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This updated text introduces students to the major challenges facing political systems as we approach the year 2000. The systems are grouped into three types: the advanced, liberal, democracies; the Communist and post-Communist nations; and the developing nations. Nagle examines the performance records of these systems in four areas -- economic growth, social equality, personal liberty, and quality of life. The fifth edition has a major focus on transitions from Communism to post-Communism. It pays more attention to Japan, India, and Mexico as examples, and treats issues like ethnic conflict, crisis in the welfare state, and new world disorder. Nagle provides the latest data available.