The Science of Politics: An Introduction

Paperback | August 12, 2010

byJosep M. Colomer

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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. Author 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 (the "public good") and as the subject of systematic and reliable knowledge (science). This method helps to bridge a persistent gap between developments in research and actual teaching in the discipline. Itprovides students with the best possible foundation to build upon as they move into more advanced study in the field.

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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. Author 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 th...

Joseph M. Colomer is currently a Research Professor at the Higher Council of Scientific Research; an affiliated professor at the Barcelona-Graduate School of Economics, Pompeu Fabra University, in Barcelona, and Professor of Politics at the University of Bristol. He was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Chicago, and has been a...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.25 × 7.5 × 0.68 inPublished:August 12, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195397746

ISBN - 13:9780195397741

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Table of Contents

IntroductionWhat's Politics?Why Science?The BookSome Things We Know30 Propositions in Political SciencePart I: Action1. The Public GoodPublic GoodsSource 1.1: Private Goods and Public GoodsTypes of Public GoodsSource1.2: The Tragedy of the CommonsThe Politics of Public Goods2. Collective ActionThe Individual LogicCase 2.1: Benefits and Costs of VotingSources 2.1: The Individual Logic of Collective ActionThe Size of the GroupSources 2.2: Small Groups Get Better Organized3. Cooperation and ConflictThe Prisoner's DilemmaCase 3.1: Prisoner's Dilemma in the OperaSources 3.1: Theory of GamesThe Evolution of CooperationOther Games of Collective ActionSources 3.2: Chickens and Stags4. LeadershipWhat is a Leader?Cases 4.1: Some Top LeadersSources 4.1: Effective LeadershipLeaders and FollowersInstitutions For LeadershipPart II: Polity5. CommunityMultilevel GovernanceCase 5.1: Local Self-Government in Renaissance ItalySources 5.1: Small is DemocraticSovereigntySources 5.2: National and Multinational StatesCity, State, Empire6. FederationThe Size of the CommunityUnionCase 6.1: Consensual SwitzerlandCase 6.2: The Soviet DisunionSources 6.1: Self-government and Union7. DictatorshipForms of DictatorshipCases 7.1: The Dictator's SuccessionSources 7.1: Authoritarian and Totalitarian DictatorshipsThe Fall of DictatorshipsCase 7.2: Must Islam Be Associated with Dictatorship?8. DemocracyWhat's Democracy?Sources 8.1: Civic CultureDemocracy and DevelopmentCases 8.1: Democratic India, Dictatorial ChinaSources 8.2: Socio-economic Correlations with PoliticalDemocratic peacePart III: Election9. Political PartiesWhy Parties?Types of PartiesCase 9.1: How the UK's Labour Choose CandidatesSource 9.1: The Political Oligarchy10. Electoral CompetitionThe VotersSources 10.1: Elections as MarketsConvergence on the Median VoterSources 10.2: The Median Voter Maximizes Social UtilityThe Incumbent's Advantage11. Agenda FormationMultiple IssuesCase 11.1: Electoral Competition in the United StatesSources 11.1: Multidimensional InstabilitySetting the AgendaCases 11.2: Electoral Issues in TV adsSources 11.2: Political Arguments12. Party SystemsNumber of PartiesIdeologyPolarization vs. ConsensusCase 12.1: Swing Political PartiesSource 12.1: Types of Party SystemsPart IV: Government13. Choosing PresidentsUnanimityMajorityCase 13.1: Divide and Win in the Black and WhiteSources 13.1: The Majority is the Whole14. Electing AssembliesAssembly SizePersons and PartiesElectoral RepresentationCase 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 RegimeCase 15.1: Ceremonial Chief of StatePresidential RegimeSources 15.1: The Presidentialist Temptation16. Party GovernmentSingle-Party and Multi-Party GovernmentCase 16.1: The Importance of Being Not Too ManyUnified and Divided GovernmentFinal ThoughtsFurther ReadingKey ConceptsPolitical ThinkersCreditsIndex