SLU Profs Explore 'The Good Society' in New Comparative Politics Textbook

CANTON, N.Y., April 23, 2007   - What constitutes "the good society?" Two St. Lawrence University government professors - one retired - have examined the question in a new textbook on comparative politics that its publisher calls "a bold departure."

The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics will be released by Longman Press April 27. Its authors are Professor of Government Alan L. Draper and Emeritus Professor of Government J. Ansil Ramsay.

This thematic introduction to comparative politics, framed around and driven by the concept of "the good society," emphasizes institutions, draws on the United States for some of its comparisons, and includes a unique assortment of case studies - touching on a range of countries from rich democracies to less-developed states - to make abstract concepts concrete.

The publishers state, "The book's normative approach is a bold departure from other books as it examines political systems and measures them against the yardstick of a 'good society.' [Draper and Ramsay] outline in their first chapter the qualities of a good society, then compare and evaluate postindustrial democracies in the West; less-developed countries; and communist and post-communist countries against this standard. Not only do the authors thoroughly examine the performance of different countries against the criteria of the good society, but they explain why some countries are better than others at creating one."

Draper is also the author of A Rope of Sand: The AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education, 1955-68; Conflict of Interests: Labor and the Civil Rights Movement; and The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and holds two master's degrees and the Ph.D. from Columbia, and won St. Lawrence's J. Calvin Keene Award in 1996.

Ramsay retired from the faculty in 2005, after a...

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