Synopses & Reviews
Politics in States and Communities is distinguished by its focus on politics, its comparative approach, its concern with explanation, its interest in policy, and its focus on conflicts in states and communities and the structures and processes designed to manage conflict.
Several themes are carried on throughout the book that emphasize the importance of politics at the state and community level including the “conflict management” theme which emphasizes the sources and nature of conflict in society, how key decision makers act in conflict situations, and how “politicos” emerge and determine “who gets what.”
An equally important theme is that states and communities in America play an important role in the political life of the nation. This text illustrates that state and local governments do more than merely provide certain services such as education, road building, or fire protection. They also perform a vital political function by helping to resolve conflicts of interest in American society.
This book includes multiple instructional features designed to provide timeliness and relevance, to capture readers' attention and interest, to involve students interactively with political questions, and to aid in the study of state and local politics. While the instructional features should aid in teaching state and local politics, the text material is not “dumbed down.” It still includes the most important research by scholars in the field.
This best-seller stands apart from others of its kind by its comparative approach, patient explanation, concern with policy, and ability to stimulate readers' interest. In a clear, accessible style, the authors demonstrate the important role that American states and communities play in the political life of the nation. Focuses on the sources and nature of conflict in states and communities, along with the structures and processes designed to manage conflict. Includes updates and new topics throughout, with refocused organization; discusses timely issues such as New York City's response to terrorism and the 2000 presidential race. Examines the background and career of prominent political figures. Illustrates a wide variety of current political conflicts, covering issues such as the drinking age and the right to bear arms. Includes informative and entertaining discussion on various aspects of American states and communities such as state birds, nicknames, and ratings for the "most livable" states. provides end-of-chapter "On the Web" sections that direct students to links and additional information on the Internet. For anyone interested in learning more about the American political process.
Table of Contents
1. Politics in States and Communities
A Political Approach to States and Communities
The Comparative Study of States and Communities
Rankings of the States: Population Size and Projected Growth Rate, 2000—2030
Rankings of the States: Income and Education
Race and Ethnicity
Rankings of the States: Hispanic and African American Populations
The Politics of Immigration
Liberalism and Conservatism in the States
Rankings of the States: State Policy Liberalism
Up Close: Religion and Politics: The Culture Wars Intensify
Policy Responsibilities of States and Communities
People in Politics: Rudy Giuliani: From the Mayor’s Mansion to the White House?
“States,” “Districts,” and “Territories”
Did You Know? How the American States Got Their Names
On the Web
2. Democracy and Constitutionalism in the States 31
Constitutional Government in the States
State Constitutions: An Overview
Up Close: State Constitutions and the Right to Bear Arms
Constitutional Change in the States
Democracy in the States
Direct Versus Representative Democracy
People in Politics: Arnold! From Maverick to Moderate
The Politics of State Initiatives
What Do You Think? Are Term Limits a Good Idea?
Did You Know? Nicknames of the States
On the Web
3. States, Communities, and American Federalism 61
What Is Federalism?
Up Close: Hurricane Katrina: Federalism Fails
The Structure of American Federalism
Up Close: Federalizing Crime
Battles in the States over Constitutional Amendments
How Money Shifted Power to Washington
Up Close: Historic Landmarks in the Development of American Federalism
Up Close: Federalism and the Drinking