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Doing Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Approaches and Issues, 3rd edition

Timothy C. Lim
Doing Comparative Politics: An Introduction to Approaches and Issues, 3rd edition
ISBN: 978-1-62637-450-8
ISBN: 978-1-62637-618-2
2016/409 pages/LC: 2016028546
"Covering basic theoretical approaches in the field and then applying them to specific cases or questions, this text helps students to see how theory is actually used in practice."—Michael Baun, Valdosta State University

Praise for the previous editions:

"A concise, accessible and well-organized approach suitable for both undergraduate and graduate courses…. Doing Comparative Politics puts students in the driver's seat as they apply what they learn to timely, substantive debates in political science."—Nicholas Spina, Edgewood College

"Superbly demonstrates how comparativists use theory to grapple with important questions. Undergraduate and graduate students alike will find this engaging and well-structured text useful.... Most important, Lim makes abstract concepts accessible in ways that are neither patronizing nor trivial."—Laura Luehrmann, Wright State University

"Unlike most other texts in comparative politics that focus on country cases, Lim's valuable book gives students the skills to become critical thinkers and to actually DO comparative politics themselves."—Claudio Holzner, University of Utah


This systematic, user friendly, and refreshingly unusual introduction to comparative politics has not only been updated and refined in the third edition, but also fully revised to reflect the impact of major new developments in world politics.

Designed to teach students how to think comparatively and theoretically about the world they live in, the book is organized around a set of critical questions—why are poor countries poor? why is East Asia relatively prosperous? what makes a democracy? how can we explain terrorism and genocide? what leads people to mobilize around a cause?—each the topic of a full chapter. These issue chapters are based on the solid methodological and theoretical foundation laid out in the first part of the book, and the entire text is enhanced with case studies and graphics.


Timothy C. Lim is professor of political science at California State University, Los Angeles.


  • Getting Into Comparative Politics.
  • Comparing to Learn, Learning to Compare.
  • Thinking Theoretically in Comparative Politics.
  • Why Are Poor Countries Poor? Explaining Underdevelopment.
  • Why Has East Asia Prospered? Explaining Economic Growth in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and China.
  • What Makes a Democracy? Explaining the Breakdown of Authoritarian Rule.
  • Why Do People Kill? Explaining Genocide and Terrorism.
  • Why Collective Action? Explaining the Rise of Social Movements.
  • Globalization and the Study of Comparative Politics.
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