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The Challenge of Politics

The Challenge of Politics
An Introduction to Political Science

Seventh Edition

January 2022 | 520 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  

The Seventh Edition of The Challenge of Politics by Douglas W. Simon and Joseph Romance balances classic political theory with contemporary politics to help students understand the fundamental questions of political science. The authors relate insights of classic political thinkers both to their modern counterparts and to the political dynamics of American, comparative, and international affairs. With its theme of politics as a scientific study, this book allows students to explore the impact of philosophy and ideology, to recognize major forms of government, to evaluate empirical findings, and to understand how policy issues directly affect people’s lives.

CHAPTER 1 • Games Politicians Play
CHAPTER 2 • Politics and Choice
CHAPTER 3 • Political Science: Components, Tasks, and Controversies
CHAPTER 4 • The Physical, Social, and Cultural Environment of Politics
CHAPTER 5 • The Quest for the Good Political Life
CHAPTER 6 • Liberal Democracy
CHAPTER 7 • Democratic Socialism and Communism: Ideologies of the Left
CHAPTER 8 • Key Dilemmas: Political Form, Culture, and Values
CHAPTER 9 • American Politics and Government
CHAPTER 10 • Comparative Politics
CHAPTER 11 • International Politics and the Global Community
CHAPTER 12 • War and Peace in the Modern Age
CHAPTER 13 • The Battle on Behalf of Human Rights
CHAPTER 14 • The Struggle for Economic Well-Being
CHAPTER 15 • The Imperative of Ecological Health


Instructor Resource Site 

Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.
Student Study Site
The open-access Student Study Site makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime. It offers flashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts, as well as learning objectives that reinforce the most important material.
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Key features
  • Up-to-date coverage of “positive” and “negative” freedom as well as extended discussions of rational choice theory, Game theory, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.
  • A new discussion of the cyber revolution and the impact it has on politics, including the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections.
  • New discussions on the 2020 U.S. presidential election and concerns over a divided America.
  • A new major discussion on the effectiveness of international institutions such as the E.U. and U.N.
  • Updated tables and graphs containing up-to-the minute data throughout as well as conceptual figures and maps.
  • Employs a normative approach to get students thinking not just about not how things are, but how things “ought to be.” Unlike other political science texts, this book focuses on the exploration of universal values, norms, and principles and what should be done based on those values. This allows students to balance ethical, empirical, and prudential concerns in making political judgements and tackling controversial problems.
  • Explores the “classical” questions in political science, including “What is justice?” “What is freedom?” “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?”
  • The book takes an integrative approach where the fields of political theory, American Government, comparative politics, and international relations all interact and inform each other, allowing students to see the whole of their political world.
  • Coverage of how the scientific method and empiricism contributes to the study of politics, that challenges students to wrestle with real life policy issues such as war and peace, human rights, poverty, and environmental health.
  • Chapter-opening Learning Objectives prepare students for what they will be learning in each section.
  • Key Questions within each chapter prompt critical thinking and encourage classroom discussion.