The Encyclopedia of Political Science offers scholars and students easy access to the essential concepts in political science in the early twenty-first century. Organized by traditional subfields, such as political theory, comparative politics, international relations, and public policy, it also incorporates those fields that have emerged more recently, for example, race and ethnicity, gender studies, and political economy. In addition, the content reflects the blurring of boundaries increasingly prevalent in political science—whether this occurs in association with cultural studies, neurology, history, or economics. Biographical entries provide a sense of the history of the discipline, and methodological entries suggest the variety of approaches—sometimes used singly and sometimes in combination—available for studying politics. There is material that gives background on countries, theorists, and theories, and there are entries on terms that everyone should know and entries on terms only specialists require.
Diversity in practice characterizes political scientists in their research and teaching, and the editors of this text have tried to respect and illuminate this pluralism. We endeavored to be sensitive to controversies and disagreements over methods, approaches, and models of the world while providing access to what has become an increasingly specialized subject. We also paid attention throughout to enduring questions and topics, such as war and peace, democratization, political development, and ethnic conflict—topics that cut across the subfields of the discipline—while making room to cover some novel initiatives at the cutting edge of research in the field. We recognize that at any time such an encyclopedia as this is necessarily a snapshot, but we have tried to reflect the ways in which political science, like other fields of inquiry, is constantly evolving in reaction both to debates among scholars and to developments in the real world of politics.
Topics covered include
September 13, 2010