Book details

Comparing Asian Politics

India, China, and Japan

By Sue Ellen M. Charlton

About the Book

Comparing Asian Politics presents an invaluable comparative examination of politics and government in three Asian nations: India, China, and Japan. The author elucidates the links between politics and each nation's distinctive cultural and historical contexts and demonstrates the intermingling and grafting of Asian traditions with the influence of Western values and institutions. National identity, political cohesion, and socioeconomic change emerge as central to how politics has developed in each nation-state. Also included are focus boxes on political and social issues in other important countries in Asia. The book provides insight into topics such as the significance of constitutions in the political process; the parliamentary system in Asia; the regionalization of politics and the importance of levels of government; the decay of one-party rule; the links between development and democratization; and the impact of globalization. This essential text not only illuminates the politics of India, China, and Japan in relation to one another, it also suggests to readers how their own experience of politics can be informed by understanding the politics and government of these three Asian nations. In this new edition, the author includes a discussion on the recent political changes in China and the election of Xi Jinping in early 2013, the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, and the recent elections in India.

About the Author

Sue Ellen M. Charlton is professor emerita of political science at Colorado State University where she teaches courses in comparative politics and international development. Her most recent book is Women Navigating Globalization: Feminist Approaches to Development, co-authored with Jana Everett.


"This is a valuable resource for students studying Asian politics at the college level. It displays sensitivity to the influence of culture and history on contemporary politics, directs attention both to comparative analysis and the implications of globalization, and shows how the examination of Asian politics raises questions about Euro-American assumptions. Superb pictures, useful tables, and notes on books and films for further exploration enrich this well-written text."
Jana Everett, University of Colorado Denver

"The great appeal of Comparing Asian Politics for an undergraduate classroom is its truly comparative approach. With an engaging style, Charlton emphasizes important regional themes through interwoven case studies of three important Asian countries. She emphasizes historical and cultural contexts in her analysis of contemporary political dynamics and dilemmas. Consequently, readers see linkages between regional and national phenomena and patterns across time—excellent training for the undergraduate students of politics."
Kimberly Lanegran, Coe College

Praise for the fourth edition:

"All in all, this is a good textbook on Asian politics…"
Timothy Lomperis, Saint Louis University

"The organization and approach of the book are excellent and the book stands out for this reason."
Nicole Freiner, Bryant University

"I don't know of another book that compares India, China, and Japan using a qualitative analytical frame and that takes up issues of socio-economic development."
Pamela Mason, John Carroll University

"I believe it strikes an excellent balance of breadth, with cases from East and South Asia that vary both in terms of political regimes and economic development, and depth, covering both historical and contemporary issues in each case and drawing explicit comparisons between the cases."
Emily Beaulieu, University of Kentucky

"I do not believe there is anything comparable on the market—it fills a valuable niche and I am very pleased that there will soon be an updated edition."
Jean Abshire, Indiana University Southeast

Praise for prior editions: