and add their own questions. Other special features of this program, which is available for Windows and Macintosh, include random generation of an item set, creation of alternative versions of the same test, scrambling question sequence, and test preview before printing.


Several people reviewed this edition and earlier editions, and I sincerely considered most of their comments. For this edition, I wish to thank my Lycoming colleagues who reviewed the new "How To" feature boxes and offered valuable advice: Gene Sprechini of our math department, John Whelan of our philosophy department, and Gary Hafer of our English department. I also wish to thank Paul J. Best of Southern Connecticut State University and Victor E. Obasohan of Cerritos College, both of whom reviewed the entire manuscript for Prentice Hall.

Are further changes needed in the book, or have I got it about right? Instructors' input on this matter-or indeed on anything else related to the text or supplementary materials—is highly valued. Instructors may contact me directly at Lycoming College at Williamsport, Pennsylvania 17701, or by e-mail.

Michael G. Roskin

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