Government and Politics in the Lone Star State

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-08-01
  • Publisher: Pearson

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An accessible look at Texas politics Written to be both engaging and accessible, Government and Politics in the Lone Star State offers both a journalist's and a political scientist's perspective in its coverage of the economic, demographic, political, and social changes contributing to contemporary Texas politics. Using theory, scholarly research, first-hand observations, anecdotes - and always a bit of humor - the authors examine the nuances of change in political behavior and the decisions of political actors at the state and local levels. Fully revised to meet the 2306 curriculum changes, Government and Politics in the Lone Star State, 8e,contains 13 chapters - a full semester's worth of Texas Government content. The eighth edition features the same pedagogical features students currently enjoy in traditional American Government textbooks, extending their learning experience from the 2305 course seamlessly into 2306. Learning Goals Upon completing this book, readers will be able to: Understand the economic, demographic, political, and social changes contributing to contemporary Texas politics Use theory and scholarly research to understand politics Critically analyze Texas's institutions Note:MyPoliSciLab does not come automatically packaged with this text. To purchase MyPoliSciLab, please visit: www.mypoliscilab.comor you can purchase a valuepack of the text + MyPoliSciLab (at no additional cost): ValuePack ISBN-10: 0205926010

Author Biography

L. Tucker Gibson, Jr. is Professor Emeritus at Trinity University, where he served as chair of the Political Science department from 1995-2006. He taught courses on state and local government, American politics, political parties, interest groups, and public policy. He has worked as a consultant on mayoral and city council races as well as more than thirty redistricting projects for local governments. His research focuses on Texas politics and government, single-member districting in Texas school districts, and San Antonio politics.

Clay Robison covered Texas government and politics for more than 27 years as a reporter, Austin Bureau chief and columnist for the Houston Chronicle. He now is a public affairs specialist for the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), where he continues to report and comment on education and politics on his blog, "Grading Texas."

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Social and Economic Milieu of Texas Politics 

Challenges of the Twenty-First Century

The Myths of Texas

The Political Culture of Texas

Historical Origins of the States Political Subcultures          

The People of Texas

Growth and Changing Demographics

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 2: The Texas Constitution


The Constitutional Legacy 

General Principles of the Texas Constitution 

Weaknesses and Criticisms of the Constitution of 1876

Constitutional Change and Adaptation 

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 3: Intergovernmental Relationships in Texas

Structuring Regional and National Interests

Defining Federalism

Generalized Views of Federalism

Changing Patterns in Federal Relationships

The Impact of Federalism on State Finances

Reactions to the Expanded Role of the Federal Government          

Transnational Regionalism

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 4: Interest Groups and Political Power in Texas 

What are Interest Groups?

Interest Groups from a Theoretical Perspective

Resources of Interest Groups

Dominant Interest Groups in Texas

Interest Groups and the Policymaking Process

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 5: The Mass Media in Texas Politics

The Mass Media and the Policy Agenda

The Mass Media and the Electoral Process

Public Ethics and Media Bias

The Development of the Media in Texas

The Capitol Press Corps

Government Public Relations

How Well Informed Are Texas Voters?

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 6: The Party System in Texas 

Political Parties and a Democratic Society

Political Parties in Perspective

The Functions of Political Parties: Intermediaries between the Electorate and Government

The Party in the Electorate

Differences between Republicans and Democrats

The Party Organization

The Party in Government

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 7: Elections, Campaigns, and Political Behavior in Texas

The Functions of Elections

Characteristics of Texas Elections

Political Suffrage in Texas: A Struggle for Minorities and Women

Political Gains by Minorities and Women

New Campaign Technology

Media and Advertising

Money and Campaigns

Political Participation

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 8: The Texas Legislature 

Legislative Functions

Organization of the Texas Legislature and Characteristics of Members

Representation and Redistricting

Legislative Leaders and Committees

Rules and the Lawmaking Process

The Emerging Party System

Legislative Behavior

Legislative Ethics and Reform

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 9: The Texas Executive 

A Historical Perspective on the Executive Function in Texas

The Governor in the Plural Executive

 The Powers of the Governor

Informal Resources of the Governor

Leadership Styles of Recent Texas Governors

Other Offices of the Plural Executive

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 10: The Bureaucracy and Policy Implementation in Texas 

Bureaucracy Defined

The Growth of Government Employment in Texas

Bureaucrats and Public Policy

Political Control and the Responsiveness of the Bureaucracy



Merit Systems and Professional Management

Summary and Conclusions    


Chapter 11: The Judicial System in Texas 

The Legal Framework of the Texas Judiciary

The Structure of the Texas Court System

Court Personnel

Judicial Procedures and Decision-Making

Changing the Face of the Judiciary

Judiciary Controversies and the Search for Solutions

Crime and Punishment

Increased Policy Role of the State Courts

Summary and Conclusions


Chapter 12: Local Government in Texas

Urban Texas

County Government in Texas

Special Districts in Texas

Independent School Districts

Solutions to the Problems of Local Government


Chapter 13: Contemporary Public Policy Issues in Texas

The Policy Process    

The Budgetary Process

State Taxes

Educational Policies and Politics      

Criminal Justice

Health and Human Services

Environment Problems and Policies

Summary and Conclusions

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