Vol. 3: Die Westlichen Länder [The Western Countries] / ed. by Manfred G. Schmidt. - 1992. - 571 p. - ISBN 3-406-36907-3 : DM 118
Vol. 6: Internationale Beziehungen [International Relations] / ed. by Andreas Boeckh. - 1993. - 652 p. - ISBN 3-406-36910-3 : DM 118
This seven volume work (of which volumes 1, 4, 5 and 7 are still to appear) is much more than an updated and revised edition of earlier reference works. Noteworthy for a new conceptual approach, this encyclopedia covers the development of political science and its specialties along with theory and methodology. Volume 3 covers the industrial societies and democracies of north, west, and south Europe; North America; and Japan. It is organized by policy area rather than by country and uses Germany as the basis of comparison. The 79 articles, for example, agricultural policy, women, regionalism, and voter turnout, appear in alphabetical order, varying in length from 4 to 10 pages with tables and graphs, and close with extensive bibliographies as well as internal cross-references to other articles. The comprehensive subject index helps the user identify noteworthy themes.
Volume 6 follows the same format as Volume 3. In addition, a thematic keyword list brings the 100 articles together in 11 subject groups. This volume covers problem areas in international relations, for example, Indochina as a conflict zone, arms control, and south-south relations, as well as political theories, such as integration theory, regime analysis, and origins of war. Rather than representing a snapshot of the current situation, international relations is presented as a dynamic process of change. [ah/mlb]
Since the events of 1989/90 there is a need to revise German and international political science reference works. In this vein, Everhard Holtmann, political scientist first in Erlangen-Nürnberg and then in Halle, has edited a revised and enlarged edition of his 1991 Politik-Lexikon. The second edition contains an identical number of articles, with more internal cross-references, an author index and list of abbreviations. There are two types of articles: the ca. 1800 minor entries, written by political scientists, Heinrich Pehle (Erlangen) and Heinz Ulrich Brinkmann (Bonn), presenting condensed information a few lines to one column in length, without bibliographical references, and, the ca. 100 major entries, written by various academic specialists, up to 5 pages in length, containing citations to the literature, and describing and assessing concepts or facts. The reader must determine the usefulness of a reference work which combines basic information about organizations, institutions, and concepts, with more extensive articles--creating at times uncertainty about the selection criteria for each type of treatment.
The overwhelming majority of these very readable articles focus on the federal level of German political and administrative institutions and organizations. There are some new minor entries on obvious topics such as the unification treaty, the European Union, and the 1990 Green Party campaign. Few new major entries appear; instead some have been expanded and brought up to date (e.g. Marxism, Communism, and Right-wing Extremism). [ah/mlb]
The European Union (EU) has obvious economic appeal to the book trade, and thus, only one year after the Sachwörterbuch zur Europäischen Union was published, appears the Handlexikon der Europäischen Union edited by W. W. Mickel, with 32 other German contributors from (teachers') colleges, the German federal and state government, and the EU administration. The publisher's claim that this is the "first comprehensive reference work on the European Union" is inaccurate in view of the Sachwörterbuch especially when the books are so similar; the main text is nearly identical in length, making the adjective `comprehensive' unconvincing, unless the publisher is taking into account the numerous biographical entries in the Handlexikon that the Sachwörterbuch lacks. The new Handlexikon has a long historical introduction, a chronology of European integration, and an index, whereas the Sachwörterbuch only relies on internal cross-references, which the Handlexikon employs too. Nor can the two works be differentiated on the basis of citations to the literature or price. Despite the topicality of the EU, the acquisition of either title seems unnecessary. [sh/mlb]
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