Comparing Asian Politics

India, China, and Japan


Sue Ellen M. Charlton

Fourth Edition • July 29, 2014 • 384 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813348834 • $44.00 USD$63.99 CAN

Ebook ISBN: 9780813348841 • $29.99 USD$29.99 CAN

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Comparing Asian Politics examines the politics and government in three Asian nations: India, China, and Japan. The author explains the links between politics and each nation’s distinctive cultural and historical contexts and demonstrates the intermingling and grafting of Asian traditions with the influence of Western values and institutions. National identity, political cohesion, and socioeconomic change emerge as central to the way politics has developed in each nation-state. Political and social issues in other important countries in Asia are presented in focus boxes throughout the text. The book provides insight into topics such as the significance of constitutions in the political process; the parliamentary system in Asia; the regionalization of politics and the importance of levels of government; the links between development and democratization; and the impact of globalization. In this new edition, the author includes the background to the 2014 elections in India, recent political changes in China and the selection of Xi Jinping, preeminent leader, in 2012-2013, and the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011.


Sue Ellen M. Charlton is professor emerita of political science at Colorado State University where she teaches courses in comparative politics and international development. Her most recent book is Women Navigating Globalization: Feminist Approaches to Development, co-authored with Jana Everett.

Chapter 1 Introduction: Themes in Asian Politics

Chapter 2 India: People and Politics

Chapter 3 Indian National Identity

Chapter 4 China: People and Politics

Chapter 5 Recreating the Chinese Nation-State

Chapter 6 Japan: People and Politics

Chapter 7 Japan: Tension in Tradition

Chapter 8 Constitutions

Chapter 9 The Parliamentary System in India and Japan

Chapter 10 China: The Party-State System

Chapter 11 Elusive Democracy: The Decay of One-Party Rule

Chapter 12 Levels of Government and Regionalism

Chapter 13 Development, Democratization, and Governance in Asia

Chapter 14 Asian Politics and Global Transformation

“I believe [Comparing Asian Politics] strikes an excellent balance of breadth, with cases from East and South Asia that vary both in terms of political regimes and economic development, and depth, covering both historical and contemporary issues in each case and drawing explicit comparisons between the cases.”
Emily Beaulieu, University of Kentucky

“The great appeal of Comparing Asian Politics for an undergraduate classroom is its truly comparative approach. With an engaging style, Charlton emphasizes important regional themes through interwoven case studies of three important Asian countries. She emphasizes historical and cultural contexts in her analysis of contemporary political dynamics and dilemmas. Consequently, readers see linkages between regional and national phenomena and patterns across time—excellent training for the undergraduate students of politics.”
Kimberly Lanegran, Coe College

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