State and Local Politics: Government by the People (15th Edition)

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9780205006397: State and Local Politics: Government by the People (15th Edition)
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Updated in a new 15th edition, State and Local Politics: Government by the People, is the most authoritative book for state and local politics. It continually sets the standards for other state and local politics books by anticipating readers' needs. Known for its esteemed author team who treat each new edition as a fresh challenge, State and Local Politics: Government by the People is the perfect text for understanding how America's state and local political systems work.

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From the Inside Flap:

PREFACE

This book is about the institutions and political forces that shape policy making and policy outcomes in state and local communities. To those of us who are students of American politics, states and their local government subdivisions are fascinating political laboratories that allow comparisons among different political systems. States vary in the powers given governors, how their legislatures are structured, how judges are selected and reviewed, and how they operate in a host of policy areas, including how they impose taxes. The party system is much weaker in some regions of the country than in others. State legislatures in some of the smaller or rural states meet for just a few months a year, whereas in other states they meet all year. The importance of interest groups and the media varies from state to state and from city to city. Generalizations are sometimes difficult, yet we try in this book to summarize what political scientists know about state and local politics and government.

State and local government and politics remain important not only to the residents of a particular state but to all Americans. A tax-cutting ballot initiative or legislative term limitation can spawn scores of similar votes in other states. And as we learned from the welfare reform legislation of recent years, states can be catalysts for change on the national level and then central to its implementation.

Those who want better government in their communities and states will not achieve it by sitting around and waiting for it. If government by the people, of the people, and for the people is to be more than just rhetoric, citizens must understand state and local politics and be willing to form political alliances, respect and protect the rights of those with whom they differ, and be willing to serve as citizen leaders, citizen politicians. We hope this book will motivate you to appreciate that every person can make a difference, and that all of us should work toward that end.

This book consists of the last nine chapters plus the chapter on federalism from the eighteenth edition of Government by the People, National, State, and Local Version 2000. We have had the benefit of useful criticisms and suggestions from Professors Thad Beyle, University of North Carolina; Randall Bland, Southwest Texas State University; John Green, Akron University; and Karl Kurtz of the National Conference of State Legislatures. We also wish to express our sincere thanks to our production editor at Prentice Hall, Serena Hoffman, and to the political science editor, Beth Gillett Mejia.

We would be pleased to hear from our readers with any reactions or suggestions. Write to us at our college addresses or in care of the Political Science Editor, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, New Jersey 07458. Thanks.

James MacGregor Burns
Williams College
Williamstown, MA 01267

J.W Peltason
University of California
Irvine, CA 92717

Thomas E. Cronin
Whitman College
Walla Walla, WA 99362

David B. Magleby
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602

From the Back Cover:

This up-to-date and concise paperback offers a highly readable analysis of state and local government and politics. It provides current information on topics such as: who and what influences state policy developments; metropolitan reform strategies; the function and role of legislative committees; the politics of governors and state legislatures; how judges are chosen; women in politics; and the way political conflicts are managed or resolved at the grass-roots level. For future politicians—or any individuals interested in learning more about how politics work at the state and local levels.

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