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Introduction to Politics

Fourth Edition

Robert Garner, Peter Ferdinand, and Stephanie Lawson

Publication Date - May 2020

ISBN: 9780198820611

632 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


Combining theory, comparative politics and international relations, Introduction to Politics, Fourth Edition, provides the most comprehensive introduction to the subject for first year undergraduate students, with the most global perspective.

Written by three experts in the field, this book takes a balanced approached to the subject, serving as a strong foundation for further study. Assuming no prior knowledge, the authors use an accessible yet analytical approach which encourages critical analysis and debate, helping students to develop the vital skills they need for future studies and employment.

The new edition has been fully updated with additional case studies and examples to help students to understand how key theories and principles apply in the context of real-world events. New to the fourth edition is a chapter on 'Non-Western Approaches', which helps students to bring more diverse perspectives to their study of politics. Furthermore, additional coverage of populism has been included, to reflect current events and developments in discourse. This ensures that Introduction to Politics, Fourth Edition is the most contemporary, relevant and essential guide for students new to the study of politics.

New to this Edition

  • A new Chapter 9 on non-Western approaches to politics helps students to build a more diverse understanding of political culture, institutions and actors, with a particular focus on China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Iran, Turkey and Russia
  • New coverage of populism in Chapter 7 introduces students to this complex and controversial ideology
  • Additional real-world, topical examples and case-studies help students contextualise theories and approaches


  • The only book to combine concepts and ideologies, comparative politics, and international relations in one volume, to provide a fully comprehensive introduction for undergraduates
  • A wide range of contemporary and historical case studies from a variety of countries help students to place the theory in a real-world context
  • The authors move beyond a descriptive narrative, taking an analytical approach that ensures students are challenged to form their own ideas and perspectives
  • Complemented by a bounty of online resources for both lecturers and their students

About the Author(s)

Robert Garner, Professor of Politics, University of Leicester,Peter Ferdinand, Emeritus Reader in Politics and International Relations, University of Warwick,Stephanie Lawson, Professor of Politics and International Relations, Macquarie University

Robert Garner is Professor of Politics at the University of Leicester, United Kingdom.

Peter Ferdinand is a Emeritus Reader in Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, United Kingdom.

Stephanie Lawson is Professor of Politics and International Studies at Macquarie University and Senior Research Associate, Faculty of Humanities, University of Johannesburg.

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: The Nature of Politics and Political Analysis
    Part 1: Concepts and Ideologies
    2. Politics and the State
    3. Political Power, Authority and the State
    4. Democracy and Political Obligation
    5. Freedom and Justice
    6. Traditional Ideologies
    7. Challenges to the Dominant Ideologies
    Part 2: Comparative Politics
    8. Institutions and States
    9. Political Culture and Non-Western Approaches to Politics
    10. Laws, Constitutions and Federalism
    11. Votes, Elections, Legislatures, and Legislators
    12. Political Parties
    13. Executives, Bureaucracies, Policy Studies and Governance
    14. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media
    15. Democracies, Democratization and Authoritarian Regimes
    Part 3: Global Politics
    16. Introducing Global Politics
    17. Traditional Theories in Global Politics
    18. Critical Approaches to Global Politics
    19. Security and Insecurity
    20. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
    21. International Organizations in Global Politics
    22. Global Political Economy
    23. Conclusion: Towards a Globalizing, Post-Western-Dominated World

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