Skip to ContentGo to accessibility pageKeyboard shortcuts menu
OpenStax Logo

Menu
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
authoritarianism
an ideology that may allow freedoms in nonpolitical life but does not permit any political challenge to the ruler
civil religion
a common religious sentiment, usually promoted by the state, that defines citizens as brothers and sisters and teaches respect for religious differences
class consciousness
a recognition of one’s membership in an economic class, which Marx argued can engender a sense of profound camaraderie among the proletariat based on the recognition of common economic conditions
classical liberalism
an ideology emphasizing natural rights, limited government, and capitalism
communism
in Marxism, the eventual condition that will emerge from the fall of capitalism, characterized by peace, justice, freedom from repressive laws and political supervision, and equality of material resources in a society without economic classes
conservative populism
an ideology on the right that calls for winning elections so that the government can regulate media and corporate elites in order to protect traditional Western culture and what adherents see as “ordinary” citizens
cosmopolitanism
the idea that one should define oneself primarily as a citizen of the world and not of any particular nation
critical race and gender theory
a contemporary movement to expand rights and equity by compensating past victims of injustice through law and public policy in order to achieve a current condition that is judged to be fairer
democratic liberalism
an ideology that merges elements of classical liberalism, especially its endorsement of capitalism and individual rights, with a high regard for equality of treatment and democratic decision-making through elected representatives
democratic socialism
a New Left movement defined by a deep appreciation of socialist ideology and democracy
dictatorship of the proletariat
in Marxist thought, a temporary period in which workers would organize, take control of the state, and engage in the cleanup operations needed to usher in communism
direct democracy
a system in which the populace decides political matters by direct majority vote
environmentalism
a movement that aims to preserve and protect the natural environment
fascism
an ideology that combines reverence for the state with nationalism, anti-communism, and skepticism of the parliamentary form of government
first-wave feminism
a movement in the 19th and 20th centuries to advance women’s rights, such as the rights to vote, to enter into contracts, and to work in all professional fields
fusionism
a political movement combining moderate economic libertarianism and moderate social conservatism
general will
Rousseau’s term for laws that advance the true good of every person in society
globalism
an ideology that calls for either enhancing the power of existing global institutions, such as the United Nations, or creating new international bodies with effective governing authority
harm principle
the idea advanced by John Stuart Mill that laws should not restrict the freedom of adults, even if adults exercise their freedom in ways that cause them personal physical or moral harm, as long as that exercise does not harm another person
hegemony
the prevailing cultural norms that serve to reinforce the economic domination of the upper class
indigenism
a movement asserting that Indigenous tribal communities have special virtues and deserve to be preserved by the state
intersectionality
the belief that individuals may have characteristics that make them members of more than one oppressed group and that these groups intersect, exacerbating the oppression that such individuals experience
laws of nature
according to Hobbes, rules based on human reason that would allow people to achieve peace and live free from worries in the state of nature
Maoism
the ideology advanced by Mao Zedong that the Chinese peasantry, and not the industrial workers, could and should be the agents ushering in communism and that the peasants need only to be led by a powerful political party
mercantilist
economic policies that discriminate against other countries’ imports and subsidize exports
multiculturalism
an ideology arguing that all or almost all of the cultures in the world are valid and should be respected, that many individuals derive a great sense of their identity and self-worth through their membership in a particular culture, and that the state should affirm this diversity of cultures
nationalism
pride in and celebration of a national identity based on shared blood, history, and soil, usually to the exclusion or detriment of other identities
natural rights
according to Locke and other thinkers, rights that individuals have as a consequence of the natural law
Nazism
a form of fascism that governed Germany from 1934 to 1945
neoliberalism
a movement to encourage developing countries to adopt a free market, open their economies to international trade, avoid significant inflation, and enhance the rule of law and the rights of individuals
political ideologies
consciously held ideas about both how political life is structured and how it should be structured
political secularism
the view that explicitly religious sets of principles should not administer government
second-wave feminism
a form of feminism that emerged in the 1970s and focused primarily on bodily freedoms and safety surrounding sex and personal relationships, especially the right to abortion, the right to a divorce without having to show cause, prevention of domestic violence, and critiques of pornography
social conservatism
a school of political thought that emphasizes the need for the government to uphold traditional moral standards based on the natural law or on the long-standing traditions of a given area
social contract
according to Hobbes, an agreement among the people to give power to an authority that can ensure that everyone follows the laws of nature and can punish those who do not
social relations of production
social norms, such as marriage, that have been shaped by the capitalist economy
socialism
an ideology committed to remaking society to ensure more or less equal material wealth, and especially equal possession of the goods that individuals need to reach their full potential
state of nature
a term used by thinkers such as Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau to describe what they suppose life would be like if there were no government ruling over the people
structural racism
a form of racism thought to be manifest when actions are taken within a legal, political, and cultural context that has been shaped by the past racist decisions of others, regardless of the individual actors’ personal beliefs or intent
third-wave feminism
a form of feminism that argues that society is marked by embedded cultural patriarchy and works to upend these patriarchal norms
totalitarianism
a political system in which the state seeks to control the totality of its citizens’ lives as a means to achieve state objectives
Do you know how you learn best?
Kinetic by OpenStax offers access to innovative study tools designed to help you maximize your learning potential.
Order a print copy

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Citation/Attribution

Want to cite, share, or modify this book? This book uses the Creative Commons Attribution License and you must attribute OpenStax.

Attribution information
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a print format, then you must include on every physical page the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/introduction-political-science/pages/1-introduction
  • If you are redistributing all or part of this book in a digital format, then you must include on every digital page view the following attribution:
    Access for free at https://openstax.org/books/introduction-political-science/pages/1-introduction
Citation information

© May 20, 2022 OpenStax. Textbook content produced by OpenStax is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License . The OpenStax name, OpenStax logo, OpenStax book covers, OpenStax CNX name, and OpenStax CNX logo are not subject to the Creative Commons license and may not be reproduced without the prior and express written consent of Rice University.