Comparative Government and Politics: An Introduction
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This is a thoroughly revised and updated tenth edition of the classic text in the field of comparative politics. Now co-authored by John McCormick, this comprehensive and lively text continues to introduce students to the key concepts, approaches and arguments that will enable them to successfully compare the fundamentals, structures and processes of political systems across the globe. Taking full account of the institutions of government and the different political cultures that both influence and are impacted by political developments, the authors offer detailed analysis of democracies and authoritarian regimes. This edition includes a much wider range of international case studies, particularly expanded to include more from Latin America and Africa and to reflect the emerging powers on the world stage. The book is also newly supported by a variety of carefully designed supporting features: * Spotlights on individual countries offer profiles of the different types of political systems around the world * Chapter Previews, Overviews, Key Arguments, Discussion Questions and Further Reading help consolidate knowledge * New Focus boxes give more insight into important issues discussed in the text * Key Concepts are defined throughout the text in a concise and easily digestible style. This renowned text is the essential, and accessible, introduction to the study of comparative politics for students of political science everywhere.
offered by Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia to the 9/11 terrorists. Most important of all, states can terrorize their own people. A vital lesson of the twentieth century 136 POLITICS AND SOCIETY is that the state is in a unique position to exploit political violence for its own ends. As the monopolist of authorized coercion, states are well-positioned to intimidate their citizens, and over the course of the twentieth century many did so. Precisely because political violence is an organized
normally the legislature or the government, to the people for resolution. The device therefore provides a practical counter-example to the common argument that direct democracy is impossible in large states. Further, technology has opened up the possibility of voting in referendums through convenient electronic devices such as digital television, personal computers and mobile phones (Budge, 1996). Referendum democracy has become tech- B OX 9 . 4 Features of the electoral system and of
be more concerned to be seen to be doing its job than to probe the topic itself. Much political action is best understood by reference to its appropriateness within the organization, an objective that is separate from the institution’s ostensible purpose. Similarly, when a president visits an area devastated by floods, he is not necessarily seeking to direct relief operations or to achieve any purpose other than to be seen to be performing his duty of showing concern. In itself, the tour achieves
106 POLITICS AND SOCIETY between the participants. The model also pays limited attention to the multiple meanings embedded in most political communication. Yet despite these weaknesses the transmission model does break down the process of communication into its component parts. In this way, it assists research. Development of the mass media To understand contemporary trends in the communications media, we must begin by placing the mass media in a historical context. This task is a political
neighbours to a barbecue. Further, the long-run effects of 9/11 are as yet unclear. On the one hand, the attacks may encourage families to retreat further into the safety of their own home, diminishing social participation. On the other hand, the immediate effect seemed to be a rush of civic engagement, citizen surveillance and support for the government. At least in the short term, these factors reduced the extent to which Americans could be said to be ‘bowling alone’. Further reading: Pharr and