Comparative Politics : Continuity and Breakdown in the Contemporary World book cover
1st Edition

Comparative Politics
Continuity and Breakdown in the Contemporary World

ISBN 9780415777292
Published May 7, 2009 by Routledge
626 Pages 56 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Comparative Politics: Continuity and Breakdown in the Contemporary World is an exciting new core text for introduction to comparative politics courses, focusing on the dynamics of politics: modernization, revolution, coups and democratization.

Unlike other texts, Comparative Politics integrates thematic and extensive country-specific material in each chapter, striking a unique balance between discussing a wide range of countries and civilizations in detail, whilst using shorter focused textboxes to clearly illustrate key thematic points.

Key features and benefits include:

  • explanations of core concepts such as state, nation, regime, legitimacy, modernization, globalization, revolution, and mass movements
  • an introduction of key theoretical approaches such as institutionalism, structural functionalism, political culture, political economy, and game theory
  • detailed coverage of democratization, advanced democracies, developing countries and communist and post-communist states
  • a range of perspectives to present a nuanced view of the discipline and contemporary political developments
  • case studies of individual countries including Germany, the United States, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Nigeria, Zaire/Congo, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Pakistan, India, Japan, Indonesia, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China
  • country-focused textboxes giving a chronology of key developments, including the United Kingdom, France, Afghanistan, and Kosovo.

Extensively illustrated throughout with maps, photographs, tables and explanatory boxes, Comparative Politics is an innovative core text, and essential reading for all students of Comparative Politics.

Table of Contents

1. Continuity and Breakdown  2. Nation, State, "Democracy": How the Breakdown of the Traditional Order led to the Modern World  3. The Requisites of Democratic Continuity  4. Democratic Institutions  5. Revolution: Breakdown in the Face of Mass Movement  6. Revolutionary Movements in the Contemporary World  7. The Coup D’etat and its Consequences: Breakdown Engineered by Elite Actors  8. Military Regimes  9. Democratization in the Noncommunist World  10. Democratization and Economic Reform in the Communist World  11. The Politics of Contemporary Patrimonial Rule  12. Hybrid Regimes  13. New Political Actors and New Ideologies in the Postmodern Era  14. The Future of Democracy

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Paul W. Zagorski is Professor of Political Science and Coordinator of the International Studies Program at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas, USA.


'Zagorski has written a book that is at once in-depth and accessible, thorough in its coverage of the topic and rich in the examples it employs. With meticulous care, the book begins by introducing the basic foundations of the discipline and then moves on to the phenomenon of political continuity and breakdown, modernization and revolution, dictatorship and democracy, patrimonialism and autocracy, and globalization and postmodernity, all the meanwhile grounding his analysis in a wide array of case studies. I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the study of comparative politics.' - Mehran Kamrava, Georgetown University School of Foreign Serivice, Qatar

'This is a lively textbook that provides an engaging introduction for undergraduates to the field of comparative politics. By focusing on alternative theoretical approaches to the comparative study of political regimes, Zagorski makes a valuable addition to the pedagogical arsenal of modern political science.' - Richard Snyder, Brown University, USA