Roots of Political Behavior: Introduction to Government and Politics

Roots of Political Behavior: Introduction to Government and Politics

Roots of Political Behavior: Introduction to Government and Politics

Roots of Political Behavior: Introduction to Government and Politics


This book represents an effort on our part to provide for an introductory course in political science which will offer to students certain basic tools of analysis. It may constitute heresy to convey to students the conception of unity within the social sciences; however, we have sought to indicate that a truly sophisticated understanding of political behavior and processes requires the use of materials from all the social sciences. Economics, demography, anthropology, psychology, sociology--all have a contribution to make. Instead of attempting a superficial survey of each of these disciplines, we have found it advisable, as a result of our teaching experience at Princeton, to select essays which bear specifically on the political behavior of men. Each chapter is designed to be suggestive rather than definitive, to propose useful approaches which both the instructor and the student may use as starting points from which to explore the various concepts of political behavior. No attempt is made in the various chapters to emphasize a particular economic, psychological, or sociological theory.

Frankly, this book of readings is an attempt to introduce the student to the forces and factors behind political institutions. It is in no way a repudiation of the institutional approach, but, rather, it is a supplement to it. Despite the omissions and shortcomings of this volume, we hope it will suggest other means of understanding political activity. This collection of original writings is only an approximation of what we hope to achieve. Therefore, we welcome suggestions for developing this general approach; we have attempted to provide a framework within which each instructor may develop his particular interests.

A deliberate effort has been made to keep to a minimum the inclusion of selections from sources readily available in every library. We have instead included items which seem to us to offer a fresh insight and which are frequently not available in convenient form for reference.

We wish to thank the Department of Politics at Princeton University for encouragement and for giving us a free hand in the development of the materials used. We also wish to thank the authors and publishers who have given their permission for the reprinting of various selections. Without the steady labor and the many talents of Muriel Wilson, the completed manuscript would have been unusually difficult, if not impossible, to compile.

To the students of Politics II at Princeton University in 1947-1948, we dedicate this book.


Princeton, New Jersey H.H.W.

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