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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. Introduction to Political Science
    1. 1 What Is Politics and What Is Political Science?
      1. Introduction
      2. 1.1 Defining Politics: Who Gets What, When, Where, How, and Why?
      3. 1.2 Public Policy, Public Interest, and Power
      4. 1.3 Political Science: The Systematic Study of Politics
      5. 1.4 Normative Political Science
      6. 1.5 Empirical Political Science
      7. 1.6 Individuals, Groups, Institutions, and International Relations
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  3. Individuals
    1. 2 Political Behavior Is Human Behavior
      1. Introduction
      2. 2.1 What Goals Should We Seek in Politics?
      3. 2.2 Why Do Humans Make the Political Choices That They Do?
      4. 2.3 Human Behavior Is Partially Predictable
      5. 2.4 The Importance of Context for Political Decisions
      6. Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Review Questions
      9. Suggested Readings
    2. 3 Political Ideology
      1. Introduction
      2. 3.1 The Classical Origins of Western Political Ideologies
      3. 3.2 The Laws of Nature and the Social Contract
      4. 3.3 The Development of Varieties of Liberalism
      5. 3.4 Nationalism, Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism
      6. 3.5 Contemporary Democratic Liberalism
      7. 3.6 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Left
      8. 3.7 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Right
      9. 3.8 Political Ideologies That Reject Political Ideology: Scientific Socialism, Burkeanism, and Religious Extremism
      10. Summary
      11. Key Terms
      12. Review Questions
      13. Suggested Readings
    3. 4 Civil Liberties
      1. Introduction
      2. 4.1 The Freedom of the Individual
      3. 4.2 Constitutions and Individual Liberties
      4. 4.3 The Right to Privacy, Self-Determination, and the Freedom of Ideas
      5. 4.4 Freedom of Movement
      6. 4.5 The Rights of the Accused
      7. 4.6 The Right to a Healthy Environment
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 5 Political Participation and Public Opinion
      1. Introduction
      2. 5.1 What Is Political Participation?
      3. 5.2 What Limits Voter Participation in the United States?
      4. 5.3 How Do Individuals Participate Other Than Voting?
      5. 5.4 What Is Public Opinion and Where Does It Come From?
      6. 5.5 How Do We Measure Public Opinion?
      7. 5.6 Why Is Public Opinion Important?
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  4. Groups
    1. 6 The Fundamentals of Group Political Activity
      1. Introduction
      2. 6.1 Political Socialization: The Ways People Become Political
      3. 6.2 Political Culture: How People Express Their Political Identity
      4. 6.3 Collective Dilemmas: Making Group Decisions
      5. 6.4 Collective Action Problems: The Problem of Incentives
      6. 6.5 Resolving Collective Action Problems
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
    2. 7 Civil Rights
      1. Introduction
      2. 7.1 Civil Rights and Constitutionalism
      3. 7.2 Political Culture and Majority-Minority Relations
      4. 7.3 Civil Rights Abuses
      5. 7.4 Civil Rights Movements
      6. 7.5 How Do Governments Bring About Civil Rights Change?
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
    3. 8 Interest Groups, Political Parties, and Elections
      1. Introduction
      2. 8.1 What Is an Interest Group?
      3. 8.2 What Are the Pros and Cons of Interest Groups?
      4. 8.3 Political Parties
      5. 8.4 What Are the Limits of Parties?
      6. 8.5 What Are Elections and Who Participates?
      7. 8.6 How Do People Participate in Elections?
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  5. Institutions
    1. 9 Legislatures
      1. Introduction
      2. 9.1 What Do Legislatures Do?
      3. 9.2 What Is the Difference between Parliamentary and Presidential Systems?
      4. 9.3 What Is the Difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Systems?
      5. 9.4 The Decline of Legislative Influence
      6. Summary
      7. Key Terms
      8. Review Questions
      9. Suggested Readings
    2. 10 Executives, Cabinets, and Bureaucracies
      1. Introduction
      2. 10.1 Democracies: Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Regimes
      3. 10.2 The Executive in Presidential Regimes
      4. 10.3 The Executive in Parliamentary Regimes
      5. 10.4 Advantages, Disadvantages, and Challenges of Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes
      6. 10.5 Semi-Presidential Regimes
      7. 10.6 How Do Cabinets Function in Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes?
      8. 10.7 What Are the Purpose and Function of Bureaucracies?
      9. Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Review Questions
      12. Suggested Readings
    3. 11 Courts and Law
      1. Introduction
      2. 11.1 What Is the Judiciary?
      3. 11.2 How Does the Judiciary Take Action?
      4. 11.3 Types of Legal Systems around the World
      5. 11.4 Criminal versus Civil Laws
      6. 11.5 Due Process and Judicial Fairness
      7. 11.6 Judicial Review versus Executive Sovereignty
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 12 The Media
      1. Introduction
      2. 12.1 The Media as a Political Institution: Why Does It Matter?
      3. 12.2 Types of Media and the Changing Media Landscape
      4. 12.3 How Do Media and Elections Interact?
      5. 12.4 The Internet and Social Media
      6. 12.5 Declining Global Trust in the Media
      7. Summary
      8. Key Terms
      9. Review Questions
      10. Suggested Readings
  6. States and International Relations
    1. 13 Governing Regimes
      1. Introduction
      2. 13.1 Contemporary Government Regimes: Power, Legitimacy, and Authority
      3. 13.2 Categorizing Contemporary Regimes
      4. 13.3 Recent Trends: Illiberal Representative Regimes
      5. Summary
      6. Key Terms
      7. Review Questions
      8. Suggested Readings
    2. 14 International Relations
      1. Introduction
      2. 14.1 What Is Power, and How Do We Measure It?
      3. 14.2 Understanding the Different Types of Actors in the International System
      4. 14.3 Sovereignty and Anarchy
      5. 14.4 Using Levels of Analysis to Understand Conflict
      6. 14.5 The Realist Worldview
      7. 14.6 The Liberal and Social Worldview
      8. 14.7 Critical Worldviews
      9. Summary
      10. Key Terms
      11. Review Questions
      12. Suggested Readings
    3. 15 International Law and International Organizations
      1. Introduction
      2. 15.1 The Problem of Global Governance
      3. 15.2 International Law
      4. 15.3 The United Nations and Global Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
      5. 15.4 How Do Regional IGOs Contribute to Global Governance?
      6. 15.5 Non-state Actors: Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
      7. 15.6 Non-state Actors beyond NGOs
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
    4. 16 International Political Economy
      1. Introduction
      2. 16.1 The Origins of International Political Economy
      3. 16.2 The Advent of the Liberal Economy
      4. 16.3 The Bretton Woods Institutions
      5. 16.4 The Post–Cold War Period and Modernization Theory
      6. 16.5 From the 1990s to the 2020s: Current Issues in IPE
      7. 16.6 Considering Poverty, Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis
      8. Summary
      9. Key Terms
      10. Review Questions
      11. Suggested Readings
  7. References
  8. Index

1.1 Defining Politics: Who Gets What, When, Where, How, and Why?

Politics involves the activities of individuals who are cooperating or competing with others to resolve disagreements over scarce resources or different preferences. Politics is the means by which societies decide who gets what, when, and how. Anyone engaged in political activity is a political actor, while politicians are those running for elective office or serving in one. To understand political activity and outcomes, it is useful to focus on the rules that determine what the actors can and cannot do, the reality of the political environment, and the choices that the political actors make.

1.2 Public Policy, Public Interest, and Power

Public policy—all the actions that governments take that are designed to influence individual, group, institutional, or national behavior—is one of the main products of politics. Those seeking to make public policy typically invoke the public interest, claiming that the policies they seek will benefit the broader society (rather than merely their own self-interest). Policies are made by those with power.

Power is fundamental to the study of politics, although it is impossible to accurately measure or observe. Power is the ability of one political actor to get other actors to do things they would not otherwise choose to do or not to take actions they otherwise would. The highest form of power is sovereign power, which means that the actor with sovereign power is ruled by no one else. Sovereign power is usually associated with a single person (an emperor), a national government, or in democracies, with the citizens themselves. A political actor has authority if they have the power to enforce rules, and that authority is seen as legitimate if the power is used in ways consistent with those rules.

Disagreements over resource allocation and values are fundamental to politics. Bargaining is the attempt to resolve these conflicts.

1.3 Political Science: The Systematic Study of Politics

Political scientists systematically study political phenomena—the actions of individuals, groups, institutions, and countries as they seek to obtain their goals or express their identities. That those who study politics are scientific does necessarily not mean that they can identify universal laws, although many have tried. What is important is that political scientists use the scientific method to understand the political world. In the scientific method, researchers try to develop accurate depictions of the world through logic, reason, and evidence while making their techniques and data open to scrutiny and verification by other researchers. In their research, political scientists must always be tentative about their conclusions: further study might indicate that their conclusions need to be revised in the light of new evidence or techniques.

1.4 Normative Political Science

Normative political science, also called political philosophy, seeks to answer questions regarding the meaning, purposes, and goals of politics, such as “What is a good citizen?” or “What purposes should governments serve?” The answers to these questions cannot come from examining evidence alone; instead, political philosophers rely on reason and logic. Three common approaches to normative political science involve a focus on consequences (for example, the purpose of government is to provide benefits to its citizens), rules (for example, the purpose of government is to protect rights), or virtue (so that the purpose of government is to produce virtuous citizens). Some of the main questions in normative theory are rooted in antiquity, but they remain relevant today.

1.5 Empirical Political Science

Empirical political science, in contrast to political philosophy, attempts to answer questions (or test hypotheses) on the basis of evidence. Unlike political philosophers, empirical political scientists are curious to learn about how the political world actually works rather than how it should work and about how politicians actually behave rather than how they should behave. Empirical political science is based on facts—that which can be counted or measured and verified to be true. It is not always easy to determine what the facts are, in part because political action can be so complex and difficult to observe.

A key outcome of empirical research is generalizations—that is, statements about political behavior that are typically true or are correct in general even if not for every individual or each event. Generalizations are probabilistic rather than deterministic. Generalizations are helpful because they allow us to describe, explain, and predict.

1.6 Individuals, Groups, Institutions, and International Relations

This text examines politics using a “micro (individuals) to macro (relations between countries)” framework. It begins by focusing on individuals, the building blocks of all political action: nothing happens in politics unless individuals are engaged in political activity. While all political behavior is ultimately individual behavior, in politics individuals typically band together with others to form political parties, interest groups, or even social movements. When groups are formalized—with set rules and practices, for example—they become institutions. The text examines the most important governmental institutions—legislatures, executives and executive agencies, courts, and bureaucracies. These are the institutions present in every government in the world. The news media is the most important nongovernmental institution. International relations involves the interactions among countries on matters of war and peace, as well the international political economy and globalization.

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