State & Local Politics: Institutions and Reform

CPAA Summer 2008 Alumni Newsletter
by Amy Karlicker

Todd Donovan of Western Washington University, Christopher Mooney of the University of Illinois at Springfield and Daniel A. Smith of the University of Florida

In State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform, Donovan, Mooney, and Smith go beyond the purely descriptive treatment usually found in state and local texts. This book offers an engaging comparative approach, showing you how politics and government differ between states and communities, as well as the causes and effects of those variations.

Written by three young, high-profile specialists who have contributed significantly to the field in the last decade, State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform incorporates the most recent scholarship available, accessing perspectives that no other textbook on the market currently provides.

In addition, the text focuses on what social scientists know about the effects of rules and institutions on politics and policy. This comparative, institutional framework enables you to think more analytically about the impact of institutions on policy outcomes, asks you to evaluate the effectiveness of one institutional approach over another, and encourages you to consider more sophisticated solutions.

State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform is the only text of its kind to dedicate three full chapters to direct democracy, land use policy and morality politics. Throughout the text are boxed features that elaborate on the themes of institutions, comparison and reform. These feature sections provide thought-provoking, concrete examples of the issues at state and local levels so that you can understand how institutions and systems impact people in real-life situations. In addition, vivid tables, maps, graphs and photographs provide the visual tools you need to process detailed comparative data about the states.