International Encyclopedia of Political Science

By Hudson, Chris G. | Reference & User Services Quarterly, Fall 2012 | Go to article overview

International Encyclopedia of Political Science


Hudson, Chris G., Reference & User Services Quarterly


International Encyclopedia of Political Science. Ed. by Bertrand Badie, Dirk Berg-Schlosser, and Leonardo Morlino. Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage Reference, 2011. 8 vols. $1095 (ISBN 978-1-4129-5963-6). Ebook available (978-1-4129-9416-3), $1350.

The eight-volume International Encyclopedia of Political Science from Sage Reference is a set without any directly comparable works. A large part of that fact may be explained by its nominally contradictory assessment of a subject area more traditionally associated with North American educational institutions within an international context. While "political science" has an established history in the humanities departments of universities all across the United States, one is still more likely to encounter departments of "political philosophy" or "political economy" or just plain old "politics" around most of the rest of the globe. Nonetheless, this work was developed in partnership with the International Political Science Association which was itself borne out of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its calculated push to further develop the social science-related disciplines in the immediate post-World War II era. As such, its editors Badie, Berg-Schlosser, and Morlino represent prestigious universities in France, Germany, and Italy respectively and the list of contributors exceeds 600 individuals representing the educational institutions of over 40 nations (but with a decided tilt towards the United States and the countries of the European Union).

This work as reviewed here in its tangible print format is comprised of eight hard bound volumes of a quality and attractiveness to be expected of Sage. Beyond the lists of entries and contributors, it also includes such standard tools as an index and a "Reader's Guide," organizing more narrow topics within broader concepts of political science, which helps to make the set as appropriate for undergraduate students and the general public as for those individuals with graduate level or otherwise advanced familiarity of the discipline.

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