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POLITICAL SYSTEMS. This is the second in a series of books on government and politics designed for students and the general reader (see author's other publications for details of all series titles). All the books interlink and cross reference but are designed to stand alone. This second text continues the series with a detailed exploration of political systems: the structures which channel, direct and shape the all-inclusive decision-making activity which is the hall-mark of politics. Think of politics - the ideas, the people and the policies as the ‘software’. Political institutions and structures - what we might conveniently call ‘the apparatus of rule’ - are the hardware. It is helpful to regard these political structures as parts of a ‘political system’ - a complex set of inter-dependent parts processing political inputs from the environment and generating political outputs in the shape of laws and policies. This ‘systemic view’ helps us to understand the inter-relatedness of different parts of the political structure and the role each plays. The text opens with a clear statement of Aims and Learning Outcomes to give clarity and direction to your reading. The subsequent text is then divided into easy-to-read sections on: The idea of a ‘political system’ Comparative government The British monarchy The centre and the periphery The branches of government Pluralism The book concludes with: Political systems: a summary. Review questions References Throughout, the material is carefully designed to equip the reader with a basic political vocabulary and an appreciation of the significance of politics as an important, pervasive and irreplaceable activity involving us all and the function and significance of political systems.

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