NEW TO THIS EDITION: A new chapter on civil rights and liberties (chapter 5) introduces students to a comparative look at rights and liberties, so that students can have a more holistic understanding of US politics. A new chapter on constitutional arrangements (chapter 6) introduces students to the uniqueness of the US Constitution, so that students can think more critically about the US Constitution in comparative perspective. An expanded chapter on institutions (chapter 7) provides comparative context to help students understand why legislative and executive branches together makes the most sense. The discussion on elections has been divided into two chapters - one on institutions (chapter 10) and one on behavior (chapter 11) - to make the topic easier to digest for students and easier to cover for instructors. New data around the 2016 general election and the 2018 midterm election offers students the most up-to-date information on elections and encourages students to explore how these elections are a reflection (or not) of American exceptionalism. A new textbox on far right political parties helps students to think critically about how different electoral and institutional arrangements impact how far right politics materializes in practice in various countries. New end of chapter material, including study questions, suggested readings and key words offer students multiple opportunities to further their knowledge of the content. KEY FEATURES: The balanced approach uniquely discusses and provides examples of similarities - as well as differences - between the US and other democracies. American exceptionalism is addressed and its most common definition, of the US as superior, is challenged, pointing out that exceptional only means different. Break-out boxes, attractively displayed empirical examples providing easily accessible data, and end-of-chapter study questions and terms help to reinforce concepts and provide learning aids for students.
When Americans think of the British, what likely comes to mind is drinking tea, good manners, and the Queen. They do not picture fist pounding and jeering as typical of British manners, unless they have a chance to watch the British prime minister respond to questions by members of the opposition party in the legislature. The prime minister is often met with jeers, boos and hisses as he or she must defend his or her policies against an unsympathetic opposition. One could not imagine the United States Congress erupting into similar levels of rowdiness when the president makes his yearly State of the Union Address, where the president typically receives numerous standing ovations, and the largest display of disagreement ...