Comparative Politics: Approaches and Issues

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9780742530362: Comparative Politics: Approaches and Issues
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Beginning with an introduction to the field of comparative politics, this clear and complete text moves on to explore new, innovative directions in the field. Leading scholar Howard J. Wiarda explores its main approaches, including political development, political culture, dependency theory, corporatism, indigenous theories of change, state-society relations, rational choice, and the new institutionalism.

Wiarda addresses many hot issues in the field: Can democracy and human rights be transplanted from one culture to another? Is civil society exportable? What works in the effort to develop the poorer nations and what doesn't? Where are we headed with such frontier research issues as comparative environmental policy, women's rights, and gay rights?

The book concludes with a stimulating discussion of whether the great systems debates of the past (socialism vs. capitalism, democracy vs. authoritarianism) are now over and points to some of the next important study and research frontiers. Students, professors, and general readers will all find Comparative Politics current, provocative, and well written—a truly balanced overview.

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About the Author:

Howard J. Wiarda is Dean Rusk Professor of International Relations and head of the Department of International Affairs at the University of Georgia. He is also Senior Scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington.

Review:

Howard Wiarda is without question one of the leading experts in the field of comparative politics. With this book he presents the issues and debates that are at the core of comparative politics. In his usual straightforward and occasionally provocative manner, Wiarda challenges the reader to think through many of the questions about governing in today's world. From the problems with democratization in the less developed world to some of the new directions of study such as environmentalism and gay rights, Wiarda is always at the cutting edge. This is an essential text that students of comparative politics should have on their reading list. (Michael J. Kryzanek, Bridgewater State College)

Howard Wiarda does a masterful job in presenting the panoply of approaches and hot issues in comparative politics. His focus―and rightly so―is on how we do comparative politics. For students, Comparative Politics: Approaches and Issues provides an array of questions to ask as they read about, and directly experience, countries around the world. (Joel S. Migdal, University of Washington)

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