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This exciting and authoritative introduction to comparative politics provides a range of perspectives, methods, and theories at the heart of political systems around the world. Alongside explanations of the most important themes, students are presented with a wealth of empirical data to demonstrate similarities and differences in practice, and to encourage research. This new edition takes account of the latest developments in the wake of democratic uprisings in North Africa and the MiddleEast, and sees a much stronger emphasis on the financial crisis, paying particular attention to state finances, and stressing the effects of the crisis on political attitudes and forms of participation.