Open Educational Resources and Political Science

This collection was curated by an ASCCC OERI discipline lead. A comprehensive list of current discipline leads is available.

Faculty interested in reviewing a more comprehensive list of OER are encouraged to visit Open Political Science (“OPoliSci”), a website that explores OER and open educational practices (OEP) for political science faculty and students. The mission of OPoliSci is to serve as a stable repository of political science OER materials, promote the curation and creation of political science OER materials, and facilitate the exploration of OEP.

The curated list provided here is intended to facilitate faculty selection of an OER text in lieu of a commercial text.

Introduction to American Government and Politics (C-ID POLS 110)

  • American Government 3e by OpenStax; American Government 2e – LibreTexts (CC BY)
    This is a comprehensive, peer-reviewed textbook intended for a one-semester course on US government. Topics covered across 17 chapters include: the US Constitution, federalism, civil liberties, civil rights, public opinion, voting behavior and elections, the media, political parties, interest groups and lobbying, Congress, the presidency, courts, state and local government, the bureaucracy, domestic policy, and foreign policy. Review by Dr. Josh Franco, Political Science, Cuyamaca College: The textbook is clearly organized and written by a team of scholars and researchers in the field. The resource can be viewed online, viewed through the OpenStax app, downloaded as a PDF, or a paid print copy can be ordered. As an instructor, I appreciate that the chapters are contained in five units: Students and the System, Individual Agency and Action, Toward Collective Action, Delivering Collective Action, and Outputs of Government. I have used these units as themes to knit chapters together into broader narratives. Students have remarked that they appreciate how each chapter has learning objectives, bolded key terms within the text, and “just right” content.
  • American Government (Lenz and Holman, 2018) (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
    This textbook is intended to be a comprehensive, semester-long introduction to US government. Chapters include links to relevant online resources and study questions for students. The textbook is divided into 17 chapters that cover: concepts in government and politics; the US system of constitutional government; Congress; the presidency; courts; federalism; the media; public opinion; political ideology; political participation; political parties; interest groups; public policy; economic policy; food policy; civil liberties and civil rights; and global affairs. Note that it is unclear whether this is a peer-reviewed text.
  • American Government and Politics in the Information Age (University of Minnesota Libraries, 2016) – Open Textbook Library; American Government and Politics in the Information Age – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
    This peer-and student-reviewed textbook is intended to be a comprehensive introduction to US government and politics. This is an adapted and downloadable version of the 21st Century American Government and Politics (v. 1.0, CC BY-NC-SA 3.0) Topics covered across 17 chapters include: communication in the information age; the Constitution and government structure; federalism; civil liberties; civil rights; political culture and socialization; public opinion; participation, voting, and social movements; interest groups; political parties; campaigns and elections; Congress; the presidency; the bureaucracy; courts; domestic policymaking; foreign and national security policymaking. Note that this textbook is available only via web browsers and is not downloadable. There are extensive faculty reviews on the Open Textbook Library webpage for this book.
  • Attenuated Democracy: A Critical Introduction to U.S. Government and Politics (Hubert, 2020); Attenuated Democracy – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA)
    This textbook is divided into ten parts and emphasizes fragility in the US political system as the organizing theme. The ten sections of the book are: thinking like a political scientist; constitutional foundations; Congress; the presidency; Supreme Court; federal bureaucracy; linkage institutions; electoral politics and public opinion; political behavior; and civil rights and civil liberties. Note that it is unclear whether this is a peer-reviewed title. Review by Dr. Josh Franco, Political Science, Cuyamaca College: Attenuated Democracy is a robust introduction to American Government and Politics. It consists of 10 Parts and 70 chapters. Each chapter begins with a quotation, key terms are bolded, images are included, and references are listed at the end. I appreciate Part 1: Thinking Like a Political Scientist and its 10 chapters. Given the amount of content that needs to be covered in a POLS 110 course, instructors may decide to forgo Part 1  or somehow incorporate it with the other parts. Unlike OpenStax’s American Government 2e, Attenuated Democracy leaves individual-level matters to Parts 9 and 10. For example, Part 10, Civil Rights and Liberties, which includes 9 chapters, is at the end. I have found that my students are very interested in these topics, so I am not sure how students will feel engaging with these topics at the end, compared to the beginning, of a course. There do not appear to be Chapter Lecture Slides for the textbook, which could be viewed as a current limitation.
  • Boundless Political Science by Simple Book Publishing (lumenlearning.com) – (Licensing varies by topic)
    Boundless Political Science is a collection of webpages that cover the following topics: American Politics; The Constitution and the Founding of America; Federalism; Civil Liberties; Civil Rights; Public Opinion; Interest Groups; Campaigns and Elections; Political Participation and Voting; The Media; Congress; The Presidency; Bureaucracy; The Judiciary; Domestic Policy; Economic Policy; Social Policy; and Foreign Policy.

Introduction to Political Theory and Thought (C-ID POLS 120)

Note – some resources may require supplementation to serve as a complete text.

  • On Global Citizenship (Tully, ed., 2014, Bloomsbury Academic) (CC BY-NC-ND)
    This edited volume is organized as a dialogue on the theme of global citizenship. In response to a lead essay by Canadian political theorist James Tully, seven subsequent chapters offer responses to Tully’s framing of global citizenship. The ninth and final chapter offers a closing response from Tully.

Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics (C-ID POLS 130)

  • Introduction to Comparative Government and Politics (Bozonelos, Wendt, Lee, Scarffe, Omae, Franco, Martin, and Velduis) (ASCCC OERI, 2022) (CC BY-NC)
    The textbook is also available at opolisci.com. The textbook comprises 12 chapters on topics in comparative politics, including: methods in comparative politics; states and regimes; democracies and democratization; non-democracies and democratic backsliding; political identities; political economy; collective action and social movements; comparative public opinion; and political violence. Ancillary materials such as lecture slides, quiz banks, and essay questions are also available. This textbook and ancillaries were written by a team comprising faculty in the California and Texas community college systems: Dino Bozonelos (project lead), Josh Franco, Charlotte Lee, Byran Martin, Masahiro Omae, Jessica Scarffe, Julia Wendt, and Stefan Veldhuis.

Introduction to International Relations (C-ID POLS 140)

  • A Short Introduction to World Politics (Meacham) – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-ND)
    This 13-chapter textbook covers the following: System History: The Rise of the Modern World System; Images and Theories of World Politics; Foreign Policy Decision Making; Non-State Actors- IGOs, NGOs, MNCs; The World Economy; The Global North and South; Globalization; War and International Security; Military Power; Realists Paths to Peace – Alliances, Dominance and Treaties; Idealist Paths to Peace: International Law; and Human Rights, Population, and Environment. Chapters are organized into sections and the final section includes a list of questions. Note that it is unclear whether this is a peer-reviewed textbook.
  • Canvas Course Shell for Introduction to International Relations (CC BY-NC)
    Introduction to International Relations Canvas Commons download This semester-long Canvas course shell includes an OER textbook equivalent, lesson plans, and ancillary materials. The content contained within this Open Education Resource (OER) was curated and/or created by Dr. Charlotte Lee at Berkeley City College, Dr. Katherine Michel at Ohlone College, and Dr. Josh Franco at Cuyamaca College. The curation and creation of this content was funded by the Academic Senate for California Community College’s Open Educational Resources Initiative. Question Banks were created by Josh Franco, Ph.D., Elizabeth Nash, M.A., and Jereme Umali, M.A.
  • International Relations (McGlinchey, ed. 2017) (CC BY-NC)
    This textbook is intended as an introduction to core concepts and topics in international relations. This book contains eighteen chapters organized into two parts. Part one on “the basics” covers international relations theories and institutions, while part two on “global issues” takes up topics such as global development, human rights, terrorism, and environmental challenges. Note that this text does not appear to be peer-reviewed. Excerpt of review by Dr. Josh Franco, Political Science, Cuyamaca College: The coherent organization and structure of the textbook will help instructors facilitate the learning of the topic, as well as student’s learning about international relations.

Introduction to Political Science (C-ID POLS 150)

  • Introduction to Political Science (Rom, Hidaka, and Walker, et al., 2022) (Openstax) (CC BY 4.0).
    This introductory text includes 16 chapters on topics including: the study of politics, political behavior, political ideologies, civil liberties, public opinion, group political activity, civil rights, political parties and elections, legislatures, executives, bureaucracies, courts and law, the media, international relations, international institutions, and international political economy.

Introduction to Political Science Research Methods (C-ID POLS 160)

  • Introduction to Political Science Research Methods ; Introduction to Political Science Research Methods – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC)
    This is a multi-author, peer-reviewed textbook created by California Community College faculty. With chapter contributions from Dr. Josh Franco at Cuyamaca College, Dr. Charlotte Lee at Berkeley City College, Kau Vue at Fresno City College, Dr. Dino Bozonelos at Victor Valley College, Dr. Masahiro Omae at San Diego City College, and Dr. Steven Cauchon at Imperial Valley College, the purpose of this open education resource is to provide students interested in or majoring in political science a solid introduction into the research methods of the discipline. Support was provided by the Academic Senate for California Community College’s Open Educational Resources Initiative.

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This page last updated on April 18th, 2022.