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Governing States and Localities
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Governing States and Localities

Seventh Edition
Additional resources:


January 2019 | 584 pages | CQ Press
“An easy-to-navigate, comparative book on state and local government. Very student-friendly and well-organized.”
—Jane Bryant, John A. Logan College

The trusted and proven Governing States and Localities guides students through the contentious environment of state and local politics and focuses on the role that economic and budget pressures play in issues facing state and local governments. With their engaging journalistic writing and crisp storytelling, Kevin B. Smith and Alan Greenblatt employ a comparative approach to explain how and why states and localities are both similar and different. 

The Seventh Edition is thoroughly updated to account for such major developments as state versus federal conflicts over immigration reform, school shootings, and gun control; the impact of the Donald Trump presidency on intergovernmental relations and issues of central interest to states and localities; and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.

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Map of the United States
 
Tables, Figures, and Maps
 
Preface
 
About the Authors
 
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

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
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

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
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

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 4. Finance: Filling the Till and Paying the Bills
Show Me the Money: Where State Tax Revenues Come From

 
Show Me the Money: Income from Fees, Charges, and Uncle Sam

 
Taxing Variations among State and Local Governments

 
The Budget Process

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 5. Political Attitudes and Participation: Venting and Voting
Voting Rights Disputes

 
Elections

 
What Elections Are Used For

 
Public Opinion

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 6. Parties and Interest Groups: Elephants, Donkeys, and Cash Cows
A Primer on Political Parties

 
Party Competition: Why Some States Are More Competitive Than Others

 
Third Parties and Independents

 
Interest Groups and Lobbies

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
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

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 8. Governors and Executives: There Is No Such Thing as Absolute Power
The Job of Governor

 
The Powers of Governors

 
Becoming Governor and Staying Governor

 
Other Executive Offices

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 9. Courts: Turning Law into Politics
The Role and Structure of State Courts

 
Selecting Judges

 
Prosecution and Defense of Cases in State Courts

 
How Courts Are Changing

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 10. Bureaucracy: What Nobody Wants but Everybody Needs
What Is Bureaucracy?

 
What Does Bureaucracy Do?

 
What Is “Enough” Bureaucracy?

 
Measuring Bureaucratic Effectiveness: It Does a Better Job Than You Think

 
State Bureaucracy: From Patronage to Professionalism

 
Politics and the Merit System

 
If Not Merit . . . Then What?

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 11. 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

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 12. Metropolitics: The Hole Problem of 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

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 13. Education: Reading, Writing, and Regulation
Organization and Leadership: Schools Have Many Bosses

 
Money Matters

 
The Pressure to Perform

 
Many Brands on the School Reform Shelf

 
Choosing Wisely: Alternatives to Public Schools

 
Can’t Tell the Players without a Program: Groups That Influence Public Education

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 14. Crime and Punishment
Private Wrongs, Public Justice

 
Principle versus Practice in Common Law

 
Prison Nation

 
Mass Arrests and Incarceration

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 15. Health and Welfare: State, Heal Thyself!
Government’s Role in Health

 
How Government Got into the Health Care Biz

 
The Devolution Revolution

 
The Rise of the Health Care State

 
Issues to Watch

 
What Is Good Health Anyway?

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Chapter 16. Environment and Climate Change: Thinking Globally, Acting Locally
Environmental Conflict between Washington and the States

 
The Partisan Divide on Climate

 
States Get Serious about the Environment

 
Issues to Watch

 
Adaptation

 
Conclusion

 
Top Ten Takeaways

 
Key Concepts

 
Suggested Websites

 
 
Notes
 
Glossary
 
Index

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Jane Bryant
“An easy-to-navigate, comparative book on state and local government. Very student-friendly and well-organized.”

Jane Bryant
John A. Logan College

“I am very impressed with the book. This is at least the third edition of the book I have used, and I believe each edition has been an improvement over the previous one.”

Lee Silvi
Lakeland Community College

“This well written book offers a comprehensive approach to the study of sub-national government engaging students with current examples regarding salient policy areas. It effectively guides students with preview objectives about the content in each chapter and briefly reviews this material at the end of each chapter. The book also offers overviews of the critical research that is currently taking place in the field of sub-national politics and provides resourceful links to information that will enhance the student’s knowledge of the various areas of governing structures as well as policy areas.”

Pamela M. Schaal
Ball State University

A great book. Glad we adopted!

Jonathan Parker
Political Science, Illinois Central Clg-E Peoria
August 15, 2019

Useful, well-written, book that provides up-to-date information for students on a broad range of issues in the states.

Dr Brian Hanson
History/Politics/Geography, Wayne State College
November 30, 2018