State and Local Government by the People

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  • Edition: 16th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2013-03-20
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Supplemental Materials

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  • The Used and Rental copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.


Explores the foundations of state and local politics


State and Local Government by the People is about the institutions and political forces that shape policymaking and policy outcomes. Viewing state and local governments as microcosms of what happens at the federal level, this text compares political systems and traditions across states and identifies trends and similarities that exist between them. The textshows students how government directly affects their lives and inspires them to become involved in their community.


Learning Goals

Upon completing this book, readers will be able to:

  • Understand the development of state and local governments over time
  • Understand the major challenges facing state and local governments today
  • Explore how they can become involved in state or local politics

Note: MySearchLab does not come automatically packaged with this text.

Author Biography

David B. Magleby is a Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Senior Research Fellow at the Center for the Study of Elections and Democracy at Brigham Young University (BYU). He is nationally recognized for his expertise on direct democracy, voting behavior, and campaign finance. Dave is also the recipient of many teaching awards, including the 1990 Utah Professor of the Year Award, the 2001 Rowman & Littlefield Award for Innovative Teaching in Political Science, and several department and university awards.


Paul C. Light is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Public Service at New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service. He has worked on Capitol Hill as a senior committee staffer in the U.S. Senate and as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives. Paul is the founding director of the Brookings Institution’s Center for Public Service and continues his research on how to invite Americans to serve their communities through public service.


Christine L. Nemacheck is the Alumni Memorial Distinguished Associate Professor of Government at The College of William & Mary. Her research focuses on judicial selection and the role of the courts in a separation-of-powers system. Chris has received a number of awards for her teaching and research activity, including the Alumni Fellowship Award for excellence in teaching at The College of William & Mary.

Table of Contents

In this Section:

1) Brief Table of Contents

2) Full Table of Contents


1) Brief Table of Contents


Chapter 1: State and Local Politics 

Chapter 2: American Federalism

Chapter 3: State Constitutions

Chapter 4: Parties and Elections in the States  

Chapter 5: State Legislatures  

Chapter 6: State Governors  

Chapter 7: Judges and Justice in the States  

Chapter 8: Local Governments and Metropolitics  

Chapter 9: Making State and Local Policy 

Chapter 10: People and Money in State and Local Governments


2) Full Table of Contents


Chapter 1: State and Local Politics 

Who Governs?

Influences on State and Local Governments

Participation Patterns in Local Government

Challenges for State and Local Governments


Chapter 2: American Federalism

Defining Federalism

The Constitutional Structure of American Federalism

The National Courts and Federalism

The National Budget as a Tool of Federalism

The Politics of Federalism


Chapter 3: State Constitutions

The Roots of State Constitutions

Amending State Constitutions

The Politics of Constitutional Revision


Chapter 4: Parties and Elections in the States  

The Constitutional Context: State and Federal Roles in Regulating Elections

Elections at the State and Local Levels

The Role of Political Parties

Party Balance and Imbalance


Chapter 5: State Legislatures  

The Legislative Branch

Influences on State Legislators

Modernization and Reform 

Drawing Legislative District Lines

Direct Legislation: Policy Making By The People?


Chapter 6: State Governors  

Becoming and Remaining Governor

A Governor’s Formal and Informal Powers

The Job of the Governor: Managing the State

Assisting the Governor: State Executive Officials

Governors Today: Challenges and Rewards


Chapter 7: Judges and Justice in the States  

The Structure of State Courts

How Judges Are Chosen

The Criminal Justice System



Chapter 8: Local Governments and Metropolitics  

The Nature of State and Local Relations


Towns and Suburbs

City Government

Central City Politics

Metropolitics Today: Meeting the Challenges of Growth and Development


Chapter 9: Making State and Local Policy 

Public Education

Higher Education

Social Services

Planning the Urban Community

Homeland Security and Emergency Management



Chapter 10: People and Money in State and Local Governments 

Staffing State and Local Governments

Paying For State and Local Government

State and Local Government Spending

Assessing State and Local Performance

Rewards Program

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