CJ – Politics and Political Science

Der Fischer-Weltalmanach–Personenlexikon [Fischer’s World Almanac–Dictionary of Personalities]. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verlag, 2007. 320 p. ill. 22 cm. (Fischer-Taschenbücher, 16014). ISBN 978-3-596-16014-3: EUR 10.95 [07-1-211]

The success of the Fischer-Weltalmanach has inspired the publisher to issue several more publications that use the name Weltalmanach to show their relation to it and to “piggyback” on its success, for example the Fischer-Almanach der internationalen Organisationen (see RREO 95-3-322) and Die Fischer-Chronik Deutschland 1949-1999 (see RREA 5:235). However, not all publications under this name are as useful and successful as the Fischer-Weltalmanach. One example is the Fischer-Weltalmanach–Personenlexikon, which was previously published in 2000 as Das Fischer-Lexikon Personen der Gegenwart (see RREA 7:28).

According to the preface, more than 1,000 important and famous people from all over the world who have influenced national and international politics are described in short biographies. Such people include presidents, government leaders, foreign ministers, presidents of international organizations, religious leaders, leaders in the civil rights movement, etc. As one would expect, an emphasis lies on politicians from Germany (one finds, for example, articles about all presidents of the federal states of Germany). The short articles (mostly three columns) begin with the heading (name, country, birthplace and date) and somewhat more than 10 percent of the articles are accompanied by a black-and-white photograph. There are no references. The submission deadline was Dec 1, 2006, which means that some articles are out of date in the fastpaced lives of politicians. [sh/mr]

Kleines Lexikon der Politik [Concise Dictionary of Politics]. Ed. Dieter Nohlen and Florian Grotz. 4th rev. and expanded ed. München: Beck, 2007. vii, 692 p. 19 cm. (Beck’sche Reihe, 1418). ISBN 978-3-406-51062-5: EUR 16.90 [07-1-212]

This compact dictionary, edited by Dieter Nohlen, a noted political-science professor in Heidelberg, was first published in 2001 (see IFB 01-2-413) and is already in its 4th edition, which speaks to the success of the book. Articles are written by experts and vary in length according to importance. They begin with a short definition of the keyword, followed by more detailed paragraphs in fine print. The articles conclude with references to literature. The cross-references in the text and the 30-page index are very helpful. The 4th edition is 70 pages longer than the original one. This book is not only useful for political- science students and professors but also for other readers within colleges and public libraries. [jpl/mr]

Lexikon Politik: hundert Grundbegriffe [Dictionary of Politics: One Hundred Basic Terms]. Ed. Dieter Fuchs and Edeltraud Roller. Stuttgart: Reclam, 2007. 359 p. 16 cm. ISBN 978-3-15-010628-0: EUR 14.90 [07-1-213]

This dictionary contains articles related to the political process and to the institutional order of political systems. There are articles on Fascism, liberalism, communism, and conservatism; however, there is no main article on political theory or on aspects of political systems, except for those on domestic and foreign policy. The publisher’s choice of just “100 basic terms” limits the usefulness of this and other similar Reclam dictionaries, for example the 2003 Lexikon Geschichtswissenschaft: hundert Grundbegriffe [History Scholarship] and the 2004 Lexikon Theologie: hundert Grundbegriffe (see RREA 9:163 and IFB 04-1-103, respectively).

The volume contains an introduction, 100 articles (some written by highly respected members of the profession) on 321 pages, a bibliography, and an index. The articles themselves include a short definition of the keyword and additional readings at the end. The cross-reference, subject, and name indexes are very helpful. Although the work is limited in scope, it is written on a very high (even dry) level, so that elementary and secondary-school users would have a hard time reading and using the book. Lexikon Politik is recommended for college and university libraries as a complement to other, more useful works in their collections, such as the 2007 Kleines Lexikon der Politik (see RREA 13:210); the 2001 Kleines Politik-Lexikon (see RREA 7:220); and the 2004 Wörterbuch zur Politik (see RREA 10:213). [jpl/mr]

Der Brockhaus, Politik: Ideen, Systeme und Prozesse [Brockhaus: Politics–Ideas, Sytems and Processes]. Brockhaus Editorial Team. Mannheim: Brockhaus, 2008. 510 p. ill. 25 cm. (Brockhaus-Sachlexika). ISBN 978-3-7653-3311-8: EUR 34.95 [07-2-556]

This well-written encyclopedia, which appears to be intended for the general reader, covers not only established concepts in political science but also current terms pertaining to international relations. The volume contains comprehensive articles, tables, pictures, maps, and graphic representations (for example, a map of the mind). There are ca. 2,000 side-bar entries, as well as numerous cross-references to other articles in the work, but unfortunately there are insufficient references to additional literature or to appropriate Internet resources. However, the Brockhaus Web site (http://www.brockhaus.de/sachlexika/politik) does provide links to several governmental bodies and non-governmental political organizations in Germany. In addition, the Virtuelle Fachbibliothek der Politikwissenschaft [Virtual Library for Political Science–http://www.vifapol.de] is a very effective and useful online dictionary resource. [jpl/ldl]

Nikolaj Ivanovič Bucharin: Bibliographie seiner Schriften und Korrespondenzen 1912-1938; mit einem Anhang: Bucharins Karikaturen und Bucharin in der Karikatur [Nikolaĭ Ivanovich Bukharin: Bibliography of his Writings and Correspondence, 1912-1938; with a Supplement: Bukharins Caricatures and Bukharin in Caricature]. Wladislaw Hedeler. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 2005. xvi, 560 p. ill. 25 cm. ISBN 3-05-004139-0: EUR 69.80 [07-1-214]

N. I. Bukharin was one of the leading participants in the October revolution of 1917 and an important Soviet functionary, who perished during the Stalinist purges of the 1930s. Based on an earlier bibliography published in 1993, this work incorporates many previously inaccessible archival sources, which dramatically improves its utility for researchers.

The first chapter, a bibliography of his works and correspondence from 1912 to 1938, consists of subsections on (1) Bukharin’s speeches, articles, and monographs, (2) his letters, (3) letters addressed to him, and (4) editions of his works and research about him from 1988 to 2005. Bibliographic entries are described in detail. The Russian-language titles are printed both in Cyrillic script and in transliteration, followed by a German translation in brackets and by the date and place of publication, publisher, and other publication information. In some cases it is clear that the author was not able to inspect every item and had to rely on the data available in the Soviet National Bibliography.

The Bukharin holdings in the Russian State Archive for Sociopolitical History are listed separately from the bulk of the materials. Another independent section, “Bukharin’s Caricatures and Bukharin in Caricature,” features about 20 previously unpublished drawings. The appendix contains an index of abbreviations, a listing of periodical publications where Bukharin’s work appeared, as well as name and title indexes (separate ones for Cyrillic and Western-language titles). This title promises to become a standard reference work for Bukharin studies, recommended for academic libraries. [sh/as]

Hauptwerke der politischen Theorie [Major Works of Political Theory]. Ed. Theo Stammen. 2d ed. Stuttgart: Kröner, 2007. xv, 608 p. 18 cm. ISBN 978-3-520-37902-3: EUR 25 [07-1-215]

The content of Hauptwerke der politischen Theorie overlaps with other volumes from the Kröner Hauptwerke series in the social sciences, for example, history (see RREA 3:237), political theory (see IFB 98-1/2-138), sociology (see RREA 7:198), and ethnology (see RREA 8:204). There are approximately 160 articles in this volume arranged alphabetically by author, treating all eras, beginning with antiquity and the Middle Ages through the 20th century. Additionally, multiple schools of thought are represented, including Marxist, socialist, liberal, and feminist points-of-view. Additionally, classical works in international relations are treated here, too.

Entries average 3.5 pages in length and include author names, dates, titles of works, place and date of first publication, the theory, its origins, critical reception, and a bibliography. A parallel work with a different scope, Die politische Theorie der Gegenwart (see IFB 4-2-534) also published by Kröner, introduces theorists, their contributions to the field, and critical reception. If it were necessary to choose between the two works, the latter would be more appropriate for current political theory, although both works are appropriate for academic libraries. [jpl/jmw]

Schlüsselwerke der Politikwissenschaft [Key Works of Political Science]. Ed. Steffen Kailitz. Wiesbaden:VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007. xxxiv, 499 p. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-531-14005-6: EUR 24.90 [07-1-216]

This work follows the concept of the 2001 Schlüsselwerke der Soziologie (see RREA 7:199) but is less broad, focusing predominantly on political science works from the 20th century. It covers 129 works by 73 well-known authors in the field. The introduction discusses the range and structure of the articles, followed by a brief foray into the history of political science, and makes many references to the included works and contributors. This volume treats monographic works almost exclusively, and more than one third of the authors covered represent the Anglo-American perspective. Much of the content overlaps with other publications on this topic; for example, 25 of the works included in this volume also appear in Hauptwerken der politischen Theorie (see RREA 13:214). In contrast, the various areas of political science are well represented. However, on inspection of the authors represented one could conclude that political science is a purely masculine pursuit. With only Hannah Arendt and Theda Skocpol represented, gender-mainstreaming fails here.

Articles average four pages in length and are stylistically consistent, including information about authors, review of work, strengths and weaknesses of that work, critical reception, and selected secondary literature. References within the articles allow for networking in professional discourse, though inclusion of a subject index would have been useful. Because of the historical introduction and accessible style and language, this volume is suited to a general readership. It would be a reasonable purchase for both public and academic libraries. [jpl/jmw]

Handwörterbuch internationale Politik [Concise Dictionary of International Politics]. Ed. Wichard Woyke. 10th rev. ed. Opladen: Budrich, 2006. xxiii, 476 p. 19 cm. ISBN 978-3-86649-972-0 (Budrich); 978-3-8252-0702-1 (UTB: EUR 24.90 [07-1-219]

The Concise Dictionary of International Politics, now in its 10th edition, is one of the most successful of a series of concise dictionaries originally produced by the Leske and Budrich publishing company and made available free of charge in a licensed edition by the Federal Agency for Civics Education [Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung; BPB]. The 7th edition of this work (1998) was reviewed in RREA 5:192. Because the 10th edition is merely a revision of the ninth, and because so much has happened and been published in the field since then, this important reference work essentially has failed to keep current. Although changes in international policy since September 2001 are reflected in the 9th edition (2004), neither the consequences of the Iraq war nor even a chronology of such events is reflected in this volume. Purchasing this edition is only necessary if the copy of the 9th edition has worn out.

Other successful books in the publisher’s repertoire include the Handwörterbuch des politischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (see RREA 5:202, 7:232, and 10:223 for reviews of the 3d, 4th, and 5th editions), the Handwörterbuch des ökonomischen Systems der Bundesrepublik Deutschlands (see RREA 11:163), and the Handwörterbuch zur Gesellschaft Deutschlands (see RREA 7:227). [jpl/jmw]

Handwörterbuch internationale Politik [Concise Dictionary of International Politics]. Ed. Wichard Woyke. 11th rev. ed. Opladen: Budrich, 2008. xxviii, 672 p. 19 cm. (UTB, 702: Politikwissenschaft). ISBN 978-3-86649-964-5 (Budrich); ISBN 978-3-8252-0702-1 (UTB): EUR 24.90 [07-2-562]

The 11th edition of this standard reference work pertaining to international politics is a significant revision of the 10th edition. Both the bibliographical information and many of the articles have been revised or updated from the 10th edition (which itself is a scant revision of the 2005 9th edition). This continues to be the best Germanlanguage reference work in this field. [jpl/ldl]

Handbuch zur deutschen Außenpolitik [Handbook of German Foreign Policy]. Siegmar Schmidt. Ed. Gunther Hellmann and Reinhard Wolf. Wiesbaden:VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007. 968 p. 24 cm. ISBN 978-3-531-13652-3: EUR 59.90 [07-1-220]

In a field of so many other handbooks, this one is the authority. The contributors, all widely published experts in their disciplines, offer a variety of perspectives and analyses of German foreign policy. It is, therefore, well worth acquiring.

Beginning with an introduction, the Handbuch defines major concepts and outlines a general framework of German foreign policy. From there, the work moves into specifics, discussing important institutions and their key players, such as parliament, parties, and NGOs. Japan, China, and Russia are included among the articles that address countries and regions, but curiously, there are no entries for Spain or Italy. Among the entries for major world regions are CIS, the former Yugoslavia, and the Union of Maghreb States. (Scandinavia should have at least been given one collective article!) In matters related to politics and foreign policy, topics such as German foreign trade policy, human rights, energy policy, and international crime/terrorism are considered, as are international organizations such as the UN, EU, and NATO. The final article discusses approaches to and methods of foreign policy analysis. In all there are 55 entries, most of which deal with international institutions and states and regions.

Entries average 13 pages, are simply structured, seldom supplying illustrations or tables, and include a short bibliography. The appendix (111 pages in all) includes a comprehensive bibliography, chronology of German foreign policy since 1989, a much too short, error-laden index of political-science reference works, and an index of subjects and persons.

Because the entries are on a very high theoretical level, this handbook is appropriate for academics and scholars. [jpl/jmw]

Europa-Lexikon: Länder, Politik, Institutionen [Encyclopedia of Europe: Countries, Politics, Institutions]. Wolf D. Gruner and Wichard Woyke. 2d expanded ed. München: Beck, 2007. 555 p. 19 cm. (Beck’sche Reihe, 1506) ISBN 978-3-406-49425-3: EUR 19.90 [07-2-563]

The 2d edition is identical in concept and composition to the 2004 1st edition (see RREA 10:239), which was published in the same year the first of the former Soviet-Bloc countries–Poland, Hungary, and the Czech and Slovak Republics–joined the EU, but it has been expanded and updated.

The first part contains survey articles on politics, economics, and society in the framework of European integration. The second part contains articles on each member state (ca. eight to ten pages in length); the articles contain statistical data and uniformly standardized descriptions of each state’s political, economic, and social systems and conclude with bibliographical references. The third part has brief articles on Europe-wide institutions and political arenas, along with an article on the European Union (new to this edition). The appendix contains a chronology and an annotated bibliography.

This work combines the approaches found in the Fischer Weltalmanach (see RREA 13:220) and Europa von A-Z (see RREA 13:209), with “Europe” being a synonym for the European Union. The Europa-Lexikon, with its more general approach, is perhaps more suitable for secondary-school students, but it is also very useful for academic libraries with substantial collections on the European Union. [jpl/ga]

Europa von A-Z: Taschenbuch der europäischen Integration [Europe from A to Z: Pocket Guide to European Integration]. Ed. Werner Weidenfeld and Wolfgang Wessels. 10th ed. Baden-Baden: Nomos. 2007. 496 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-8329-2569-7: EUR 19.90 [07-1-221]

This civics-education reference work has appeared in a quick succession of editions since 1991, most recently by Nomos and licensed to the Bundeszentrale für Politische Bildung (Germany’s Federal Agency for Civics Education). The 6th edition was reviewed in RREA 5:197, the 9th edition in RREA 11:164. Nothing about the concept of the work has changed, so past editions may be relied upon. In earlier editions, many articles were reworked or given over to new editors; not so with this 10th edition. The body of the work is almost completely unchanged; the only real updates are the introductory contributions by the two editors, which deal with the 50th anniversary of the EU and the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, and updates to the services section.

Recommendation: as always, Europa von A-Z is a worthy acquisition for public and academic libraries. Keep the older editions in the collection in order to trace the development of the EU. However, it is not absolutely necessary to acquire this edition if the 9th edition (2006) is available. [jpl/rb]

Der Reichsrat: Vertretung der deutschen Länder bei der Gesetzgebung und Verwaltung des Reichs 1919-1934; ein biographisches Handbuch; unter Einbeziehung des Bundesrates Nov. 1918-Febr. 1919 und des Staatenausschusses Febr.-Aug. 1919 [The Reich’s Parliament: Representation of the German States in the Legislation and Administration of the Reich, 1919-1934: A Biographical Handbook, Including the Bundesrat Nov. 1918-Feb. 1919, and the States Commission Feb.-Aug. 1919]. Ed. Joachim Lilla. Düsseldorf: Droste, 2006. 248, 375 p. ill. 25 cm. (Handbücher zur Geschichte des Parlamentarismus und der politischen Parteien, 14). ISBN 978-3-7700-5279-0: EUR 98 [07-1-222]

Joachim Lilla is becoming the main author for parliamentary biographies at the Commission of History of the Parliamentary System and Political Parties. Following two earlier biographical handbooks (Statisten in Uniform: die Mitglieder des Reichstags 1933-1945 (see RREA 10:216) and Der Preußische Staatsrat 1921-1933 (see RREA 12:194), he is now publishing this volume on the Reichsrat and has announced a further volume on its predecessor, the Bundesrat [Federal Parliament], from 1867 to 1919. Both represented the German states on the national level. The long introduction gives information on the predecessors and then on history of the Reichsrat itself. There follows a list of delegates and alternates by state, references to National Socialist persecution, and a general evaluation. The main section contains the uniformly structured biographies of 818 persons, with bibliographical references. There are indexes of persons (covering both the introduction and the biographical section) and places (covering the biographical section only). [sh/gh]

Handbuch der deutschen Parteien [Handbook of German Parties]. Ed. Frank Decker and Viola Neu. Wiesbaden: VS, Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2007. 440 p. ill. 21 cm. ISBN 978-3-531-15189-2: EUR 29.90 [07-1-223]

At first glance, the Handbuch der deutschen Parteien seems to be a cross between a monograph and a handbook. After the introductory text it consists of a 116-page general section, with four articles about the German parties and their history, followed by a dictionary of 82 parties in alphabetical order (190 pages). The length of the articles in the latter reflects the importance of the party. The structure of the entries is not standardized, but they usually give history, election results, sociology of supporters, program, and organization. Each article ends with a bibliography of two to twenty titles, depending on the importance of the party. The parties treated were represented in the whole Federal Republic or in individual states. The parties that emerged in the GDR in 1989-1990, such as Neues Forum, are also included. The handbook intends to give a summary of the current party system in Germany since the 1980s, but emphasizes the past ten years. The four articles in the first part treat important points about the parties, and the last goes into the history of the party system since 1945, not just since 1989, for a historical perspective. The texts give a good background for the entries in the second part. Cross-referencing is only moderate: there are no references between the general section and the dictionary. One gap is that there is no reference or entry for the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, although it still played a role in 1989 in the eastern half of the country. An index would have helped to fill some of the gaps. The work fills a lacuna in the research on parties, since the loose-leaf collection Handbuch der politischen Parteien in Europa [Handbook of the Political Parties in Europe] (München, 1997-2001) ceased publication too soon. One might ask whether the dictionary would have been sufficient for a handbook without the general section. Overall, the book is recommended for the reference collections of both public and academic libraries. [jpl/gh]

60 Jahre Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen: Das Land und seine Abgeordneten [60 Years of the Legislature of North Rhine Westphalia: The State and its Elected Representatives]. Ed. Wolfgang Gärtner, for the President of the Legislature of North-Rhine Westphalia. Düsseldorf: Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen, 2006. 696 p. ill. 23 cm. (Schriften des Landtags Nordrhein-Westfalen. 17). EUR 5 (Landtag Nordrhein-Westfalen, Postfach 101143, D-40002 Düsseldorf, email@landtag.nrw.de) [07-1-224]

This legislative history of North Rhine Westphalia provides brief biographical information about the past and present members of the legislature and their political careers, as well as their academic training and occupations. There is also an overview of the highlights of the fourteen legislative periods that this book encompasses and a brief bibliography of secondary literature. The Landtag also provides this same kind of information on its Web site: http://www.landtag.nrw.de/portal/WWW/Webmaster/GB_I/I.1/Abgeordnete/abg_ausgabe.jsp. [sh/ldl]

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Last update: October 2010 [LC]
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