Higher Education

State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform, 3rd Edition

  • Todd Donovan Western Washington University
  • Daniel A. Smith University of Florida
  • Christopher Z. Mooney University of Illinois, Springfield
  • ISBN-10: 1111833109  |  ISBN-13: 9781111833107
  • 688 Pages
  • Previous Editions: 2011, 2009
  • © 2013 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $163.75
  • Newer Edition Available
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In this Third Edition of STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM, Donovan, Mooney, and Smith go beyond the purely descriptive treatment usually found in state and local texts. Offering an engaging comparative approach, the Third Edition shows students how politics and government differ between states and communities, and points out the causes and effects of those variations. The text also focuses on what social scientists know about the effects of rules and institutions on politics and policy. This comparative, institutional framework enables students to think more analytically about the impact of institutions on policy outcomes, asks them to evaluate the effectiveness of one institutional approach over another, and encourages them to consider more sophisticated solutions. 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 into the course, giving students access to perspectives that no other textbook on the market currently provides.

Features and Benefits

  • The only text of its kind to dedicate three full chapters to direct democracy, land use policy, and morality politics, 3 topics at the center of the most significant political battles in the country in recent years.
  • Boxed features elaborate on the themes of institutions, comparison, and reform, providing thought-provoking, concrete examples of the issues at state and local levels so students can understand how institutions and systems affect individuals.
  • "You Decide" boxes in each chapter ask students to evaluate a real-world situation or compare data and consider the best solutions.
  • "Institutions Matter" boxes examine the way institutions influence politics, government, and policy.
  • "Comparisons Help Us Understand" boxes use comparative data from the states to test different hypotheses about the political process.
  • "Reform Can Happen" boxes look at the different ways state and local reforms may be implemented.
  • Vivid tables, maps, graphs, and photographs provide the visual tools students need to process detailed comparative data about the states.
  • Scholarship, citations, data, substantive examples, and photographs have been updated including the 2010 election results and analysis.
  • The text has been streamlined where possible to offer balanced, manageable chapters and to facilitate teachable units of material.
  • Lively and wide-ranging examples from headlines across the nation illuminate chapter topics. An engaging style excites and informs students, helping them develop the critical-thinking skills that are important for informed citizenship.
  • A thematic emphasis on reform asks students to draw conclusions from what seems to work (and what does not).

Table of Contents

1. Introduction to State and Local Politics.
2. Federalism: State Politics within a Federal System.
3. Participation, Elections, and Representation.
4. State and Local Direct Democracy.
5. Political Parties.
6. Interest Groups.
7. State Legislatures.
8. Governors and the State Bureaucracy.
9. The Court System and Criminal Justice.
10. The Structure of Municipal Governments.
11. The Politics of Land Use and Development.
12. State and Local Fiscal Policy.
13. Morality Politics.
14. Social Welfare and Health Care Politics.
15. Education Politics.

What's New

  • "Consider This," a new chapter-ending feature, asks the student to reconsider the opening vignette using the knowledge they have gained from the chapter.
  • "Governors and the State Bureaucracy" and "The Court System and Criminal Justice" are two chapters that have been re-titled to reflect their increased coverage of the state bureaucracy and criminal justice, respectively.
  • Increased coverage of state constitutions.
  • A new design, art, and photo program provides student-friendly visuals.
  • To better reflect the way you present your course material, "State and Local Fiscal Policy" now appears after "The Politics of Land Use and Development."
  • 32-page supplements on the state politics of California, Florida, and Texas are now available to be packaged with the text.

Learning Resource Bundles

Choose the textbook packaged with the resources that best meet your course and student needs. Contact your Learning Consultant for more information.

Bundle: Text + Florida Module

ISBN-10: 1133809421  | ISBN-13: 9781133809425

List Price = $208.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $154.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform
    List Price = $217.95  | CengageBrain Price = $217.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $163.75
  • Florida Module for State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform
    List Price = $1.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $1.00

Bundle: Text + California Module

ISBN-10:  113380943X | ISBN-13:  9781133809432

List Price = $208.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $154.75

This Bundle Includes:

  • State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform
    List Price = $217.95  | CengageBrain Price = $217.95  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $163.75
  • California Module for State and Local Politics: Institutions and Reform
    List Price = $1.00  | College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $1.00

Efficacy and Outcomes


"A very thorough, engaging and heavily referenced text that represents an excellent resource for teaching undergraduates about state politics."

— David Folz, University of Tennessee

"This is the best state politics textbook on the market now by a mile."

— Joshua Dyck, University at Buffalo, SUNY


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the main title. Select the main title's "About" tab, then select "What's New" for updates specific to title's edition.

For more information about these supplements, or to obtain them, contact your Learning Consultant.

Instructor Supplements

PowerLecture with ExamView®  (ISBN-10: 1111833117 | ISBN-13: 9781111833114)

This DVD provides access to Interactive PowerPoint® Lectures, a Test Bank, and the Instructor's Manual. Interactive, book-specific PowerPoint® lectures make it easy for you to assemble, edit, publish, and present custom lectures for your course. The slides provide outlines specific to every chapter of STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS, 3E and include tables, statistical charts, graphs, and photos from the book as well as outside sources. In addition, the slides are completely customizable for a powerful and personalized presentation. A test bank in Microsoft® Word and ExamView® computerized testing offers a large array of well-crafted multiple-choice and essay questions, along with their answers and page references. An Instructor's Manual includes learning objectives, chapter outlines, discussion questions, suggestions for class activities and projects, tips on integrating media into your class, suggested readings and Web resources.

Meet the Author

Author Bio

Todd Donovan

Todd Donovan (Ph.D., University of California, Riverside) is a professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. He teaches state and local politics; American politics, parties, campaigns, and elections; comparative electoral systems; and introductory research methods and statistics. His research interests include direct democracy, election systems and representation, political behavior, subnational politics, and the political economy of local development. He has been published extensively in academic journals; written a number of books on direct democracy, elections, institutions, and reform; and has received numerous grants and awards for his work. He is coauthor (with Ken Hoover) of THE ELEMENTS OF SOCIAL SCIENTIFIC THINKING, also published by Cengage Learning.

Daniel A. Smith

Daniel A. Smith (PhD, University of Wisconsin, Madison) is a professor of Political Science at the University of Florida and the former director of UF's Political Campaigning Program. In addition to teaching state and local politics, he offers courses on political parties and interest groups, direct democracy, and the politics of reform. He has published widely on voting rights and election law, campaign finance, direct democracy, political parties, and interests groups. He serves on the board of directors of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation (BISCF), headquartered in Washington, D.C., and is the author of several books and over 50 articles and book chapters on American politics.

Christopher Z. Mooney

Christopher Z. Mooney (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison) is the Honorable W. Russell Arrington Professor of State Politics at the University of Illinois, Springfield. From 1999 to 2007, he served as the founding editor of STATE POLITICS AND POLICY QUARTERLY, the official journal of the State Politics and Policy section of the American Political Science Association. Mooney has authored dozens of books and articles related to legislative politics, morality politics, and policy diffusion. In addition, he often serves as a media commentator on state politics topics, including serving as a regular panelist on State Week in Review, a National Public Radio program broadcast statewide in Illinois. In 2010, in recognition of his scholarship and founding of SPPQ, the APSA endowed the annual Christopher Z. Mooney Award for the best PhD dissertation in the field of state politics.