Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Seven Countries (4th Edition)

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9780130835734: Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Seven Countries (4th Edition)

Using jargon-free language and a carefully structured comparative framework, this text combines intensive individual country studies of seven important contemporary political systems and systematic comparison of these countries in terms of six key areas. Explores England, France, Germany, Japan, China, Russia and Nigeria individually and comparatively. For individuals interested in a systematic, structured and consistent comparative framework analysis of 7 major political systems.

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Using jargon-free language and a carefully structured comparative framework, this text combines intensive individual country studies of seven important contemporary political systems and systematic comparison of these countries in terms of six key areas.

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Preface

The study of comparative politics has moved far beyond the time when it was deemed sufficient to examine only "the great European powers:" Informed citizens now require an understanding of the intricacies of Kremlin politics, the significance of military coups, the problems of political and economic development, and the importance of Confucian principles in modern China. At the same time, students need to study other ways of organizing democracy beyond their own pattern in order to understand the strengths and weaknesses of American democracy and to see how other countries have sought to deal with the universal issues of politics and to overcome their own distinctive problems.

The breadth of knowledge of foreign political systems is now so great that it is difficult to cover even the most important concepts in an introductory course. To present these issues using a topical approach usually leads to rather abstract discussion, and the student ends up with little concrete knowledge. This text examines seven countries: Britain, France, the German Federal Republic, the Russian Federation, Japan, the People's Republic of China, and Nigeria. Each country is studied individually, but from a similar viewpoint, with the goal of permitting comparisons as well as discussions of the individual countries. The countries were selected, first, because they are important in and of themselves and, second, because they illustrate some of the key issues faced by many other countries. The real understanding of these and other countries can come only through the comparison of their political patterns and experiences.

This text entailed considerable collaboration between the two authors, but each had specializations in specific countries. Professor Wilson is primarily responsible for the sections on Britain, France, and Nigeria. Professor Theen is primarily responsible for the sections on Germany and the Russian Federation, as well as the revisions of the section on China. Professors Theen and Wilson jointly authored the section on Japan. Professor James C. ft Wang authored the section on China in the first edition. We are all indebted to the many reviewers who carefully examined our manuscripts at several stages of writing and offered important corrections and useful suggestions, and we are grateful to Professor Gordon Mork for commenting on the first chapter in the section on Germany. We appreciate the suggestions and corrections from the professors and students who have used previous editions of this textbook.

We appreciate the patience and confidence of Prentice Hall's political science editor, Beth Gillett Mejia, and assistant editor, Brian Prybella. We also appreciate the excellent copyediting provided by Sylvia Moore. We also wish to acknowledge those who reviewed this manuscript at various stages and provided helpful suggestions, criticism, and comments. These include Peter Wilson and Linda L. Dolive, both of Northern Kentucky University, Andrew Milnor of the State University of New York at Binghamton, Michael J. Gorges of the University of Maryland at Baltimore, Ronald H. Hayashida of Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Hong N. Kim of West Virginia University.

Rolf H. W. Theen
Frank L. Wilson

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