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This thematic introduction to comparative politics, framed around and driven by the concept of "the good society," emphasizes institutions, draws on the United States for some of its comparisons, and includes a unique assortment of case studies -- touching on a range of countries from rich democracies to less-developed states -- to make abstract concepts concrete. The book's normative approach is a bold departure from other books as it examines political systems and measures them against the yardstick of a "good society." Utilizing the "capability approach," developed by scholars Amartya Sen and Martha Nussbaum, they outline in their first chapter the qualities of a good society. The authors then compare and evaluate postindustrial democracies in the West, less-developed countries, and communist and post-communist countries against this standard. Not only do the authors thoroughly examine the performance of different countries against the criteria of the good society, but they explain why some countries are better than others at creating one.
Table of Contents
|The Outline of the Book|
|The Good Society?|
|Wealth is Not Enough|
|The Good Society|
|Civil and Political Rights|
|The Capability Approach|
|Responding to Criticisms of the Capability Approach|
|Institutions and the Good Society|
|Beyond the Institutional Approach|
|Institutions and the Good Society?|
|Levels of State Power: Unitary and Federal Political Systems|
|Branches of State Power: The Legislature, Executive and Judiciary|
|Power and Constitutions|
|Authoritarianism and Democracy|
|Pathways to Democracy|
|Presidential and Parliamentary Democracies|
|Authoritarianism, Democracy, and the Good Society|
|Political Institutions and Economic Growth|
|Political Institutions and Citizens Capability|
|States , Markets, and the Good Society?|
|States and Markets|
|The Advantages of Market Systems|
|The Dark Side of Markets|
|The Shifting Balance of States and Markets|
|Forms of State Intervention|
|Markets and Capability|
|Interest Groups and Political Parties|
|Radical Right-Wing Parties|
|Christian Democratic Parties|
|Social Democratic Parties|
|Regimes in Rich Democracies?|
|Social Democratic Regimes|
|Christian Democratic Regimes|
|Civil and Political Rights|
|Case Studies of Rich Democracies?|
|The United States|
|Economic Development and Human Development|
|Three Features Shared by Less Developed Countries|
|Poorer and More Vulnerable Economies|
|Weaker and Less Democratic States|
|How Did the Less Developed Countries Become Less Developed?|
|Regimes in Less Developed Countries?|
|Authoritarian Developmental Regimes|
|Summary of Authoritarian Regimes|
|Democratic Developmental Regimes|
|Summary of Democratic Regimes|
|Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.|