A Novel Approach to Politics: Introducing Political Science through Books, Movies, and Popular Culture

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SAGE Publications, Jan 7, 2015 - Political Science - 536 pages
A Novel Approach to Politics isn’t like other textbooks. This is one that students want to read. With his new Fourth Edition, Douglas A. Van Belle continues to turn conventional wisdom on its head by using pop culture references—updated in every chapter—to illustrate key concepts and to cover recent political events. Students will appreciate the tie between George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones and the authoritarian executive as much as House of Cards and cross-cutting cleavages, not to mention World War Z and bureaucracy. Just so things don't get too crazy, student aids are still in there—this time with new learning objectives joining chapter summaries, bolded key terms, and discussion questions. The “Thinkers in Boxes" call out pivotal political philosophers, theorists, and assorted hipsters, while the “Gods of Geekdom” highlight how the work of notable figures in science and science fiction tie into key chapter concepts.

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About the author (2015)

Douglas A. Van Belle is a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. He was the first person to have served as the president of both the Foreign Policy Analysis and the International Communication research sections in the International Studies Association. He has also served as the Editor-in-Chief of International Studies Perspectives and Foreign Policy Analysis and has conducted extensive research on media systems and information flows in international politics. He created the press freedom data set that precedes this study, to examine the effect of media freedom on international conflict, as exemplified by “Press Freedom and the Democratic Peace” (Journal of Peace Research). That initial analysis was expanded to complete Press Freedom and Global Politics (Praeger), which provides the foundation for the extension conducted here. Studies of popular media and political theory led to the undergraduate textbook, A Novel Approach to Politics, which is now in its 4th edition. Also, before returning to the analysis of media freedom with this project, he conducted a series of studies examining the relationship between information flows, disasters, and foreign aid, including Media, Bureaucracies and Foreign Aid (Palgrave: With Potter and Rioux).

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