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Introducing Comparative Politics

Introducing Comparative Politics
The Essentials

Second Edition
Additional resources:

Other Titles in:
Comparative Politics

January 2020 | 424 pages | CQ Press
Introducing Comparative Politics: The Essentials is organized thematically around the essential questions in comparative politics—Who rules? What explains political behavior? Where and why? Adapted from the authors’ Introducing Comparative Politics, Fifth EditionThe Essentials version offers the same framework for understanding comparative politics in a briefer format. Stephen Orvis and Carol Ann Drogus introduce key comparative questions while providing equal strengths and weaknesses of commonly debated theories, structures, and beliefs that push students and generates in-class debate over key concepts used in the science of comparative politics. While detailed case studies can go in-depth on specific countries and political systems, Introducing Comparative Politics: The Essentials, distills its country material into paragraph-long examples woven seamlessly into the narrative of the text, increasing global awareness, current-event literacy, and critical-thinking skills.
World Map
About the Authors
Part I A Framework for Understanding Comparative Politics
Chapter 1 Introduction
Comparative Politics: What Is It? Why Study It? How to Study It?

Three Key Questions in Comparative Politics

Chapter 2 The Modern State
Characteristics of the Modern State

Historical Origins of Modern States

Strong, Weak, and Failed States


Chapter 3 States, Citizens, and Regimes
Citizens and Civil Society

Regimes, Ideologies, and Citizens


Chapter 4 States and Identity
Understanding Identity

The Policy Debate

Nations, Nationalism, and Immigration



Social Class

Religion: Recognition, Autonomy, and the Secular State

Gender and Sexual Orientation: The Continuing Struggle for Recognition, Social Status, and Representation


Part II Political Systems and How They Work
Chapter 5 Governing Institutions in Democracies
Executives and Legislatures

Comparing Executive-Legislative Institutions





Chapter 6 Institutions of Participation and Representation in Democracies
The Electoral System

Formal Institutions: Political Parties and Party Systems

Civil Society


Chapter 7 Contentious Politics: Social Movements, Political Violence, and Revolution
Framing Contentious Politics

Political Violence



Chapter 8 Authoritarian Institutions
Trends in Authoritarian Rule

The Dictator’s Dilemma: Governing Authoritarian Regimes

Elections, Parties, and Legislatures

Clientelism and Civil Society


Chapter 9 Regime Change
Trends in Regime Change

Regime Change: Transitions to Democracy

Regime Change: Transitions to Authoritarian Rule


Part III Political Economy and Policy
Chapter 10 Political Economy of Wealth
The Market, Capitalism, and the State

Key Economic Debates

Types of Capitalist Economies

Globalization: A New World Order, or Déjà Vu All Over Again?


Chapter 11 Political Economy of Development
What Is “Development”?

Development and Globalization

The Development Debate


Chapter 12 Public Policies When Markets Fail: Welfare, Health, and the Environment
“Welfare”: Social Policy in Comparative Perspective

Health Care and Health Policy

Environmental Problems and Policy




Student Resources

SAGE Edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers: 
an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention;
learning objectives that reinforce the most important material; and
video and multimedia content that facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and visual depictions of key concepts.

Instructor Resources

Instructors: SAGE Coursepacks and SAGE Edge online resources are included FREE with this text. For a brief demo, contact your sales representative today. 



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Don’t use an LMS platform? No problem, you can still access many of the online resources for your text via SAGE Edge.


With SAGE Coursepacks, you get:

·         quality textbook content delivered directly into your LMS;

·         an intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort;

·         assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, including:

o    diagnostic chapter quizzes that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives

o    test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation

o    activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want

o    instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided;

    ·         an instructor manual with chapter-specific discussion questions to help launch engaging classroom interaction while reinforcing important content, chapter objectives, and suggested class activities that align with the concepts of the chapters;
    ·         a TA Guide that provides guidance for graduate students and newer instructors;
    ·         editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch;
    • Lecture notes that summarize key concepts on a chapter-by-chapter basis to help you with preparation for lectures and class discussions; and
    • ·         all tables and figures from the textbook

“This text presents a well-structured overview of critical themes in comparative politics in a very relevant and engaging format, and at a price that our students can afford. [Introducing Comparative Politics: The Essentials is a] thematically strong comparative political overview that is affordable for students."

Michael Wuthrich
University of Kansas

“[The text] provides all the basics for comparative politics and leaves no stones unturned.”

Sharmini Nair
Colorado State University

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 8: Authoritarian Institutions

Chapter 9: Regime Change

Preview this book

For instructors

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