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Politics In The American States

Author: Virginia Gray
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 1506363660
Size: 67.18 MB
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Winner of the 2017 Mac Jewell Enduring Contribution Award of the APSA's State Politics and Policy Section. Politics in the American States, Eleventh Edition, brings together the high-caliber research you expect from this trusted text, with comprehensive and comparative analysis of the 50 states. Fully updated for all major developments in the study of state-level politics, including capturing the results of the 2016 elections, editors Virginia Gray, Russell L. Hanson, and Thad Kousser bring insight and uncover the impact of key similarities and differences on the operation of the same basic political systems. Students will appreciate the book’s glossary, the fully up-to-date tables and figures, and the maps showcasing comparative data.

Minnesota Politics And Government

Author: Daniel Judah Elazar
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803267145
Size: 53.62 MB
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For the first time in decades, here is an in-depth look at Minnesota government and politics, providing a useful overview of the history, structure, and distinctive characteristics of the political system in the North Star State. Minnesota?s government is often held up as a role model for other states. Drawing on survey research, electoral analysis, interview data, and political experience, the authors examine contemporary politics in Minnesota, emphasizing in particular its long-standing moralistic dimension. Attention is given to the major components of the state?s political system: the constitution, legislature, courts, relationship to both the federal system and local governments, lobbying, elections, campaign finance, and public attitudes toward taxes and services. Equally important, the authors assess various enduring myths and views about Minnesota politics, including its legendary liberalism and citizen involvement in the political scene, and even consider how its new governor, former wrestler Jesse Ventura, fits into Minnesota?s traditions.

Why States Matter

Author: Gary F. Moncrief
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1442268077
Size: 38.18 MB
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When it comes to voting, taxes, environmental regulations, social services, education, criminal justice, political parties, property rights, gun control, marriage and a whole host of other modern American issues, the state in which a citizen resides makes a difference. That idea—that the political decisions made by those in state-level offices are of tremendous importance to the lives of people whose states they govern—is the fundamental concept explored in this book. Gary F. Moncrief and Peverill Squire introduce students to the very tangible and constantly evolving implications, limitations, and foundations of America’s state political institutions, and accessibly explain the ways that the political powers of the states manifest themselves in the cultures, economies, and lives of everyday Americans, and always will.

Understanding State Constitutions

Author: G. Alan Tarr
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 0691188556
Size: 49.47 MB
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For many Americans, the word "constitution" means just one thing: the national Constitution. According to a recent survey, almost half do not know that individual states also have constitutions. Scholars have also paid little attention to state constitutions, favoring the apparently more dynamic and significant federal scene. G. Alan Tarr seeks to change that in this landmark book. A leading authority on state legal issues, he combines history, law, and political science to present a thorough and long-needed account of the distinct and important role of state constitutions in American life. Tarr shows that state constitutional politics are dominated by three crucial issues with little salience at the national level: the distribution of power among groups and regions within states, the scope of state and local governmental authority, and the relation of the state to economic activity. He explains how state constitutions differ from the national Constitution in treating not only matters of high principle but also such mundane subjects as ski trails and motor vehicle revenues. He also explores why state constitutions, unlike their federal counterpart, have been so frequently amended and replaced. Tarr concludes that the United States not only has a system of dual constitutionalism but also has dual constitutional cultures. Powerfully argued and meticulously researched, the book fills an important gap in political and legal studies and finally gives state constitutions the scholarly attention they richly deserve.

Local Elections And The Politics Of Small Scale Democracy

Author: J. Eric Oliver
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400842549
Size: 66.81 MB
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Local government is the hidden leviathan of American politics: it accounts for nearly a tenth of gross domestic product, it collects nearly as much in taxes as the federal government, and its decisions have an enormous impact on Americans' daily lives. Yet political scientists have few explanations for how people vote in local elections, particularly in the smaller cities, towns, and suburbs where most Americans live. Drawing on a wide variety of data sources and case studies, this book offers the first comprehensive analysis of electoral politics in America's municipalities. Arguing that current explanations of voting behavior are ill suited for most local contests, Eric Oliver puts forward a new theory that highlights the crucial differences between local, state, and national democracies. Being small in size, limited in power, and largely unbiased in distributing their resources, local governments are "managerial democracies" with a distinct style of electoral politics. Instead of hinging on the partisanship, ideology, and group appeals that define national and state elections, local elections are based on the custodial performance of civic-oriented leaders and on their personal connections to voters with similarly deep community ties. Explaining not only the dynamics of local elections, Oliver's findings also upend many long-held assumptions about community power and local governance, including the importance of voter turnout and the possibilities for grassroots political change.

School Board Battles

Author: Melissa M. Deckman
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
ISBN: 9781589014091
Size: 69.48 MB
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If there is a "culture war" taking place in the United States, one of the most interesting, if under-the-radar, battlegrounds is in local school board elections. Rarely does the pitch of this battle reach national attention, as it did in Kansas when the state school board—led by several outspoken conservative Christians—voted to delete evolution from the state's science curriculum and its standardized tests in August 1999. That action rattled not only the educational and scientific communities, but concerned citizens around the nation as well. While the movement of the Christian Right into national and state politics has been well documented, this is the first book to examine their impact on local school board politics. While the Kansas decision was short-lived, during the past decade in school districts around the country, conservative Christian majorities have voted to place limits on sex education, to restrict library books, to remove references to gays and lesbians in the classroom, and to promote American culture as superior to other cultures. School Board Battles studies the motivation, strategies, and electoral success of Christian Right school board candidates. Based on interviews, and using an extensive national survey of candidates as well as case studies of two school districts in which conservative Christians ran and served on local boards, Melissa M. Deckman gives us a surprisingly complex picture of these candidates. She reveals weaker ties to national Christian Right organizations—and more similarities between these conservative candidates and their more secular counterparts than might be expected. Deckman examines important questions: Why do conservative Christians run for school boards? How much influence has the Christian Right actually had on school boards? How do conservative Christians govern? School Board Battles is an in-depth and in-the-trenches look at an important encounter in the "culture war"—one that may well determine the future of our nation's youth.

Cities Politics And Policy

Author: John P. Pelissero
Publisher: CQ Press
ISBN: 1483371018
Size: 29.26 MB
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Just because Milwaukee isn't Manhattan, doesn't mean that those urban centers face completely unique challenges. Through effective comparative analysis of key issues in urban studies--how city managers share power with mayors, how spending policies affect economic development, and how school politics impact education policy--students can clearly see how scholars discern patterns and formulate conclusions to offer theoretical and practical insights from which all cities can benefit. Pelissero brings together an impressive team of contributors to explore variation among cities through case studies and cross-sectional analyses. Each author synthesizes the field's seminal literature while explaining how urban leaders and their constituents grapple with everything from city council politics to conflict and cooperation among minority groups. Authors identify both key trends and gaps in the scholarship, and help set the research agenda for the years to come. Lively case material will hook your students while the accessible presentation of empirical evidence make this reader the comprehensive and sophisticated text you demand.