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Studying Politics: An Introduction to Political Science, 5th Edition

By Christopher G. Anderson, Rand Dyck
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Soft Cover
528 pages
ISBN-10: 0176531491
ISBN-13: 9780176531492
Publisher: Top Hat
Edition: 5th

The fifth edition of Studying Politics is a comprehensive text engagingly written by leading scholars in each of the “four fields” of Political Science – Political Thought, International Relations, Comparative Politics, and Canadian Politics. The text is crafted in a language that students will find accessible and relevant – that speaks to the complexity of the political world in which they live (whether they realize it or not), provides them with touchstones and tools to see patterns where others may see confusion, and offers solutions where others may offer resignation. The text seeks to encourage students to see politics as an important and productive part of their lives, and as a sphere of human behaviour that they can – and ought to – engage. Today’s students are perhaps the most globally oriented and connected generation that we have ever seen, and they view the world in ways that readily transcend traditional borders and categories. As such, this edition of Studying Politics has further weaved in comparative and global dimensions, even as it retains a core focus on Canada and Canadians.


  • *NEW* The authors have updated and revised their contributions to reflect recent developments in the discipline and to link them to important events in the world that the students of 2015 and beyond live in.
  • *NEW* The text includes 9 new chapters that offer different ways of encouraging and mobilizing students to think about how politics intersects with their lives.
  • *NEW* New Think and Discuss boxes appear in each chapter, with the aim of encouraging students to engage critically with the surrounding chapter content.
  • *NEW* Each chapter contains a new Photo Essay box, which features an image that highlights a topical or controversial issue, along with an essay that explicates the significance of the image. Students are further encouraged to take their learning from the classroom and textbook and apply it to the debates that affect and interest them.
  • *NEW* The text has been significantly redesigned visually to better meet the needs of today's students and educators, who are ever more in need of ways to apply the tools and knowledge of Political Science to the world around them.
  • Each chapter has been written by experts in their respective fields of political science and edited by Christopher G. Anderson, and Rand Dyck, author of the leading Canadian Politics text, Canadian Politics: Critical Approaches.
  • The book's conceptual/comparative approach works outward from Canada to other industrialized developed democracies, then to the developing world and finally to the global scene.
  • The text begins with a gentle introduction to the subject of politics and political science – especially appealing to those who may not have formally encountered this discipline before.
  • A terrific website provides study aids and updates by the authors as changes in Canada and around the world dictate.

Table of Contents

  • Preface
  • About the Contributors
  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Studying Politics: An Introduction ? Christopher G. Anderson
  • Chapter 2: Thinking about Politics: Ideas and Ideologies in Politics ? Richard Sigurdson
  • Part 2: Foundations of Politics
  • Chapter 3: States and Governments: Perpetual Works in Progress ? Christopher G. Anderson
  • Chapter 4: States and Nations: Cultural Pluralism, Nationalism, and Identity ? Yasmeen Abu-Laban
  • Chapter 5: States and Economies: Studying Political Economy in Political Science ? Rodney Haddow
  • Part 3: Institutions and Structures of Governments
  • Chapter 6: Designing and Limiting Governments by Constitutions ? Stephen Phillips
  • Chapter 7: The Political Executive and Bureaucracy: On Top and On Tap ? Stephen Phillips
  • Chapter 8: Legislatures: Centre Stage But Not Top Billing ? David Docherty and John Kurt Edwards
  • Chapter 9: The Judiciary: Politics, Law, and the Courts ? Matthew Hennigar
  • Part 4: Political Participation
  • Chapter 10: Democracies in Action: Elections, Political Participation, and Citizens? Power ? Amanda Bittner
  • Chapter 11: Political Parties: Imperfect but Essential ? Anna Esselment
  • Chapter 12: Civil Society: The Study of Power. Intrigue. Passion ? Rachel LaForest
  • Part 5: International Politics
  • Chapter 13: The Politics of Development ? Michelle Bonner
  • Chapter 14: Regime Change and Persistence ? Arjun Chowdhury
  • Chapter 15: International Relations: Global Anarchy, Conflict, and Cooperation ? Claire Turenne-Sjolander
  • Chapter 16: Security in Pieces: Approaches to the Study of Security in International Politics ? Sandy Irvine
  • Glossary
  • Index

Author Information

Christopher G. Anderson

Christopher G. Anderson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Wilfrid Laurier University. He received his PhD from McGill University and his BA from the University of Toronto. His research encompasses both historical and contemporary studies of Canadian citizenship, multiculturalism, immigration, and refugee policy. His book, Canadian Liberalism and the Politics of Border Control, 1867–1967 (UBC Press) was published in 2013.

Rand Dyck

Rand Dyck was born and raised in Calgary. After graduating from the University of Alberta with his B.A. in Political Science, he found the political culture of Ontario more to his liking, and took his M.A. at Carleton University and his Ph.D. at Queen's. Between his graduate degrees, he experienced the life of a public servant in Ottawa, but opted instead for an academic career. He taught at Laurentian University in Sudbury for 34 years, holding all sorts of administrative positions including department chair and vice dean, and took early retirement in 2005, upon which he was titled Professor Emeritus. He now teaches at Carleton University as an Adjunct Professor. Among his many accomplishments and awards, Rand received both the Laurentian University Teaching Excellence Award and the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award in 2002. He was cited for his engaging teaching style and for his extraordinary commitment to his students, many of whom became life-long friends. One particular claim to fame was his organization of the annual Laurentian University Model Parliament held in the House of Commons chamber in Ottawa. As a Political Science professor, he has a long list of published articles, chapters, public speeches, and book reviews, and continues to be asked by the media for comments on current political developments.