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About this book

The fifth edition of this seminal textbook by best-selling author Andrew Heywood continues to lead the way in providing a comprehensive and authoritative introduction to politics. Renowned for its engaging and accessible style, this book helps students to understand the discipline’s foundational concepts and theories and use these to make sense of its key subfields, from elections and voting to security and global governance. Systematically revised and updated throughout, it also uses a range of tried-and-tested pedagogical features to draw links between different standpoints and help make contemporary institutions, events and developments come to life.
Drawing on a wide range of international examples, this text is the ideal choice for lecturers around the world. Carefully designed and written to map onto the way the subject is introduced at degree level, it remains the go-to text for undergraduate introductory and comparative politics courses. Furthermore, it can also be used as pre-course reading or as a point of reference throughout politics degrees, majors or minors.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What is politics?

Abstract
Politics is exciting because people disagree. They disagree about how they should live.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 2. Political ideas and ideologies

Abstract
All people are political thinkers. Whether they know it or not, people use political ideas and concepts whenever they express their opinions or speak their mind.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 3. Politics and the state

Abstract
The shadow of the state falls on almost every human activity.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 4. Democracy and Legitimacy

Abstract
Although states may enjoy a monopoly of coercive power, they seldom remain in existence through the exercise of force alone.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 5. Regimes of the modern world

Abstract
Classifying the various forms of government has been one of the principal concerns of political analysis through the ages.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 6. Nations and nationalism

Abstract
For the last 200 years, the nation has been regarded as the most appropriate (and perhaps the only proper) unit of political rule.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 7. Political economy and Globalization

Abstract
At almost every level, politics is intertwined with economics.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 8. Politics, society and identity

Abstract
To suggest, as textbooks tend to do, that politics takes place in a social context fails to convey just how intimately politics and social life are related.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 9. Political culture and the media

Abstract
Much of politics takes place in our heads. ultimately, what we believe about the society in which we live may be more important than the reality of its power structure, and the actual distribution of resources and opportunities within it.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 10. Representation, elections and voting

Abstract
Elections are often thought of as the heart of the political process.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 11. Parties and party systems

Abstract
So fundamental are political parties to the operation of modern politics that their role and signifi cance are often taken for granted.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 12. Groups, interests and movements

Abstract
Patterns of political interaction were transformed in the twentieth century by the growing prominence of organized groups and interests.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 13. Constitutions, law and judges

Abstract
In the 1950s and 1960s, the study of constitutions and constitutional issues became distinctly unfashionable.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 14. Political executives and leadership

Abstract
The executive is the irreducible core of government.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 15. Assemblies

Abstract
Assemblies (sometimes called ‘parliaments’ or ‘legislatures’) occupy a key position in the machinery of government.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 16. Public policy and the bureaucracy

Abstract
In a sense, policy is the aspect of politics that concerns most people.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 17. Multilevel politics

Abstract
The nation-state has traditionally been viewed as the natural, and perhaps only legitimate, unit of political rule.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 18. Security: domestic and international

Abstract
Security is the deepest and most abiding issue in politics.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 19. World order and global governance

Abstract
The issue of world order is central to an understanding of international politics.
Andrew Heywood

Chapter 20. Is politics broken?

Abstract
In this concluding chapter, we return to some of the themes discussed in chapter 1, and, in the process, draw together some of the themes set out at diff erent points in the book.
Andrew Heywood
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