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Politics in the American States

Politics in the American States
A Comparative Analysis

Twelfth Edition
Edited by:

November 2024 | 616 pages | CQ Press
Politics in the American States, Twelfth Edition, brings together the high-caliber research you expect from this trusted text, with comprehensive and comparative analysis of the fifty states. Fully updated for all major developments in the study of state-level politics, including capturing the results of the 2022 elections, the authors bring insight and uncover the impact of key similarities and differences on the operation of the same basic political systems.

Jamila Michener
Ch. 1 Racial, Economic, and Gender Inequity in the States
Scott J. LaCombe
Ch. 2 Policy Diffusion and Innovation
Joseph Coll, Michael Ritter, Caroline Tolbert
Ch. 3 Parties and Elections in the American States
Anthony J. Nownes, Adam J. Newmark
Ch. 4 Interest Groups in the States
Justin H. Phillips
Ch. 5 Public Opinion, Representation, and America’s Culture Wars
Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan
Ch. 6. Direct Democracy
Nancy Martorano Miller, Keith E. Hamm
Ch. 7 Legislative Politics in the States
Margaret Ferguson, Thad Kousser
Ch. 8 Governors and the Executive Branch
Brent D. Boyea
Ch. 9 Politics and the Judicial Process
Brandon R. Davis
Ch. 10 Criminal Justice in State and Nation
William W. Franko, Christopher Witko
Ch. 11 Fiscal Policies: Taxes and Spending in the States
Colleen M. Grogan, Michael K. Gusmano, Richard C. Fording
Ch. 12 State Health and Welfare Programs
A. Lee Hannah, Michael B. Berkman, Eric Plutzer
Ch. 13 The Politics of Education
Karen Mossberger, Clement Mensah Damoah
Ch. 14 Broadband Policy: Geographic Inequality and the Role of the States
David M. Konisky, Neal D. Woods
Ch. 15 Environmental Policy
Prentiss A. Dantzler, Zachary D. Wood
Ch. 16 Housing Policy
Candis Watts Smith
Ch. 17 Race and Politics in the American States
Elizabeth Rigby
Ch. 18 Economic and Political Inequality
Key features


  • With two new editors who bring their unique visions of how to study the states, sixteen new authors who provide fresh expertise and perspectives, and nine completely new chapters that deliver an expanded view of what states do and why, this new edition seeks to keep pace with the transformation of American states and their study.
  • Greater attention to societal inequality and how it impacts political inclusion has been woven throughout the book. Many of the new or rethought chapters on policy realms put equity at the forefront of their coverage. 


  • Comparative Approach: Each chapter provides nuanced treatments of individual states in the context of analyses of the fifty states as a whole system, so that comparisons of states can be made, while remaining sensitive to the diversity of political life at the state level.
  • To assist readers, all contributors offer clear road maps to their chapters at the outset and summaries at the end.
  • Pedagogical features such as learning objectives, bolded key terms, tables, figures, maps, and a glossary support student understanding of key content.

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