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The Challenge of Politics
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The Challenge of Politics
An Introduction to Political Science

Sixth Edition
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December 2018 | 488 pages | CQ Press
“[This is] a textbook that offers students a good introduction to the science of politics while emphasizing the moral, empirical, and prudential dimensions of politics.”
 —Prosper Bernard, Jr., College of Staten Island  

This updated Sixth Edition of The Challenge of Politics enables students to see how the subfields of political science converge around a set of crucial questions, such as “Can we as citizens and students articulate and defend a view of the good political life and its guiding political values?” “Can we bring political wisdom to bear on judgments about politics and public issues?” and “Can we develop a science of politics to help us understand significant political phenomena—the empirical realities of politics?” Balancing lessons of classic and contemporary theory with contemporary politics and empirical study, the book equips students with the tools they need to explore the impact of philosophy and ideology, recognize major forms of government, evaluate empirical findings, and understand how policy issues directly affect people’s lives. The updated Sixth Edition includes new material on the 2016 presidential elections, the role of social media in politics, and an expanded discussion on the rise of populist movements.  

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SAGE edge offers a robust online environment featuring an impressive array of free tools and resources for review, study, and further exploration, keeping both instructors and students on the cutting edge of teaching and learning. Learn more at edge.sagepub.com/simon6e.
 
Tables, Figures, Boxes, and Maps
 
About the Authors
 
Preface
 
Introduction
Political Values

 
A Science of Politics

 
Political Wisdom

 
The Future of Politics and Political Science

 
 
PART I. RULES OF THE GAME
 
CHAPTER 1. Games Politicans Play
The Game of Politics

 
Wipeout: The Politics of Destruction

 
Lion and Fox: The Politics of the Nation-State

 
Civil Disobedience: The Politics of Morality

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 2. Politics and Choice
Five Important Themes

 
Socrates and the Moral Life: Political Obligation in Ancient Athens

 
Madison, the New Republic, and Federal Theory: The Struggle for Creative Breakthrough in Modern Politics

 
The German Citizen and the Nazi Regime: Can Modern Citizens Bear the Burden of Freedom?

 
John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis: The Perils of Choice in the Nuclear Age

 
The Decision to Invade Iraq: The Perils of Inaccurate Information and Faulty Assumptions

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 3. Politcal Science: Components, Tasks, and Controversies
The Basic Structure of Political Science

 
The Three Major Components of Political Science

 
The Four Major Tasks of Political Science

 
Continuing Controversies in Political Science

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 4. The Physical, Social, and Cultural Environment of Politics
Propositions and Challenges

 
The Physical World We Live In

 
The Biological, Physiological, Psychological, and Social Creatures We Are

 
The Social Communities We Have Built

 
The Cultural Universe We Have Created

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
PART II. POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY AND IDEOLOGY
 
CHAPTER 5. The Quest for the Good Political Life
Classical Greek Thought: The Search for Political Excellence

 
Christianity and the Good Political Life

 
The Renaissance: Niccolo Machiavelli and the Quest for a Virtuous Republic

 
Modern Political Thought

 
Contemporary Political Philosophy

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 6. Liberal Democracy
Toward a Definition of Liberal Democracy

 
The Ideals of Liberal Democracy

 
The Sources of Liberal Democracy

 
Liberalism, Capitalism, and Democracy

 
Variations on the Liberal Democratic Theme

 
An Assessment of Liberal Democracy

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 7. Democratic Socialism and Communism: Ideologies of the Left
Democratic Socialism

 
The Sources of Democratic Socialism

 
Democratic Socialism as Political Ideology: Pro and Con

 
Communism

 
The Sources of Communism

 
Communism as a Political Ideology and Philosophy: Pro and Con

 
The Recent Past and Future of Democratic Socialism and Communism

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
PART III. AMERICAN, COMPARATIVE, AND WORLD POLITICS
 
CHAPTER 8. Key Dilemmas: Political Form, Culture, and Values
Some Key Terms Defined

 
Patterns for Cooperation, Accommodation, and Conflict Resolution

 
Democratic Constitutionalism

 
Constitutional Features

 
The Values of Nations as Political Actors

 
Popular Values

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 9. American Politics and Government
American Political Culture

 
American Political Institutions

 
Beyond the Constitution: Citizens, Media, Parties, and Elections

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 10. Comparative Politics
Parliamentary Government

 
Authoritarian Government

 
Mixed Political Systems

 
Failed or Fragile States

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 11. International Politics and the Global Community
Post–World War II and Post–Cold War Challenges

 
Current Patterns in International Politics

 
Balance of Power

 
Domination

 
Multilateralism

 
Other Forms of Behavior: Neutrality, Nonalignment, and Isolation

 
Nonstate Actors

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
PART IV. POLITICAL JUDGMENT AND PUBLIC POLICY
 
CHAPTER 12. War and Peace in the Modern Age
Ethical and Empirical Factors

 
Alternative Approaches to a More Peaceful World

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 13. The Battle on Behalf of Human Rights
Clarifying the Problem

 
Ethical and Empirical Factors

 
Alternative Approaches to Securing Human Rights

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 14. The Struggle for Economic Well-Being
Defining Economic Well-Being

 
Ethical and Empirical Factors

 
Alternative Approaches to Economic Well-Being

 
The Critical Role of the International Community

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
CHAPTER 15. The Imperative of Ecological Health
Ethical and Empirical Factors

 
Alternative Approaches to Ecological Health

 
Conclusion

 
Suggested Readings

 
Glossary Terms

 
 
Conclusion
A Best-Case Scenario

 
A Worst-Case Scenario

 
A Prophetic Planetary Scenario

 
Suggested Readings

 
 
Glossary
 
Photo Credits
 
Index

Supplements

Student Resource Site

Student Study Site (Open Access)  

SAGE edge for Students provides a personalized approach to help students accomplish their coursework goals in an easy-to-use learning environment.

  • Mobile-friendly eFlashcards strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts.
  • Mobile-friendly practice quizzes allow for independent assessment by students of their mastery of course material. 
  • Multimedia content includes third-party videos that appeal to diverse learners.
Instructors Resource Site

edge.sagepub.com/simon6e  

Instructor Teaching Site (Password Protected)  

SAGE edge for Instructors, supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students.

  • Test banks provide a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity to edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions to effectively assess students’ progress and understanding.
  • Sample course syllabi for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for structuring your courses. 
  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
  • Multimedia content includes third-party videos that appeal to diverse learners.
  • Course cartridge for easy LMS integration is included.

“[This is] a textbook that offers students a good introduction to the science of politics while emphasizing the moral, empirical, and prudential dimensions of politics.”

Prosper Bernard, Jr.
College of Staten Island

The Challenge of Politics is precisely the sort of text that will help students bridge from their introductory American Government courses to more demanding curricula.”

Ken Hicks
Rogers State University

“[The Challenge of Politics] is one of the few texts out there that strikes a good balance between the empirical and normative approaches in the study of politics.”

Kostas Kourtikakis
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1: Games Politicians Play

Chapter 2: Politics and Choice


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