Political Science

Political Science

Open Books

  • American Government
    Open textbook from OpenStax and Senior Contributing Authors Glen Krutz and Sylvie Waskiewicz. “American Government is designed to meet the scope and sequence requirements of the single-semester American government course. This title includes innovative features designed to enhance student learning, including Insider Perspective features and a Get Connected Module that shows students how they can get engaged in the political process. The book provides an important opportunity for students to learn the core concepts of American government and understand how those concepts apply to their lives and the world around them. American Government includes updated information on the 2016 presidential election.”
  • American Government and Politics in the Information Age
    “This text is a comprehensive introduction to the vital subject of American government and politics. […] In covering American government and politics, our text introduces the intricacies of the Constitution, the complexities of federalism, the meanings of civil liberties, and the conflicts over civil rights;explains how people are socialized to politics, acquire and express opinions, and participate in political life; describes interest groups, political parties, and elections—the intermediaries that link people to government and politics; details the branches of government and how they operate; and shows how policies are made and affect people’s lives.”
  • Attenuated Democracy: A Critical Introduction to U.S. Government and Politics
    “The U.S. political system suffers from endemic design flaws and is notable for the way that a small subset of Americans—whose interests often don’t align with those of the vast majority of the population—wields disproportionate power. Absent organized and persistent action on the part of ordinary Americans, the system tends to serve the already powerful. That’s why this text is called Attenuated Democracy. To attenuate something is to make it weak or thin. Democracy in America has been thin from the beginning and continues to be so despite some notable progress in voting rights… Since this is likely to be your only college-level course on the American political system, it is important to point out the structural weaknesses of our system and the thin nature of our democracy. Whenever you get the chance—in the voting booth, in your job, perhaps if you hold elected office—I encourage you to do something about America’s attenuated democracy.”
  • Political Ideologies and Worldviews: An Introduction
    “This open educational resource (OER) brings together Canadian and international scholars in a contemporary, pluralistic volume introducing undergraduates in a variety of relevant disciplines to political ideologies and worldviews. […] This volume is the first of its kind, a fully open textbook on political worldviews that deals with the historical development of classical ideologies, while expanding and updating the subject using contemporary political examples and non-Eurocentric examinations of ideology. The volume includes chapters on Indigenous worldviews, Confucianism, and the future of ideology in the emerging global order.”
  • State and Local Government and Politics: Prospects for Sustainability
    “[This] book represents a unique opportunity for three generations of scholars to reflect upon and collectively consider their decades’ long research, and the meaning of that research to both the broader society and to students of contemporary politics.”

Open Courses & Additional OER

  • The Avalon Project – Major Document Collections
  • Docs Teach (National Archives)
  • Introduction to Political Science (Saylor Academy)
    “This is a survey course, and as such it can either be used by students who are looking to take just one general overview course, or for students who want to go on to more advanced study in any of the subfields that comprise the political science discipline, such as American politics, comparative politics, international politics, or political theory. This course will survey the different ways in which political scientists study the phenomena of politics and will deepen your understanding of political life as both a thinker and a citizen. The goal of this course is to introduce you to the discipline’s concepts, terminology, and methods and to explore instances of applied political science through real world examples.”
  • Introduction to Western Political Thought (Saylor Academy)
    “This course examines major texts in the history of political thought and asks how different views on human nature inform the design of government. Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to: summarize the passage of political thought through the classical, Renaissance, and Enlightenment periods and based on the works of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Tocqueville, and Marx.”
  • Nationalism, self-determination and secession (OpenLearn)
    “What makes a ‘nation’ and what makes peoples strive for nationhood? This free course, Nationalism, self-determination and secession, will provide you with an introduction to studying political ideas by looking at how people who see themselves as nations challenge the existing order to assert their right to a state of their own.”
  • Political Science Courses from Open Yale
    Courses include “Capitalism: Success, Crisis, and Reform” and “Introduction to Political Philosophy.”

Zero-cost Resources

Need help with the Commons? Visit our
help page
Send us a message