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The Science of Politics

by Josep M. Colomer

  • Paperback
    $154.65
ISBN / EAN: 9780195397741
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PUBLISHED: 16th September 2010
ISBN: 9780195397741
$154.65
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ISBN / EAN: 9780195397741
This textbook is prescribed for the following courses:
Use our Textbook Finder to find the rest of your Textbooks!
OTHER FORMATS:
  • Paperback
    $154.65
PUBLISHED: 16th September 2010
ISBN: 9780195397741

Publisher Description

A broad, accessible, and rigorous overview of politics, The Science of Politics: An Introduction introduces students to the most substantive and important issues in the field. Josep M. Colomer takes a unique approach to the study of politics, addressing it from two points of departure: as a fundamental human activity to pursue the common interests of the members of a community (i.e., the "public good") and as the subject of systematic and reliable knowledge (i.e., science). This method helps to bridge a persistent gap between developments in research and actual teaching in the discipline. It provides students with the best possible foundation to build upon as they move into more advanced study in the field. FEATURES Presents thirty principles that have been established through research over the years Gives students the methodological tools to explore, study, and understand questions and issues that they may encounter Discusses a variety of key issues including action, representation, government, and policy Incorporates a number of pedagogical devices including summaries, key concepts, review questions, problems and applications, comparative case studies, and special features explaining classic research contributions

Author Biography

Josep M. Colomer is a life member of the American Political Science Association and an elected member of the Academia Europaea. He has taught political science in New York, Washington, and Mexico and is currently a Research Professor at the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) in Barcelona. He is the author of more than thirty books, which have been published in six languages.

Table of Contents

INTRODUCTIONWhat's Politics?Why Science?The BookSOME THINGS WE KNOWThirty Propositions in Political ScienceI. ACTION1. THE PUBLIC GOODPublic GoodsIndivisibility ExternalitiesSource 1.1: Private Goods and Public GoodsTypes of Public GoodsPure Public GoodsClub GoodsThe CommonsSource 1.2: The Tragedy of the CommonsThe Politics of Public GoodsRedistribution FightsThe Growth of Public ExpenditureBox 1.1: Measuring Government's Action 2. COLLECTIVE ACTIONThe Individual LogicWeighed Benefits and Costs The Free RiderSelective IncentivesExit and VoiceCase 2.1: Benefits and Costs of VotingSources 2.1: The Individual Logic of Collective ActionThe Size of the GroupTypes of GroupsCollective Identity Exploitation of the Large by the SmallSources 2.2: Small Groups Get Better Organized3. COOPERATION AND CONFLICTThe Prisoner's DilemmaCooperate and DefectOther Political Dilemmas Box 3.1: Going for the BlondeCase 3.1: Prisoner's Dilemma in the OperaSources 3.1: Theory of GamesThe Evolution of CooperationTit for TatIndefinite PlaysFavorable ContextsOther Games of Collective ActionChickenStag HuntBox 3.2: Basic GamesSources 3.2: Chickens and Stags4. LEADERSHIPWhat is a Leader?Leaders' Benefits and Opportunity CostsLeaders' Personal SkillsCases 4.1: Some Top LeadersSources 4.1: Effective LeadershipLeaders and FollowersThe Chain ReactionThe Tipping GameBox 4.1: Tipping Game of LeadershipInstitutions for LeadershipWilling LeadersReluctant LeadersGroup AsymmetriesIllustrationPublic Expenditure, 1870-2005II. POLITY5. COMMUNITYMultilevel GovernanceThe Scale of Public GoodsComplex InstitutionsBox 5.1: The Subsidiarity CriterionCase 5.1: Local Self-Government in Renaissance ItalySources 5.1: Small is DemocraticSovereigntyState-Building and Nation-BuildingState-War MakingState-FailureSources 5.2: National and Multinational StatesCity, State, EmpireCityStateEmpire6. FEDERATIONThe Size of The CommunityDemocratic BenefitsEconomic EfficiencySize and DemocracyUnionEthnic VarietyDivided InstitutionsThe Choice of FederalismBox 6.1: Measuring Ethnic VarietyCase 6.1: Consensual SwitzerlandCase 6.2: The Soviet DisunionSources 6.1: Self-Government and Union7. DICTATORSHIPForms of DictatorshipTotalitarianismDespotismAuthoritarianismCases 7.1: The Dictator's SuccessionSources 7.1: Authoritarian and Totalitarian DictatorshipsThe Fall of DictatorshipsRevolution and Civil War DemocratizationCase 7.2: Must Islam Be Associated with Dictatorship?8. DEMOCRACYWhat's Democracy?Overthrowing the RulersConsolidationBox 8.1: Measuring DemocracyBox 8.2: Democracy and Dictatorship in the WorldSources 8.1: Civic CultureDemocracy and DevelopmentDevelopment Favors DemocracyDemocracy Favors DevelopmentBox 8.3: Economic Wealth and Political RegimeCases 8.1: Democratic India, Dictatorial ChinaSources 8.2: Socio-Economic Correlations with Political DemocratizationDemocratic PeacePeace for VotesPeace Favors DemocracyIllustrationCountry-Building, 1870-2008Democracy and Dictatorship, 1870-2008 III. ELECTION9. POLITICAL PARTIESWhy PartiesFormation of Political PartiesFunctions of PartiesTypes of PartiesParty Members Two-Level GamesParty TypesBox 9.1: Extreme ActivistsCase 9.1: How the UK's Labour Choose CandidatesSource 9.1: The Political Oligarchy10. ELECTORAL COMPETITIONThe VotersIndividual PreferencesThe Voter's Utility FunctionCollective Distributions of PreferencesBox 10.1: Party Voting and Issue VotingSources 10.1: Elections as MarketsConvergence on the Median VoterElectoral EquilibriumThe Efficient Median VoterSources 10.2: The Median Voter Maximizes Social UtilityThe Incumbent's AdvantageGovernments Win and Lose ElectionsParty IdentificationBox 10.2: Measuring Electoral ChangeBox 10.3: Mathematics of Voting11. AGENDA FORMATIONMultiple IssuesIndividual IndifferencesThe Winning SetCase 11.1: Electoral Competition in the United StatesSources 11.1: Multidimensional InstabilitySetting The AgendaParty Advantage on IssuesElectoral CampaignsCumulative Policy MakingCases 11.2: Electoral Issues in TV AdsSources 11.2: Political Arguments12. PARTY SYSTEMSNumber of PartiesNumbers of Issues and PartiesIdeologyWhat's an Ideology?The Left-Right Ideological DimensionPolarization vs. ConsensusBox 12.1: Measuring Party SystemsCase 12.1: Swing Political PartiesSource 12.1: Types of Party SystemsIllustrationGovernment Parties, 1945-2005IV. GOVERNMENT13. CHOOSING PRESIDENTSUnanimityUnanimous ConsentAdvantage of the Status-QuoMajorityThe Median Voter's MajorityMajority-RunoffPlurality Comparing Majority Runoff and Plurality RulesThe Choice of Majority RulesBox 13.1: The 'Impossibility' to Be FairBox 13.2: Majority ProceduresCase 13.1: Divide and Win in Black and WhiteSources 13.1: The Majority is the Whole14. ELECTING ASSEMBLIESAssembly SizeLarge Countries, Large AssembliesSeat-ApportionmentPersons and PartiesCommunity VotingSingle-Seat DistrictsProportional RepresentationElectoral RepresentationParty RepresentationPersonal RepresentationBox 14.1: Proportional QuotasBox 14.2: Measuring ProportionalityCase 14.1: Protective Proportional RepresentationCases 14.2. Single-Seat and Multi-Seat BallotsSources 14.1: The Chicken and the Egg15. DIVISION OF POWERSAssemblies and PresidentsParliamentary RegimePresidential RegimeBox 15.1: Three AssembliesParliamentary RegimeSingle-Party ParliamentarismMultiparty ParliamentarismCase 15.1: Ceremonial Chief of StatePresidential RegimeChecks and BalancesPresidentialismSemi-PresidentialismBox 15.2: Concentration of PowerSources 15.1: The Presidentialist Temptation16. PARTY GOVERNMENTSingle-Party and Multi-Party GovernmentAppointing the GovernmentOffice and PolicyPower DistributionCabinet DurationBox 16.1: Forming a Winning CoalitionCase 16.1: The Importance of Being Not Too ManyUnified and Divided GovernmentDivided ElectionsLegislative ProcessPresidential and Congressional DominanceMultiparty PresidentsIllustrationAssembly Electoral Systems, 1870-2008Political Regimes, 1870-2008 FINAL THOUGHTSFURTHER READINGKEY CONCEPTSPOLITICAL THINKERSCREDITSINDEX

Review

-I don't think that anyone has tried to write something like this before. If one wants to give an overview of political science, then this is about the only book there is!---James A. Robinson, Harvard University-At long last, a text that puts science back into political science; at the same time, it is not an 'American government and politics' text masquerading as an introduction to political science. I am delighted with it. The central concept of the 'public good' lends coherence to the organization of the book and allows Josep M. Colomer to integrate a vast amount of material encompassing all levels of analysis. The product is a remarkable achievement.---Abdalla Battah, Minnesota State University, Mankato-The Science of Politics: An Introduction aims to do something that no other political science textbook currently does: to lay out the key 'things we know' about politics that satisfy the criteria of simplicity, practicality, and historical relevance. It is very well written, with an authoritative style that clearly demonstrates an impressive sweep of historical knowledge and understanding. . . . It has an analytical coherence which is consistent throughout the book, in line with the goal to be 'scientific'. This style completely distinguishes this text from others in the field and is a key selling point for students. I would recommend it to others without hesitation.---Helen Margetts, University of Oxford "I don't think that anyone has tried to write something like this before. If one wants to give an overview of political science, then this is about the only book there is!"--James A. Robinson, Harvard University"At long last, a text that puts science back into political science; at the same time, it is not an 'American government and politics' text masquerading as an introduction to political science. I am delighted with it. The central concept of the 'public good' lends coherence to the organization of the book and allows Josep M. Colomer to integrate a vast amount of material encompassing all levels of analysis. The product is a remarkable achievement."--Abdalla Battah, Minnesota State University, Mankato"The Science of Politics: An Introduction aims to do something that no other political science textbook currently does: to lay out the key 'things we know' about politics that satisfy the criteria of simplicity, practicality, and historical relevance. It is very well written, with an authoritative style that clearly demonstrates an impressive sweep of historical knowledge and understanding. . . . It has an analytical coherence which is consistent throughout the book, in line with the goal to be 'scientific'. This style completely distinguishes this text from others in the field and is a key selling point for students. I would recommend it to others without hesitation."--Helen Margetts, University of Oxford "I don't think that anyone has tried to write something like this before. If one wants to give an overview of political science, then this is about the only book there is!"--James A. Robinson, Harvard University"At long last, a text that puts science back into political science; at the same time, it is not an 'American government and politics' text masquerading as an introduction to political science. I am delighted with it. The central concept of the 'public good' lends coherence to the organization of the book and allows Josep M. Colomer to integrate a vast amount of material encompassing all levels of analysis. The product is a remarkable achievement."--Abdalla Battah, Minnesota State University, Mankato"The Science of Politics: An Introduction aims to do something that no other political science textbook currently does: to lay out the key 'things we know' about politics that satisfy the criteria of simplicity, practicality, and historical relevance. It is very well written, with an authoritative style that clearly demonstrates an impressive sweep of historical knowledge and understanding. . . . It has an analytical coherence which is consistent throughout the book, in line with the goal to be 'scientific'. This style completely distinguishes this text from others in the field and is a key selling point for students. I would recommend it to others without hesitation."--Helen Margetts, University of Oxford

Long Description

A broad, accessible, and rigorous overview of politics, The Science of Politics: An Introduction introduces students to the most substantive and important issues in the field. Josep M. Colomer takes a unique approach to the study of politics, addressing it from two points of departure: as a fundamental human activity to pursue the common interests of the members of a community (i.e., the "public good") and as the subject of systematic and reliable knowledge (i.e., science). This method helps to bridge a persistent gap between developments in research and actual teaching in the discipline. It provides students with the best possible foundation to build upon as they move into more advanced study in the field. FEATURES Presents thirty principles that have been established through research over the years Gives students the methodological tools to explore, study, and understand questions and issues that they may encounter Discusses a variety of key issues including action, representation, government, and policy Incorporates a number of pedagogical devices including summaries, key concepts, review questions, problems and applications, comparative case studies, and special features explaining classic research contributions

Review Text

"I don't think that anyone has tried to write something like this before. If one wants to give an overview of political science, then this is about the only book there is!"--James A. Robinson, Harvard University "At long last, a text that puts science back into political science; at the same time, it is not an 'American government and politics' text masquerading as an introduction to political science. I am delighted with it. The central concept of the 'public good' lends coherence to the organization of the book and allows Josep M. Colomer to integrate a vast amount of material encompassing all levels of analysis. The product is a remarkable achievement."--Abdalla Battah, Minnesota State University, Mankato "The Science of Politics: An Introduction aims to do something that no other political science textbook currently does: to lay out the key 'things we know' about politics that satisfy the criteria of simplicity, practicality, and historical relevance. It is very well written, with an authoritative style that clearly demonstrates an impressive sweep of historical knowledge and understanding. . . . It has an analytical coherence which is consistent throughout the book, in line with the goal to be 'scientific'. This style completely distinguishes this text from others in the field and is a key selling point for students. I would recommend it to others without hesitation."--Helen Margetts, University of Oxford

Review Quote

"I don't think that anyone has tried to write something like this before. If one wants to give an overview of political science, then this is about the only book there is!"--James A. Robinson,Harvard University "At long last, a text that puts science back into political science; at the same time, it is not an 'American government and politics' text masquerading as an introduction to political science. I am delighted with it. The central concept of the 'public good' lends coherence to the organization of the book and allows Josep M. Colomer to integrate a vast amount of material encompassing all levels of analysis. The product is a remarkable achievement."--Abdalla Battah,Minnesota State University, Mankato "The Science of Politics: An Introductionaims to do something that no other political science textbook currently does: to lay out the key 'things we know' about politics that satisfy the criteria of simplicity, practicality, and historical relevance. It is very well written, with an authoritative style that clearly demonstrates an impressive sweep of historical knowledge and understanding. . . . It has an analytical coherence which is consistent throughout the book, in line with the goal to be 'scientific'. This style completely distinguishes this text from others in the field and is a key selling point for students. I would recommend it to others without hesitation."--Helen Margetts,University of Oxford

Product Details

Author
Josep M. Colomer
Pages
320
Publisher
Oxford University Press Inc
Year
2010
ISBN-10
0195397746
ISBN-13
9780195397741
Format
Paperback
Subtitle
An Introduction
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
Illustrations
Short Title
SCIENCE OF POLITICS
Language
English
Media
Book
Audience
College/Higher Education
Publication Date
2010-06-25
Textbook
N