Cover image for The Oxford companion to politics of the world
The Oxford companion to politics of the world
Krieger, Joel, 1951-
Second edition.
Publication Information:
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2001.
Physical Description:
xxxi, 1018 pages : maps ; 26 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JA61 .O95 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
JA61 .O95 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Reference material

On Order



The world has seen dramatic changes since the publication of the first edition of The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World in 1993. In the post-Cold War world, globalization now offers wealth and opportunities on a broader scale, as well as greater international harmony, but threatens toreinforce the advantage gap between wealthy and poor regions and intensify environmental degradation. Conflict and squalor--expressed in brutal brushfire wars, epidemics, and chronic underdevelopment--vie with equally dramatic accounts of growth and democracy associated with a liberal politicalorder and the global diffusion of trade, investment, and communications. Drawing on the breadth of the first edition, this major new edition reflects the changing world with a reassessment of many of the core themes of the Companion, and new articles on the people, concepts, and events that have shaped the world since 1993. The second edition includes biographies ofKofi Annan, Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and Gerhard Schroder; articles on events such as the Rwandan Genocide and the war in Kosovo; and coverage of international trade developments such as NAFTA and the World Trade Organization. Eighty-seven of the 672 articles in the Second Edition are completelynew; most others are thoroughly revised. This edition also features a substantial new set of articles, a dozen essays on critical issues written by influential figures. Recognizing the importance of including varying viewpoints, the editors have commissioned these essays to provide an informed and often passionate debate oncontroversial topics. Discussions include Lani Guinier and Glenn Loury on Affirmative Action; Francis Fukuyama and Milton Fisk on the Limits of Liberal Democracy; and Lloyd Axworthy and John Bolton on the United Nations. The contributors discuss nearly every nation in the world, including extensive information on institutions, political parties, leaders, and the sources of political mobilization and conflict. The volume also includes biographies of more than seventy-five political leaders and thinkers who haveshaped the contemporary political world. Articles include detailed discussions of critical historical developments and events, concepts, international law, and organizations. The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, Second Edition is an accessible, timely, thought-provoking, and comprehensivereference that captures the complexity and vitality of contemporary world affairs.

Author Notes

Professor Joel Krieger (U.S.)Norma Wilentz Hess Professor of Political Science, Wellesley College

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This new work focuses on such broad themes and topics as the social basis of politics, national and international organizations and institutions, law, foreign policy, economic and social policy, links between international and domestic issues, and the politics of change. The companion accomplishes its goals through 650 entries by 500 scholars from more than 40 countries. These articles vary from short, factual pieces to essays of more than 4,000 words. In addition to articles on virtually every country in the world and approximately 100 persons who, according to the editor, "played exceptionally significant roles in contemporary political life," the work features 21 major analytical essays addressing such topics as ethnicity, gender and politics, war, and race and racism. Finally, the companion includes three long, interpretive essays on comparative politics, international politics, and comparative law. One of the strengths of this work is its coverage of the conflicts and issues that are headlines in the news, both today and in the recent past. For instance, in the three pages devoted to Yugoslavia, one can learn the history of the country, the ideology of the competing factions, and pertinent facts about the current crisis, including events as recent as the initiation of the Serbian assault on Bosnia-Herzegovina in April-May_ 1992. In the two and one-half pages of Liberation Theology, the reader not only learns of the concepts, writings, and key individuals, but also of its relationships with the Vatican as well as with the politics of Latin American countries over the last three decades. Articles are arranged alphabetically, with blind entries referring the user from the terms not used to those that are. For example, a reader seeking information on abortion is referred to Reproductive Politics, and on Abdel Nasser to Nasser, Gamal Abdel. Many articles include see also references, and starred terms within articles alert the reader to other topics; for instance, in Cabinet Government there are references to Commonwealth and France. Each entry is signed, and most include brief lists of bibliographic citations to monographs or important periodical articles. Contributors, with their credentials, are listed in the front of the book. Information is current through fall 1992. Although there are exceptions, coverage--particularly of individuals--is concentrated on post-World War II. The work is not illustrated but does include six black-and-white maps of world regions that show country boundaries and capital cities. A comprehensive index lists names, concepts, and subjects. While the scope of the companion is broad, there are some omissions. Eleanor Roosevelt is mentioned only in passing within the article on her husband. Excluded are articles on broadcasting (particularly television), telecommunications, advertising, and the computer revolution (although that topic is implied in Technology Transfer). The politics of sport--specifically of the Olympic Games--is another issue not discussed. Included are articles on Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and the Roman Catholic Church that deal with the political effects of the adherents' beliefs, but the work omits specific papers on Judaism or Christianity. Jewish issues are treated in Antisemitism, Arab-Israeli Conflict, Holocaust, and Israel, but there is no analysis of the Jewish lobby's effects on U.S. politics or on international relations. These omissions, however, do not detract from this useful work, which would have grown beyond one volume if all possible topics were included. As it is, the companion will be consulted for authoritative information on international issues and organizations, domestic conflicts in countries around the globe, forms of government and institutions, historical events, and biographical sketches of persons important in international affairs. The Oxford Companion to Politics of the World, at a reasonable price, will be welcome in public and academic libraries. (Reviewed May 1, 1993)

Library Journal Review

The aim of this ambitious one-volume encyclopedia is to provide a ``comprehensive guide to international relations and national domestic policies throughout the world,'' with a clear emphasis on post-World War II events. An impressive international assortment of nearly 500 contributors has prepared 650 mini-essays that are similar in format and scope to those found in other Oxford companions. However, the editors promise that this volume features ``cutting-edge interpretation and analysis'' of the current situation in world politics. Within one alphabetical arrangement are found essays on every country; brief biographies of political leaders and intellectual figures (e.g., George Kennan, Franz Fanon, Malcolm X, Vaclav Havel); 21 broad interpretive essays (covering, for instance, democracy, elites, class and politics, war, and gender and politics); concepts; treaties; forms of government; historical events; issues; and organizations. Many of the essays cover very specific topics--e.g., AIDS, genocide, tribalism, Tiananmen Square, Chernobyl, Roe v. Wade , the domino theory, contras, gay and lesbian politics--and provide a solid starting point for further research. Each essay contains a brief bibliography, and cross-references proliferate throughout the volume. A detailed index (not seen) will further enhance the usefulness. Among the contributors are several well-known names (e.g., Robert Dahl, Martin Gilbert, Seymour Martin Lipset, Garry Wills, Todd Gitlin, Zhores Medvedev) and two recent Clinton appointees, Anthony Lake (on the Vietnam War) and Robert Reich (on deindustrialization). Combining the best elements of many standard reference works (e.g., Europa World Yearbook , Dictionary of American Politics ), this volume will become indispensable for all academic libraries.-- Thomas A. Karel, Franklin & Marshall Coll. Lib., Lancaster, Pa. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Like the first edition (CH, Sept'93) this is an outstanding contribution. Over 500 contributors from 40 nations have written 672 entries (87 of which are new, with revisions to the remainder). Half a dozen critical and 23 interpretative essays are listed at the front of the volume and are flagged along the outside edges of the appropriate pages. Seventy-five biographical entries on leaders and "thinkers" address the major factual details of each person, but are more holistic (see the "Clinton, Bill" entry, p. 141 and 148). Inevitably a project of this scope will contain some inconsistencies; for example, there are separate entries for "Czechoslovakia," "Czech Republic," and "Slovakia," but a cross-reference to "Germany, Federal Republic of" from "West Germany" (there is a separate entry for "German Democratic Republic"). Minor stylistic issues aside, this volume deserves a place in reference collections. For smaller collections, it provides a single source to access world politics; for larger, it will embellish and deepen the growing body of works attempting to present the world scene. Highly recommended. G. R. Walden Ohio State University