Comparative Politics

A Policy Approach


Michael J Kryzanek

First Edition • August 1, 2003 • 560 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813397924 • $68.00 USD$78.50 CAN

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Comparative Politics: A Policy Approach is a unique text that integrates a comprehensive study of eight nations with critical policy issues facing those nations. The individual chapters on the United States, the United Kingdom, the Russian Federation, Japan, China, Mexico, South Africa and Iraq provide a wide-ranging examination of nations that are representative of the diversity in decision-making frameworks and political development in the international community. Comparative Politics is designed to guide the reader through a series of discussions on key political milestones in the nation’s history, the structure of government, the relationship of citizen to state, the role played by political parties, groups and elections, the shape and influence of the political elite, the current status of the political economy and the future direction of the nation in a global environment.

Michael Kryzanek is professor and chair of political science at Bridgewater State College, Massachusetts.

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Using a traditional and qualitative approach that lends consistency to comparisons among eight different cases, this text strikes the proper balance between historical perspectives and pressing issues confronting policymakers. In its discussion of development, democracy, leadership, the economic and social role of government, elections, political parties, political participation and the maintenance of order and freedom in rapidly changing regional and global circumstances, Kryzanek emphasizes how the performance of institutions affects governance. Indeed, one of the strong contributions stems from the argument that democratization paves the way for citizens’ involvement in politics, but does not in all instances lead to honest or effective government.
— Juan M. del Aguila, Emory University

I predict that Michael Kryzanek’s fascinating Comparative Politics text will be very well-received by students because it offers attractive new and innovative comparative techniques while blending these with traditional concepts and approaches. With a good selection of eight representative countries, he describes for each the formal and informal decision-making arrangements, key historic events and trends, unique contributions from the respective power elites, pertinent national issues and controversies, and the particular challenges facing each of the polities. In addition, the text is very readable and fast-moving, with concepts well-defined and the chapters well-organized—an outstanding and path-setting text for guiding students into the complex, insightful, stimulating world of comparing political systems.
— Phil Kelly, Department of Political Science, Emporia State University

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