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California Politics

California Politics
A Primer, 6e

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:

January 2021 | 240 pages | CQ Press
Understand how California's political system works with this concise text, thoroughly revised for the Sixth Edition.  Renee Van Vechten presses the reader to think about how history, political culture, rules, and institutions conspire to shape politics today, and how they will determine the state of affairs tomorrow. From the structure of the state's government to its local representatives, policies, and voter participation, California Politics: A Primer delivers the concepts and details students need.

1. Introduction
2. Critical Junctures
3. Direct Democracy
4. The State Legislature
5. The Executive Branch
6. The Court System
7. Other Governments
8. The California Budget Process
9. Political Parties, Elections, and Campaigns
10. Political Engagement
11. Concluding Thoughts


Instructor Resources

SAGE edge for instructors supports your teaching by making it easy to integrate quality content and create a rich learning environment for students with:

·         a password-protected site for complete and protected access to all text-specific instructor resources; 

·         test banks that provide a diverse range of ready-to-use options that save you time. You can also easily edit any question and/or insert your own personalized questions;

·         editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course; and
all tables and figures from the book.

Key features


  • An emphasis on California’s place in the federal system provides students with context around the state leadership's resistance to Trump administration policies on things like California’s sanctuary state status, immigration, the environment, and more.
  • Increased coverage of policy topics throughout the book helps students see how recent policy has impacted issues such as greenhouse gas emissions regulations, attempted “fixes” for water- and drought-related issues, new transportation projects, and prison reform.  
  • Extended discussions of elections-related innovations introduce students to recent elections-related topics such as the Top-Two Primary, efforts to increase voter registration, all vote-by-mail elections, and redistricting.
  • New coverage of the “Five Californias” gives students a better understanding of California’s political geography and how distinct segments of the population are primed for political engagement or disaffection.
  • New lists of key terms with clear definitions at the end of each chapter enable students to review the content more effectively. 
  • New and updated maps and graphics depict important topics such as California’s newly proposed high-speed rail project.


  • Fast Facts boxes provide data and a snapshot of information on topics such as the legislature and plural executive.
  • Charts, graphs, and tables illustrate campaign and election trends, demographic patterns, and budgeting trends.
  • Photos, maps, and cartograms illustrate California’s diversity, government in action, and citizen engagement.



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ISBN: 9781544388670