Politics in States and Communities

Thomas R. Dye / Susan A. MacManus  
Total pages
November 2013
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Politics in States and Communities is distinguished by its focus on politics, its comparative approach, its concern with thorough explanation, its interest in policy, and its focus on conflicts in states and communities and the structures and processes designed to manage conflict.


Updated and Revised Features:

  • 'Rankings of the States” feature now appears in every chapter. Topics include: population growth, income and education, Hispanic and African-American populations, religion in the states, reliance on federal aid, voter turnout, women and minorities in state legislatures, governors’ institutional and personal powers, government spending and employment, crime and law enforcement, general purpose and special purpose local governments, metropolitanization in the states, road mileage and gasoline taxes, tax burdens, state spending and borrowing, educational performance (SATs, high school and college graduates), financing public schools, poverty rates, welfare, and Medicaid.
  • 'People in Politics” each chapter begins with real-life situations designed to make the materials that follow more relevant. Individuals featured in our come from a wider variety of backgrounds, states, and positions than those in previous editions, including: elected officials seeking national office, business women running for office, young professional legislative staffers, image and body language campaign consultants, new governors, an African-American female supreme court justice, and local officials.
  • 'What Do You Think?” features: Citizen-Proposed Amendments: Good, Bad or Just Crazy Ideas?; The States Challenge ObamaCare in Federal Court; California’s Top Two Primaries Act: Will It Spark More Bipartisanship?; Dealing with Cybersecurity: Transparency v. Protection of Individual Privacy Rights; Red Light Cameras: For the Public’s Safety or the Government’s Revenues?
  • 'Did You Know?” features inform students about new trends: What States Rank Highest on the Gallup-Healthways “Well-being” Index?; Performance of Local Officials Affects the Likelihood Voters Will Push for Structural Changes.
  • 'Up Close” features have been updated to include: Arizona Passes Its Own Immigration Law, The Gulf Coast Oil Spill Blame Game: Federalism Falters, The TEA Party Movement Rises Up Out of Anger With Government, The Amazing Race: Barack v. Hillary in 2008: Caucuses v. Primaries, Three Scandal Ridden Governors Embarrass Their States, California Faces Fiscal Crisis, and The Texas Textbook Controversy.
  • A concise “Chapter Highlights” summary now appears at the end of every chapter to reinforce key topics
  • An end-of-book glossary has been added

New to this Edition

Updated and Revised coverage of:

  • Fiscal stress facing state and local governments—The Great Recession; unemployment and home foreclosure rates; near bankruptcy of California; more unfunded federal mandates; pressures to reduce the number of government employees, along with their pensions and health benefits; privatization; regionalism; cutback management; closing of prisons; layoffs of police officers.
  • Immigration—conflicts over immigration reform; Arizona’s immigration enforcement law, changing patterns and impacts of illegal immigration.
  • Money in politics—the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling; the rise of self-financed candidates; escalating campaign costs; new efforts at campaign finance reform—more-detailed and timely disclosure laws, Clean Election laws, public financing; court rulings on contributions to judicial candidates.
  • Redistricting—controversies over methods (legislative v. independent commission); growing concerns about potential impacts of post-2010 redistricting (discrimination against minorities and the “out” political party); new definitions of a “majority-minority” district; expected legal challenges in 2012.
  • Campaigns and Elections—California’s new “top-two candidate” primary, changes in voting equipment across the states since the 2000 election; the spread of early voting; uncontrollable spending on ads by 527s (advocacy groups); web-based campaigning; the growing influence of social networks; costs of gubernatorial and legislative campaigns; role of pollsters; contrast of presidential caucuses v. primaries.
  • Individual rights—the U.S. Supreme Court’s new rulings on gun ownership; the rights of citizens who sign initiative petitions when their security may be at risk; protection of privacy rights in government records (cybersecurity); sexual orientation rights and same sex marriage policies and controversies.
  • Federalism issues—the Gulf Coast oil spill; new battles over the statehood of Puerto Rico; health care reform (“ObamaCare”)—controversies over the Interstate Commerce Clause; the federal economic stimulus package.
  • Fraud and corruption—concerns about absentee balloting and online voting; scandals involving big state governors; ethics laws and regulations; ethics training for elected officials and public employees; clearer gubernatorial succession laws (who steps in when a vacancy occurs).
  • The rise of independents and third parties—more registering as independents; the rise of independent candidates for major state offices; party-switching candidates and what the public thinks of them; difficulties faced by newly-emerging third parties.
  • Citizen activism and participation—the emergence of the Tea Party movement; protests of all types—taxes, guns, environmental pollution.
  • Communication— local government call centers, keypad polling, and interactive Web sites to solicit input from citizens.
  • Growing emphasis on citizens’ quality of life—Gallup’s new “well-being” rating, metropolitan livability rankings; the urban sustainability movement; disaster-proofing disaster-prone areas.
  • Direct democracy—citizen-led efforts to expand the initiative and recall processes in some states; efforts to limit them in others.
  • Women in politics—the number of female CEOs running for statewide offices; importance of image and body language campaign consultants and concern about the gender double standard; leadership positions in state legislatures; successes at winning gubernatorial elections in Deep South states; women mayors, councilmembers, legislators, and school board members.
  • Younger voters—priorities; tu

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Politics in States and Communities 

Chapter 2. Democracy and Constitutionalism in the States 

Chapter 3. States, Communities, and American Federalism 

Chapter 4. Participation in State Politics 

Chapter 5. Parties and Campaigns in the States 

Chapter 6. Legislators in State Politics 

Chapter 7. Governors in State Politics 

Chapter 8. Bureaucratic Politics in States and Communities 

Chapter 9. Courts, Crime, and Correctional Policy 

Chapter 10. Governing America’s Communities 

Chapter 11. Participation in Community Politics 

Chapter 12. Metropolitics: Conflict in the Metropolis 

Chapter 13. Community Power, Land Use, & The Environment 

Chapter 14. The Politics of Taxation and Finance 

Chapter 15. Politics and Civil Rights 

Chapter 16. The Politics of Education 

Chapter 17. The Politics of Poverty, Welfare, and Health