Here are some of the most important political science books that I read in graduate school. The list, of course, is idiosyncratic and reflects my peculiar academic interests and concerns, the stuff that made me want to become a teacher and a scholar. These resonated and each is an education in itself. Even when flawed, they helped to teach me how to think critically about the subject. Oh, in assembling this list I realized that at heart I am a comparative international political economist, whatever this means.
If forced to administer assigned reading on the most relevant for our times, I would assign Polanyi, Putnam, and Olson. Above all, Polanyi.
In no particular order:
Golden Fetters, Barry Eichengreen
Politics in Hard Times, Peter Gourevitch
Making Democracy Work, Robert Putnam
The Great Transformation, Karl Polanyi
Commerce and Coalitions, Ron Rogowski
Debt, Democracy and Development, Jeff Frieden
The Political Power of Economic Ideas, Peter Hall
After Hegemony, Robert Keohane
The Political Economy of International Relations, Robert Gilpin
Markets and States in Tropical Africa, Robert Bates
The Rise and Decline of Nations, Mancur Olson
Presidentialism and Democracy in Latin America, Scot Mainwaring and Matthew Soberg Shugart