The 10 Best Political Science Textbooks

video play icon 10 Best Political Science Textbooks

This wiki has been updated 21 times since it was first published in July of 2018. Whether you’re a political science major or simply interested in the field, you’re bound to find something useful in these textbooks. We’ve gathered options to suit people at various levels and that include comprehensive overviews, enlightening introductions, guides on proper research methodology, and more. Each one aims to help students absorb critical information. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Keeping the Republic

2. The Oxford Handbook of Political Science

3. Political Science: A Global Perspective

Editor's Notes

February 05, 2020:

Political science is a broad social science that encompasses myriad governing systems and the analyses of thoughts, behavior, and activities as related to politics. Because of this expansive nature, students and teachers require everything from solid introductions to laser-focused volumes.

For those who need assistance writing and researching, there's Political Science Research in Practice and Writing a Research Paper in Political Science, while Policy Paradox explores the balance between rational thinking and personal values. For an American perspective, there's We the People and American Government: Stories of a Nation. The latter was recently added at the expense of Understanding the Political World, which we felt was a bit soft as far as introductions go. American Government takes a personal approach to link the material to real scenarios for the student's benefit, with plenty of information on political activism thrown in as well.

Also joining the ranks today is Political Science: A Global Perspective, which, as the title suggests, takes an international viewpoint to explore issues comparatively and relate them to different cultural and historical contexts. This selection is meant as an introduction, but for the student with prior knowledge, applying mainly to postgraduates and upper-level undergrads.

For a magisterial reference to take from school through to your career, The Oxford Handbook of Political Science can't be beaten. If you're looking for something to spark meaningful discussions, check out Analyzing Politics.

4. Analyzing Politics

5. Essentials of Comparative Politics

6. American Government: Stories of a Nation

7. Policy Paradox

8. We the People

9. Political Science Research in Practice

10. Writing a Research Paper in Political Science

Gia Vescovi-Chiordi
Last updated by Gia Vescovi-Chiordi

Born in Arizona, Gia is a writer and autodidact who fled the heat of the desert for California, where she enjoys drinking beer, overanalyzing the minutiae of life, and channeling Rick Steves. After arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago, she quickly nabbed a copywriting job at a major clothing company and derived years of editing and proofreading experience from her tenure there, all while sharpening her skills further with myriad freelance projects. In her spare time, she teaches herself French and Italian, has earned an ESL teaching certificate, traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, and unashamedly devours television shows and books. The result of these pursuits is expertise in fashion, travel, beauty, literature, textbooks, and pop culture, in addition to whatever obsession consumes her next.

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