Welcome to the SAGE edge site for American Democracy in Context!

Discover what makes American democracy unique and how its government impacts your life

American Democracy in Context provides a combined comparative and historical approach to inspire students to better understand American government and become active citizens. Bestselling authors Maltese, Pika, and Shively explain the distinctive features of how Americans practice democracy—how they vote, translate election results into representation of interests, make policy decisions, enforce laws and maintain justice—and how those practices differ from other democracies throughout the world. The emphasis is always on the American political system, but the search for understanding encourages students to examine how the American system has developed over time (historical context) and how it compares with similar practices in other democracies (comparative context). This combined approach motivates students to understand why politics is relevant to their everyday lives and how they can affect changes and make a difference.

This site features an array of free resources you can access anytime, anywhere.


We gratefully acknowledge John Anthony Maltese, Joseph A. Pika, and W. Phillips Shively for writing an excellent text. Special thanks are also due to Alicia Fernandez of California State University, Fullerton for developing the resources on this site.