April 22, 2004
Whitworth Professor Publishes High-Tech Comparative Politics Textbook
Building on the success of the first two editions of his innovative textbook Comparative Politics: Using MicroCaseŽ ExplorIt, Whitworth Professor of Political Science Michael Le Roy is releasing a third edition this month that will enable students to make even greater use of technology to access and analyze real data to do -- rather than just read about -- political science.
The latest edition of the textbook, published by Wadsworth, includes a new web interface that allows students to enter most worksheet answers online and enables teachers to track assignments; new exercise worksheets that link theory with application; and software that students can access and download from the Internet.
"There is, in short, no comparison. The Le Roy text is, as far as I know, the only comparative politics text to take the quantitative approach as its central focus and animating principle," says Stephen Manning, a professor at the University of Detroit, Mercy. "Many texts now offer websites at the end of a chapter, ... but his is unique in its emphasis on the constant, hands-on calling up of and analysis of data relevant to the study of non-U.S. politics."
The textbook allows students to engage in political-science analysis using the research data sets and analysis program included in the book, Le Roy says.
"When I first taught the course I was often frustrated that students only read about the research of other political scientists," Le Roy says. "This book helps the students to see what political-science research actually produces. It also allows students to connect the leading theories in the field of comparative politics to the evidence."
Comparative Politics: Using MicroCaseŽ ExplorIt includes a Windows version of MicroCase Explorit that lets students work with real data, as well as more than 24 research-quality data files and 16 exercise worksheets.
"The writing style of the text overall is one of its best qualities," says Layne Hoppe, a professor at Texas Lutheran University. "It is clearly and simply written, and largely free of professional jargon, and my students and I find it engaging-more so than in many other texts, including another MicroCase text I used several years ago. The personality of the author comes across as caring and committed to undergraduate learning."
At Whitworth, Le Roy teaches courses in international relations, comparative politics, international political economy, and research methods in political science. He graduated from Whitworth in 1989 with a bachelor's degree in international studies and earned his Ph.D. in political science at Vanderbilt University in 1994.
He returned to Whitworth in fall 2002 from Wheaton College, in Wheaton, Ill., where he was chair of the department of political science. Le Roy won Wheaton's faculty achievement award for excellence in teaching in 1998 and a similar award from the American Political Science Association's honor society, Pi Sigma Alpha, in 1999.
Le Roy was a Fulbright Scholar at Gothenburg University, in Sweden, between 1992 and 1994. His research on civil society, xenophobia and the European Union has been published in the journal Comparative Politics.
He is also the co-author of Research Methods in Political Science (5th edition), with the late Michael Corbett. Le Roy is currently working on a book about vocation and public life. Acts of Faith in Public Life: Christian Vocation and Calling in a Post-Christian World explores the disconnection between public life and religious faith for many young people. The book will also profile narratives of the career and vocation of a Christian in public life.
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Michael Le Roy, professor of political studies, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3755 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.