Globally oriented, this thoughtfully executed book presents the concepts, frameworks, and interpretative tools for understanding the diverse range of political systems at work in our world today, from democratic to authoritarian. Prompting readers to ask 'What constitutes good government and how it can be achieved?' it introduces the dynamic worlds of political science, politics, and government, examines theories and methods of comparison and international relations, and focuses on both domestic and global factors in promoting change. Introducing the ideas which form the basis of political science, it compares culture, ideology, constitutions, government institutions, public administration, elections, and parties and interest groups among the world's 192 states. Exploring both international and domestic factors in politics, it discusses recent controversies such as the strategic environment, disarmament, North-South Politics, human rights, environmental, economic, and health questions. Chapters are organized to help readers learn to appreciate the rigorous relationship between concepts and empirical analysis - pairing a more 'general' chapter is followed by an empirically oriented chapter concerning all democratic and authoritarian countries. For those beginning work in the fields of civics, politics, government and international affairs.