You are here

Governing States and Localities
Share

Governing States and Localities
The Essentials



January 2014 | 392 pages | CQ Press

In this Essentials Edition of Governing States and Localities, authors Kevin Smith and Alan Greenblatt retain the hallmarks of their bestselling introductory text by blending the latest scholarship with engaging journalistic writing, crisp storytelling, and class-tested pedagogy. Based on market feedback, the authors distilled core topics and cut out policy coverage some instructors do not have time to cover, but kept the ever-important finance chapter and a beautiful full-color interior design. This value-priced, ten-chapter text utilizes the comparative approach to ensure that students walk away from the course understanding how and why states and localities are both similar and different in institutional structure, culture, history, geography, economy, and demographics.


 
Chapter 1: Introduction to State and Local Government: They Tax Dogs in West Virginia, Don’t They?
The Impact of State and Local Politics on Daily Life  
The Comparative Method in Practice: Yes, They Really Do Tax Dogs in West Virginia  
Recognizing the Stakes  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on State and Local Government  
 
Chapter 2: Federalism: The Power Plan
Systems of Power  
Why Federalism? The Origins of the Federal System in the United States  
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Federalism  
The Constitutional Basis of Federalism  
The Development of Federalism  
The Supreme Court: The Umpire of Federalism  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Federalism  
 
Chapter 3: Constitutions: Operating Instructions
What State Constitutions Do: It’s Probably Different from What You Think  
The Evolution of State Constitutions  
The First Generation of State Constitutions  
Formal Constitutional Changes  
Informal Methods for Changing Constitutions  
Why State Constitutions Vary  
How State Constitutions Differ  
Constitutions for Local Government?  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Constitutions  
 
Chapter 4: Finance: Filling the Till and Paying the Bills
Show Me the Money: Where State Revenues Come From  
The Budget Process  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Finance  
 
Chapter 5: Political Attitudes and Participation: Venting and Voting
Elections  
What Elections Are Used For  
Public Opinion  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Political Attitudes and Participation  
 
Chapter 6: Parties and Interest Groups: Elephants, Donkeys, and Cash Cows
A Primer on Political Parties  
State Party Regulation and Finance  
Party Competition: Why Some States Are More Competitive than Others  
Third Parties and Independents  
Interest Groups and Lobbies  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Parties and Interest Groups  
Chapter 7: Legislatures: The Art of Herding Cats  
The Job of Legislatures  
Organization and Operation of Legislatures  
State Legislators  
The Citizens’ Whipping Boy: Legislators and Public Opinion  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Legislatures  
 
Chapter 8: The Executive Branch and Bureaucracy: How Governments Operate and Who’s in Charge
The Job of Governor  
The Powers of Governors  
Becoming Governor and Staying Governor  
Other Executive Offices  
What Is Bureaucracy?  
What Does Bureaucracy Do?  
What Is “Enough” Bureaucracy?  
Measuring Bureaucratic Effectiveness: It Does a Better Job than You Think  
Politics and the Merit System  
If Not Merit . . . Then What?  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on the Executive Branch and Bureaucracy  
 
Chapter 9: Courts: Turning Law into Politics
The Role and Structure of State Courts  
Selecting Judges  
Prosecution and Defense of Cases in State Courts  
The Case for Court Reform  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Courts  
 
Chapter 10: Local Government: Function Follows Form
The Many Faces of Local Government  
The Organization and Responsibilities of Local Governments  
Municipalities  
Working within Limits: The Powers and Constraints of Local Government  
Participation in Local Government  
The Missing Level of Government  
Sprawl: How Metropolitan Regions Grow  
The Cons of Metropolitan Growth  
Government Reform in Metropolitan Areas  
The Case against Reform: Public Choice and the Tiebout Model  
Rural Metropolitics  
Conclusion  
The Latest Research  
Key Concepts  
Suggested Web Sites  
State Stats on Local Government  
Key features

KEY FEATURES:

  • A series of thematic features highlight the book’s themes:
    • A Difference that Makes a Difference provides clear examples of how variation among states and localities can be used to explain a wide range of political and policy phenomena.
    • Local Focus spotlights localities functioning independently of states.
    • Policy in Practice shows how different states and localities interpret and implement legislation.
    • States under Stress underscores the budgetary constraints reshaping how state and local governments operate. The Latest Research  highlights recent scholarship related to each chapter’s discussion and provides students important social scientific context.
  • State Stats exercises at the end of each chapter direct students to investigate reliable, easy-to-use data on the book’s student study site in areas such as state spending and federal grants, using intuitive mapping and graphing tools that encourage comparison through data visualization.
  • Full-color 50-state maps, tables, and figures provide an intuitively easy way for students to grasp the differences among states and localities, as well as discern patterns and trends over time.
  • Chapter-opening vignettes grab students’ interest by relating a compelling story that segues naturally into the broader themes of the chapter.
 

Sample Materials & Chapters


Preview this book

For instructors

Review and Desk copies for this title are available digitally via VitalSource.

Request e-review copy

If you require a print review copy, please call: (800) 818-7243 ext. 6140 or email textsales@sagepub.com.

Select a Purchasing Option

Electronic version
Prices from
$51.00*
*180 day rental