Politics:the Basics sells all over the world and has been translated into Polish, Turkish, Arabic , Chinese, Brazilian Portuguese and Persian. (The Persian editions are unauthorised and may not be accurate). It is an introduction to the subject suitable for those with no previous academic background who are, or are considering, studying at undergraduate level. First published in 1995, it has been regularly updated, laterly by Dr Nigel Jackson of Plymouth University. World-wide sales exceed 30,000 copies.
The fifth edition of Politics: the Basics was published by Routledge in September 2014 & now costs £19.99 (Paperback),£84.99 (Hardback) £17.09 (ebook).
The ISBN numbers are 978-0-415-844142-9 paperback; 978-0-415-84141-2, hardback; ebook versions - 978-1-315-75474-4 .
The amendments to the fifth edition are primarily the work of Nigel Jackson. The blame for infelicities and errors remains, of course, with both of us.
To understand why politics is important at both a systemic and individual level;
To assess the meaning of politics;
To identify how politics can be studied;
To evaluate the different approaches to the study of politics.
To Understand the meaning of power;
To assess different interpretations of power;
To identify the components of the exercise of power;
Assess how the exercise of power changes over time;
To evaluate how power is exercised, and the limitations to power.
To challenge the assumption that the state is the only legitimate form of political system;
Identify the historical political developments which shape much of our understanding of modern political systems;
Assess the concept of the sovereign nation state;
Evaluate politics beyond the state within deterritorialisation.
To understand the meaning of ideology;
Assess the development of the key traditional 'isms';
Assess the meaning and relevance of most recent 'isms'.
To assess the relevance of the state;
Identify the different types of state;
Considers the differences and similarities between democratic and autocratic states;
Introduces different levels of the state.
Identify the meaning and importance of globalisation;
Understand some key factors which shape the global political world;
Assess the approaches to international relations;
Evaluate the role of the key actors in global politics.
Understand how individuals’ rights are maintained;
Assess the application of a separation of powers;
Identify the key institutions of governing in liberal democracies;
Evaluate the role of key ‘actors’ in the political process.
Identify some of the problems associated with policy making;
Evaluate how policy is made;
Assess why different policy making processes are used;
Consider the factors which shape a government’s ability to implement their policies.
Identify the key current issues shaping the future of democratic government;
Consider how the concept of democracy might be evolving;
Assess the applicability of e-democracy and e-representation;
Evaluate the future of political science.
There is an additional page on this site Notes and Queries which records the history of the book and includes corrections and answers to queries from readers of general interest.