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Governing States and Localities

Governing States and Localities

Ninth Edition
Available with:

August 2023 | 608 pages | CQ Press
From the lingering but long-lasting effects of the COVID pandemic to the growing diffusion of partisan polarization through the various levels of government, the Ninth Edition of Governing States and Localities introduces students to the most recent challenges, developments, and political changes impacting state and local politics. Employing a comparative approach, bestselling authors Kevin B. Smith and Alan Greenblatt illustrate the similarities and differences in the way state and local governments operate to show students the real-world application of policy and politics.

This edition keeps students engaged with a crisp journalistic style while providing a comprehensive introduction to state and local governments that is easily accessible to undergraduates in a variety of majors.

Map of the United States
About the Authors
Chapter 1 Introduction to State and Local Government: They Tax Dogs in West Virginia, Don't They?
Chapter 2 Federalism: The Power Plan
Chapter 3 Constitutions: Operating Instructions
Chapter 4 Finance: Filling the Till and Paying the Bills
Chapter 5 Political Attitudes and Participation: Venting and Voting
Chapter 6 Parties and Interest Groups: Elephants, Donkeys, and Cash Cows
Chapter 7 Legislatures: The Art of Herding Cats
Chapter 8 Governors and Executives: There Is No Such Thing as Absolute Power
Chapter 9 Courts: Turning Law into Politics
Chapter 10 Bureaucracy: What Nobody Wants but Everybody Needs
Chapter 11 Local Government: Function Follows Form
Chapter 12 Metropolitics: The Hole Problem of Government
Chapter 13 Education: Reading, Writing, and Regulation
Chapter 14 Crime and Punishment
Chapter 15 Health and Welfare
Chapter 16 Environment and Climate Change: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally


Instructor Resources
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LMS cartridge included with this title for use in Blackboard, Canvas, Brightspace by Desire2Learn (D2L), and Moodle

The LMS cartridge makes it easy to import this title’s instructor resources into your learning management system (LMS). These resources include:
  • Test banks
  • Editable chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides
  • Lecture notes
  • All tables and figures from the textbook
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You can still access the online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site.
Key features
  • The new edition is available in Sage Vantage, an intuitive learning platform that integrates quality Sage textbook content with assignable multimedia activities and auto-graded assessments to drive student engagement and ensure accountability. Unparalleled in its ease of use and built for dynamic teaching and learning, Vantage offers customizable LMS integration and best-in-class support.
All chapters have been revised substantially, with the content updated throughout to reflect the latest issues, trends, and political changes, including the following:
  • Fresh coverage of the lingering, and often long lasting, effects of the COVID pandemic on state and local politics.
  • Greater emphasis has been given to the growing diffusion of partisan polarization through various levels of state and local government.
  • All chapter introductions have been updated and most boxes (see descriptions below) are new. These provide fresh and contemporary context for the subject matter of each chapter.
  • Although the content is significantly revised for the ninth edition, the comparative method continues to provide the text's core thematic pedagogical structure.
  • A Difference That Makes a Difference boxes provide clear examples of how variations among states and localities can be used to explain a wide range of political and policy phenomena. These pieces detail the ways the institutions, regulations, political culture, demographics, and other factors of a particular state shape its constitution, the way its political parties function, how its citizens tend to vote, how it allocates its financial resources, and why its courts are structured the way they are, to name a few.
  • Local Focus boxes spotlight the ways localities function independently of the states and show how they are both constrained and empowered by intergovernmental ties. From battles to wrest control of their budgets from the state to constitutional restrictions on how they can tax and spend, the topics addressed in these boxes showcase the rich variety represented in these nearly 87,000 substate entities.
  • Policy in Practice boxes demonstrate how different states and localities have interpreted and implemented the legislation handed down from higher levels of government, and the consequences of these decisions. The impact of declining agency fees on public unions, the difficulties and implications of city-county mergers, and the policy implications of the power imbalance between states and localities are just some of the issues addressed.
  • Top Ten Takeaways features reinforce key themes and ideas.
  • Each chapter also includes a set of highlighted key concepts. These terms are defined near the places where they are introduced in the text and are compiled into a list at the end of each chapter, with corresponding page numbers.
  • A comprehensive glossary of key terms precedes the book's index.
Vantage Reference: 
Governing States and Localities - Vantage Learning Platform

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