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Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

Print Price: $121.99

528 pp.
86 photos; 12 tables; 1 map, 8" x 10"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Introduction to Politics

Third Canadian Edition

Robert Garner, Peter Ferdinand, Stephanie Lawson and David B. MacDonald

Learn the essential theories and key concepts. Explore real-world international and Canadian examples. This is your complete introduction to politics.

Now in its third Canadian edition, this truly international introduction to politics offers comprehensive coverage of key concepts and ideologies, institutions, and international relations. Balancing theory with a wealth of Canadian and international real-world examples, this text equips students with the knowledge required to think critically about the current state of global politics.

Readership : A core text for undergraduate introduction to politics courses at universities and colleges.


  • "This is a well-crafted introductory overview of the essential themes, ideas, and theories of political analysis that informs our understanding of the major fields of political science. As an introductory resource for the discipline, the text provides a readable and comprehensive analysis of the content that students in the discipline are expected to encounter for more in-depth coverage in senior-level courses."
    --Chaldeans Mensah, MacEwan University

  • "This is an excellent textbook for an introductory course in political science, especially for Canadian audiences. Up-to-date examples, Indigenous content, and a readable text make this a top choice."
    --Lisa Lambert, University of Lethbridge

Note: each chapter includes:
- Chapter outline
- Chapter overview
- Conclusion
- Key questions
- Further reading
- Web links
Introduction: What Is Politics and How Should We Analyze It?
Part One: Political Concepts and Ideas
1. Politics and the State
2. Political Power, Authority, and the State
3. Democracy and Our Relationship to the State
4. Freedom and Justice
5. Traditional Western Ideologies
6. Alternative Ideologies
Part Two: Comparative Politics
7. Institutions and States
8. Key Elements of the State: Laws, Constitutions, and Federalism
9. Legislatures and Legislators
10. Bureaucracies, Policy-Making, and Governance
11. Voting, Elections, and Political Parties
12. Civil Society, Interest Groups, and the Media
13. Political Culture
Part Three: International Relations
14. Sovereignty, the State, and International Order
15. Traditional Theories of International Relations
16. Alternative Approaches to International Relations
17. Security and Insecurity
18. Diplomacy and Foreign Policy
19. International Organizations
20. International Political Economy

Instructor's Manual:
For each chapter:
· Updated chapter summaries, chapter outlines, and key terms with definitions
· 7 discussion questions
· 4 activities
· 8 further resources (web links to recommended videos, podcasts, articles, and websites)
PowerPoint Slides:
For each chapter:
· 20-25 lecture outline slides
Test Bank:
For each chapter, and section references to the answers:
· 30-35 multiple-choice questions
· 20-25 true-or-false questions
· 5-10 shortanswer questions
Student Study Guide:
· Updated chapter summaries, key terms, discussion questions, list of further resources
- Flash cards
- Practice quizzes: 10-15 questions per chapter
- 26 Key Thinker Biographies
Image Bank:
· All photos and tables from the text
- Alt text document

Robert Garner is a professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester, UK.

Peter Ferdinand is an emeritus reader in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, UK.

Stephanie Lawson is a professor in the Department of Modern History, Politics, and International Relations at Macquarie University, Australia.

David B. MacDonald is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Guelph, Canada. He recently served as University Research Leadership Chair for the College of Social and Applied Human Sciences. David received his Ph.D. in International Relations from the London School of Economics and was formerly Senior Lecturer at Otago University, New Zealand. He is the author of four books, The Sleeping Giant Awakens: Genocide, Indian Residential Schools, and the Challenge of Conciliation (2019), Balkan Holocausts? Serbian and Croatian Victim-Centred Propaganda and the War in Yugoslavia (2002); Identity Politics in the Age of Genocide (2008); and Thinking History, Fighting Evil (2009). He is also the co-editor of four books, the most recent being Populism and World Politics: Exploring Inter- and Transnational Dimensions (Palgrave Macmillan, 2019), and is co-author of the Canadian edition of Comparative Politics: Integrating Theories, Methods, and Cases (Oxford University Press Canada, 2020). David has also written many articles and book chapters on his areas of interest: colonialism and genocide, comparative Indigenous politics, US foreign policy, and the comparative politics of Western settler societies.

Politics - George A. MacLean, Duncan R. Wood and Lori Turnbull
Comparative Politics - J. Tyler Dickovick, Jonathan Eastwood and David B. MacDonald
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations - Garrett W. Brown, Iain McLean and Alistair McMillan
Political Argument - Marc Menard
Making Sense in the Social Sciences - Margot Northey, Lorne Tepperman and Patrizia Albanese

Special Features

  • Focus on the international community rather than on one particular country encourages students to explore themes of collective decision-making, diversity, power, and justice on the global stage.
  • Canadian examples, included where appropriate, show how political ideas play out in the Canadian context and enable students to assess this country's role in the global political system.
  • Comprehensive treatment of theory, comparative politics, and international relations offers students a thorough introduction to the discipline as a whole and prepares them for future study.
  • Incorporates Indigenous perspectives throughout, including Indigenous understandings of diplomacy, sovereignty, and democracy, and discusses of the ongoing impacts of colonization.
  • Balances traditional ideologies and critical responses to offer students a fair and well-rounded introduction to political thought.
  • Case studies connect theory to the real world, exploring topics such as Black Lives Matter, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the state, and the origin and development of the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.
  • The clear, approachable writing style is straightforward and engaging for students new to the in-depth study of politics.
  • Key Concept boxes offer in-depth treatment of essential ideas and issues.
  • Key Quote boxes provide insightful observations from political actors and scholars.
  • Key Points boxes help students review the essential ideas and arguments of each main section within the chapter.
New to this Edition
  • Updated coverage of ideologies (Ch. 5 & 6) includes new coverage of populism and expanded coverage of liberalism, conservatism, Marxism, nationalism, fascism, feminism, environmentalism, and religious fundamentalism.
  • Increased coverage of key topics throughout including gender; Indigenous knowledge and perspectives; and climate action and environmental justice.
  • Up-to-date coverage provides students with the latest theoretical developments as well as intriguing new discussion of current issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, and the effects of social media on politics.