Understanding the Political World Pearson New International Edition, plus MyPoliSciLab without eText

James N. Danziger  
October 2013
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Understanding the Political World Pearson New International Edition, plus MyPoliSciLab without eText
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Understanding the Political World offers a comparative perspective on how politics works at the global, national, group, and individual level.


Focusing on how fundamental concepts in political science relate to real political events, this bestselling text surveys political behavior, systems, and processes throughout the world and asks students to evaluate and apply this knowledge. Through an engaging writing style, numerous examples, and the instructive use of visuals, Understanding the Political World encourages students to think like political scientists and to critically examine new and enduring political realities and challenges.


Teaching and Learning Experience

  • Personalize Learning: MyPoliSciLab delivers proven results in helping students succeed, provides engaging experiences that personalize learning, and comes from a trusted partner with educational expertise and a deep commitment to helping students and instructors achieve their goals.
  • Explore Concepts and Current Events: Drawing on recent political events from a discussion of the economic crisis in the context of Ireland to the Iraqi people’s struggle to create a democracy, this text surveys the discipline of political science and shows how political scientists analyze real-world politics.
  • Improve Critical Thinking: 'Compare,' 'Focus,' and 'Debate' boxes encourage students to think comparatively and to develop political arguments.
  • Engage Students: A new four-color design and numerous photos offer a current and lively reading experience.
  • Emphasize Learning Outcomes: New learning objectives in every chapter focus students on what they need to learn. In MyPoliSciLab, study plans based on the same learning objectives give students follow-up reading, video, and multimedia activities for further practice.
  • Instructor Support: An instructor’s manual, test bank, and PowerPoint presentation provide more teaching resources. In MyPoliSciLab, ClassPrep¿collects class presentation resources in one convenient online destination.


  • Explores politics at every level from the individual person to the global system to reveal how politics influences every part of life. (ex. Ch. 2)
  • Takes a comparative perspective to examine political theory, behavior, institutions, and processes around the world. (ex. Ch. 6)
  • Emphasizes¿the discipline’s approaches and methods¿throughout the text¿to help students¿identify and analyze patterns in¿politics.¿ (ex. Ch. 1)
  • Includes case studies on developed, developing, and transitional countries to discuss how states achieve prosperity, stability, and security in a complex international environment. (ex. p. 144)
  • Combines¿current¿political examples,¿data, cartoons, and photos¿with a conversational writing style to¿encourage consideration of¿how well political science explains today's political world. (ex. p. 45)
  • Includes the following features in every chapter to engage students and encourage critical thinking:
    • Chapter-opening anecdotes and photos draw readers into the major theme of the chapter by using an in-depth political example, such as Kurdish desire for an independent state (nation vs. state), Aung Sun Suu Kyi’s actions in Myanmar (political activism), the economic crisis in the context of Ireland (political economy), Hungary’s shift from communism to a democratic, market-based system (transitional countries), and more. (ex. p. 57)
    • “Compare” boxes explore specific questions by applying the methods of comparative analysis, including topics like the level of political participation in ten countries, the geopolitical analysis of Cuba and Taiwan, the extent to which various states are peaceful or conflict-oriented, and the cross-national analysis of political cultures. (ex. p. 288)
    • “Focus” boxes elaborate on core political science concepts and connect them to detailed country examples ranging from an examination of electoral politics in South Africa and political socialization in China to the evolution of women’s political rights in the United States and the impact of microcredit on Bangladesh’s development. (ex. p. 90)
    • “Debate” boxes pose important political questions for students to evaluate, such as whether communism is “dead”, whether political “science” is feasible, and whether there is a global clash of civilizations. (ex. p. 17)

New to this Edition

  • New learning objectives in every chapter focus students on what they need to learn. In MyPoliSciLab, study plans based on the same learning objectives give students follow-up reading, video, and multimedia activities for further practice. (ex. p. 2)
  • New chapter-opening anecdotes examine the struggle in Iraq to establish a democratic political regime, the attempts of the indigenous Mapuche people of Chile to persuade the government to return their land, Ireland’s rapid shift from being the Celtic Tiger of high economic growth and prosperity to a country requiring a bailout, the transformation of China under communism, and the cooperative efforts of the Europeans to overcome their historical animosities and create a more powerful union. (ex. p. 198)
  • New “Debates” boxes cover topics such as whether money dominates all other resources in influencing public policy decision making, whether the model of European social democracy is now unsustainable, and whether the new information and communications technologies are dramatically transforming our political beliefs and political actions. (ex. p. 250)
  • New “Compare” and “Focus” boxes look at the obstacles to development in Nigeria and the Philippines and the levels of political knowledge among people of different age cohorts. (ex. p. 384)
  • A new section in Chapter 8 focuses more explicitly on the ways in which the financial actors in the political economy powerfully influence the government and those who make and implement public policy. (ex. p. 199)
  • The analytic framework employed to classify the world’s countries in Chapters 13–15¿was modified to add new variables to the social development index as well as updating all the data forming the framework. (ex. p. 353)
  • Chapter 15, on the transitional developed countries, was significantly revised to cover new development trends in industrializing countries and post-communist countries. (ex. Ch. 15)
  • More data are presented in graphical form to improve their capacity to illuminate the issue being explored. (ex. p. 53)
  • 'On the Web” and “For Further Reading” sections at the end of each chapter were updated and expanded with new suggestions for additional study. (ex. p. 132)
  • The eleventh edition is presented in a new four-color design to enliven the text.
  • MyPoliSciLab. With MyPoliSciLab, students move from studying and applying concepts to participating in politics. They are able to work at their own pace, getting rich, engaging opportunities to learn in ways that are suited to their progress and style. It’s a smart, dynamic way to help students achieve more in your course! With MyPoliSciLab, you’ll have confidence that your students will reach the moment of understanding—the moment you know. To order MyPoliSciLab with this text, use ISBN 0-205-854424-9. Learn more at www.mypoliscilab.com.
  • Passport. Choose the resources you want from MyPoliSciLab and put links to them into your course management system. If there is assessment associated with those resources, it also can be uploaded, allowing the results to feed directly into your course management system’s gradebook. With MyPoliSciLab assets like videos, mapping exercises, Financial Times newsfeeds, current events quizzes, politics blog, and much more, Passport is available for any Pearson political science book. To order Passport with this book, use ISBN 0-205-20851-7.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Politics and Knowledge



Chapter 2. Political Theory and Political Beliefs

Chapter 3. Political Actions

Chapter 4. Influences on Beliefs and Actions



Chapter 5. States and Nations

Chapter 6. Political Institutions I: Structures

Chapter 7. Political Institutions II: Institutional Arrangements

Chapter 8. Political Economy



Chapter 9. Public Policy, Power, and Decision

Chapter 10. Change and Political Development

Chapter 11. Politics Across Borders

Chapter 12. Political Violence



Chapter 13. The Developed Countries

Chapter 14. The Developing Countries

Chapter 15. The Transitional Developed Countries


Appendix. Political Analysis