Governing States and Localities

Governing States and Localities

Fourth Edition

Expert Blend of the Latest Scholarship with Engaging Journalistic Writing

© 2014 | 632 pages | CQ Press

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, states and localities were forced to make stark choices over funding and public services as they battled to balance their budgets. While the worst of the economic hardships have passed, federal stimulus money has run dry and federal–state relations are more contentious than ever. So what's next?

Smith and Greenblatt chart the future for states and localities as they deal with new federal regulations, a decrease in public sector employment, the consolidation of agencies, and the weakening of labor unions' political clout. The fourth edition of Governing States and Localities continues what has always set this introductory text apart: its expert blend of the latest scholarship with engaging journalistic writing. Along with their crisp storytelling, the authors employ a comparative approach to explain how and why states and localities are both similar and different in institutional structure, culture, history, economy, geography, and demographics.

State Stats: Reliable, easy-to-use data from more than 80 different sources.
Have you seen State Stats? A new and powerful data product from CQ Press, State Stats gives students the ability to investigate reliable, easy-to-use data from more than 80 different sources, covering such areas as health care, crime, and education. Access is FREE with purchase of a new book. Intuitive mapping and graphing tools, along with a set of exercises in each chapter, are sure to get students comparing states through data visualization.

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

“Governing States and Localities is obviously developed with a great sense of how the political, institutional, and policy ‘parts’ fit together. There is plenty for students to appreciate. I have received more unsolicited positive comments regarding this textbook than any other I’ve used. Every skill level can learn something.”

Scott Moore
Colorado State University

“I have looked at a lot of state and local books and Governing States and Localities is head and shoulders above the rest. It is thorough and engaging. Students read it and understand it.”

Lori Riverstone-Newell
Illinois State University

“Governing States and Localities’ comparative method provides a comprehensive, thoughtful, and systematic approach to the study of state and local government. The blend of theory and practical examples engages my students and challenges them to think about how sub national government affects their day-to-day lives.”

Dana Michael Harsell
University of North Dakota

Governing States and Localities covers all of the major ideas in the literature well and its graphics are a real strength. My students read it and find it engaging. The layout is fabulous and works well in lecture form too.”

David Peterson
Iowa State University

“My students respond favorably to Governing States and Localities. I’m particularly impressed with its tables, figures, and maps, which are great learning tools that I’ve found really helpful in getting across lecture points.”

John Woodcock
Central Connecticut State University

For instructors

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