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Introduction to Political Science

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Mark Carl Rom, Georgetown University

Masaki Hidaka, American University

Rachel Bzostek Walker, Collin College

Copyright Year: 2022

Publisher: OpenStax

Language: English

Formats Available

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CC BY

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • Unit 1. Introduction to Political Science
    • Chapter 1. What Is Politics and What is Political Science?
      • Introduction
      • 1.1 Defining Politics: Who Gets What, When, Where, How, and Why?
      • 1.2 Public Policy, Public Interest, and Power
      • 1.3 Political Science: The Systematic Study of Politics
      • 1.4 Normative Political Science
      • 1.5 Empirical Political Science
      • 1.6 Individuals, Groups, Institutions, and International Relations
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
  • Unit 2. Individuals
    • Chapter 2. Political Behavior is Human Behavior
      • Introduction
      • 2.1 What Goals Should We Seek in Politics?
      • 2.2 Why Do Humans Make the Political Choices That They Do?
      • 2.3 Human Behavior Is Partially Predictable
      • 2.4 The Importance of Context for Political Decisions
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 3. Political Ideology
      • Introduction
      • 3.1 The Classical Origins of Western Political Ideologies
      • 3.2 The Laws of Nature and the Social Contract
      • 3.3 The Development of Varieties of Liberalism
      • 3.4 Nationalism, Communism, Fascism, and Authoritarianism
      • 3.5 Contemporary Democratic Liberalism
      • 3.6 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Left
      • 3.7 Contemporary Ideologies Further to the Political Right
      • 3.8 Political Ideologies That Reject Political Ideology: Scientific Socialism, Burkeanism, and Religious Extremism
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 4. Civil Liberties
      • Introduction
      • 4.1 The Freedom of the Individual
      • 4.2 Constitutions and Individual Liberties
      • 4.3 The Right to Privacy, Self-Determination, and the Freedom of Ideas
      • 4.4 Freedom of Movement
      • 4.5 The Rights of the Accused
      • 4.6 The Right to a Healthy Environment
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 5. Political Participation and Public Opinion
      • Introduction
      • 5.1 What Is Political Participation?
      • 5.2 What Limits Voter Participation in the United States?
      • 5.3 How Do Individuals Participate Other Than Voting?
      • 5.4 What Is Public Opinion and Where Does It Come From?
      • 5.5 How Do We Measure Public Opinion?
      • 5.6 Why Is Public Opinion Important?
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
  • Unit 3. Groups
    • Chapter 6. The Fundamentals of Group Political Activity
      • Introduction
      • 6.1 Political Socialization: The Ways People Become Political
      • 6.2 Political Culture: How People Express Their Political Identity
      • 6.3 Collective Dilemmas: Making Group Decisions
      • 6.4 Collective Action Problems: The Problem of Incentives
      • 6.5 Resolving Collective Action Problems
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 7. Civil Rights
      • Introduction
      • 7.1 Civil Rights and Constitutionalism
      • 7.2 Political Culture and Majority-Minority Relations
      • 7.3 Civil Rights Abuses
      • 7.4 Civil Rights Movements
      • 7.5 How Do Governments Bring About Civil Rights Change?
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 8. Interest Groups, Political Parties, and Elections
      • Introduction
      • 8.1 What Is an Interest Group?
      • 8.2 What Are the Pros and Cons of Interest Groups?
      • 8.3 Political Parties
      • 8.4 What Are the Limits of Parties?
      • 8.5 What Are Elections and Who Participates?
      • 8.6 How Do People Participate in Elections?
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
  • Unit 4. Institutions
    • Chapter 9. Legislation
      • Introduction
      • 9.1 What Do Legislatures Do?
      • 9.2 What Is the Difference between Parliamentary and Presidential Systems?
      • 9.3 What Is the Difference between Unicameral and Bicameral Systems?
      • 9.4 The Decline of Legislative Influence
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 10. Executives, Cabinets, and Bureaucracies
      • Introduction
      • 10.1 Democracies: Parliamentary, Presidential, and Semi-Presidential Regimes
      • 10.2 The Executive in Presidential Regimes
      • 10.3 The Executive in Parliamentary Regimes
      • 10.4 Advantages, Disadvantages, and Challenges of Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes
      • 10.5 Semi-Presidential Regimes
      • 10.6 How Do Cabinets Function in Presidential and Parliamentary Regimes?
      • 10.7 What Are the Purpose and Function of Bureaucracies?
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 11. Courts and Law
      • Introduction
      • 11.1 What Is the Judiciary?
      • 11.2 How Does the Judiciary Take Action?
      • 11.3 Types of Legal Systems around the World
      • 11.4 Criminal versus Civil Laws
      • 11.5 Due Process and Judicial Fairness
      • 11.6 Judicial Review versus Executive Sovereignty
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 12. The Media
      • Introduction
      • 12.1 The Media as a Political Institution: Why Does It Matter?
      • 12.2 Types of Media and the Changing Media Landscape
      • 12.3 How Do Media and Elections Interact?
      • 12.4 The Internet and Social Media
      • 12.5 Declining Global Trust in the Media
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
  • Unit 5. States and International Relations
    • Chapter 13. Governing Regimes
      • Introduction
      • 13.1 Contemporary Government Regimes: Power, Legitimacy, and Authority
      • 13.2 Categorizing Contemporary Regimes
      • 13.3 Recent Trends: Illiberal Representative Regimes
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 14. International Relations
      • Introduction
      • 14.1 What Is Power, and How Do We Measure It?
      • 14.2 Understanding the Different Types of Actors in the International System
      • 14.3 Sovereignty and Anarchy
      • 14.4 Using Levels of Analysis to Understand Conflict
      • 14.5 The Realist Worldview
      • 14.6 The Liberal and Social Worldview
      • 14.7 Critical Worldviews
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 15. International Law and International Organizations
      • Introduction
      • 15.1 The Problem of Global Governance
      • 15.2 International Law
      • 15.3 The United Nations and Global Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs)
      • 15.4 How Do Regional IGOs Contribute to Global Governance?
      • 15.5 Non-state Actors: Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs)
      • 15.6 Non-state Actors beyond NGOs
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
    • Chapter 16. International Political Economy
      • Introduction
      • 16.1 The Origins of International Political Economy
      • 16.2 The Advent of the Liberal Economy
      • 16.3 The Bretton Woods Institutions
      • 16.4 The Post–Cold War Period and Modernization Theory
      • 16.5 From the 1990s to the 2020s: Current Issues in IPE
      • 16.6 Considering Poverty, Inequality, and the Environmental Crisis
      • Summary
      • Key Terms
      • Review Questions
      • Suggested Readings
  • References
  • Index

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  • About the Book

    Designed to meet the scope and sequence of your course, OpenStax Introduction to Political Science provides a strong foundation in global political systems, exploring how and why political realities unfold. Rich with examples of individual and national social action, this text emphasizes students’ role in the political sphere and equips them to be active and informed participants in civil society. Learn more about what this free, openly-licensed textbook has to offer you and your students.

    About the Contributors

    Authors

    Dr. Mark Carl Rom is an associate professor of government and public policy at the McCourt School of Public Policy and the Department of Government. His recent research has focused on assessing student participation, improving grading accuracy, reducing grading bias, and improving data visualizations. Previously, Rom has explored critiques and conversations within the realm of political science through symposia on academic conferences, ideology in the classroom, and ideology within the discipline. He continues to fuel his commitment to educational equity by serving on the AP Higher Education Advisory Committee, the executive board of the Political Science Education section (ASPA), and the editorial board of the Journal of Political Science Education. Prior to joining McCourt, Rom served as a legislative assistant to the Honorable John Paul Hammerschmidt of the US House of Representatives, a research fellow at the Brookings Institution, a senior evaluator at the US General Accounting Office, and a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of California, Berkeley. His dissertation, “The Thrift Tragedy: Are Politicians and Bureaucrats to Blame?,” was the cowinner of the 1993 Harold Lasswell Award from the American Political Science Association for best dissertation in the public policy field. Rom received his BA from the University of Arkansas and his MA and PhD in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992.

    Masaki Hidaka has a master of public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she wrote her thesis on media coverage of gaming ventures on Native American tribal lands. She completed her PhD at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation examined the relationship between issue publics and the Internet. She is currently a professorial lecturer at the School of Public Affairs at the American University in Washington, DC, but has taught in numerous institutions, including the National University of Singapore, University College London, and Syracuse University in London. She also worked as a press aide for former San Francisco mayor Willie L. Brown Jr. (and she definitely left her heart in San Francisco).

    A native of Fort Worth, Rachel Bzostek Walker is the associate dean of academic affairs at Collin College Technical Campus in Allen, Texas. She earned her PhD in political science from Louisiana State University and has a master’s in Israeli politics from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her dissertation focused on the preemptive or preventive use of force, and she continues to research in this area as well as exploring the use of active learning in the classroom. She taught full-time for over 15 years at colleges and universities in Missouri, California, and Texas, teaching a wide variety of classes on subjects including international relations, American foreign policy, and Middle Eastern politics, as well as introductory classes in American and Texas government.

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