A Novel Approach to Politics

A Novel Approach to Politics Introducing Political Science through Books, Movies, and Popular Culture

Third Edition

Companion Website

© 2013 | 480 pages | CQ Press
Students often complain that textbooks are boring, especially the door-stoppers in use for most survey courses. But they've never had a textbook like this.

Van Belle delivers the core concepts and real-world political examples you'd expect from an introductory book, just in a way that students will actually have fun reading and will retain after the exam. The textbook stuff is here too-chapter summaries, bolded key terms, and discussion questions.

1. Introducing the Ancient Debate: The Ideal versus the Real
2. Why Government? Security, Anarchy, and Some Basic Group Dynamics
3. Governing Society: We Know Who You Are
4. Government’s Role in the Economy: The Offer You Can’t Refuse
5. Structures and Institutions
6. El Grande Loco Casa Blanca-The Executive (in Bad Spanish)
7. The Confederacy of Dunces-The Legislative (Not in Bad Spanish)
8. Brazilian Bureaucracy-Do we even need to bother with the Jokes?
9. Courts and Law: Politics behind the Gavel, Obviously, but What’s Under the Gown?
10. Not Quite Right, but Still Good: The Democratic Ideal in Modern Politics
11. Media, Politics and Government: Talking Heads are Better than None
12. International Politics: Apocalypse Now and Then
13. Chapter 13 was Confiscated for Your Protection
14. Political Culture: Sex & Agriculture, Getting Rucked Explains it All
15. The Lastest and Bestest Chapter: The Study of Politics


Student Resources
A student companion website features chapter summaries, study questions, interactive flashcards, multiple choice quizzes, and annotated web links.
Instructor Resources
An appendix of fiction resources is included in the book, but is augmented for instructors to include discussion and essay questions to help kick off discussion groups and writing assignments focused on particular movies and books. There is also a test bank that will help instructors create exams using multiple-choice and short-answer questions, testing on all of the major political science concepts in the book. PowerPoint lecture slides round out this impressive package of resources.

The book's comics approach to politics did not appeal to my students.

Dr Miguel Buitrago
Department of Social Science, University of Hamburg
March 7, 2014

For instructors

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