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The authors of Mississippi Government and Politics go beyond the stereotyped view of the Magnolia State to consider the dramatic social, economic, and politi-cal changes taking place there in recent years. Yet the past is inextricably bound up with the present, as Dale Krane and Stephen D. Shaffer make clear in devel-oping their central theme: the ongoing clash in Mississippi between traditional-ists intent on preserving the status quo and progressives who have grown up with the civil rights movement.
Mississippi Government and Politics presents a vivid social history and analysis of the state's executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Krane and Shaffer have contributed chapters on the culture of Mississippi and on efforts to modernize the economy and to bring more blacks and poor whites into the power structure. Krane writes about the struggle over public policy, or "who gets what," and the highly ambivalent attitude of Mississippians toward the federal government. Shaffer addresses the role of interest groups in effecting change and the shifting allegiances of political panics in the state.
The contributors include leading political scientists and public administrators. Tip H. Allen, Jr., looks at the century-old constitution, and Douglas G. Feig considers the dominance of the legislature and the winds of change blowing through it. Thomas H. Handy describes the traditionally weak governorship. Diane E. Wall threads her way through the antiquated judicial system. Edward J. Clynch sizes up tax policy, and Gerald Gabris delves into the dynamics of local government. The result is the most comprehensive and authoritative book on Mississippi political culture in many years.
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Dale Krane, an associate professor of public administration at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, is a coauthor of Compromised Compliance: Implementation of the 1965 Voting Rights Act (1982). Stephen D. Shaffer, a professor of political science at Mississippi State University, has contributed to such collections as Political Parties and Elections in the United States (1991) and The 1988 Presidential Election in the South (1991).
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