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TEXAS POLITICS TODAY is the standard in its coverage of Texas institutions, policies, and politics. It combines a comparative approach with tightly integrated learning objectives and questions addressing the Texas GOVT2306 Core Objectives. The text closes the gap between theory and practice with its Insiders and Politics in Practice features. The text reveals the inner workings of Texas elites, interest groups, campaign megadonors, and policy makers. The authors tapped their resources among political activists and officeholders to provide students with exclusive essays written by essayists ranging from the governor to campaign consultants to marijuana advocates, showing students how real-world politics operates in Texas. Texas Politics Today stimulates critical thinking and civic participation with a special focus on current political issues ranging from immigration, LGBT politics, gun control policies, abortion laws, and Latino politics to the culture wars in education.
- Chapters about elections, parties, and interest groups focus on the ideals of democracy and challenge students to evaluate whether these ideals are realized in practice. A streamlined chapter about the Texas legislature invites students to evaluate the role that legislators play in representing Texans inside and outside of the State Capitol. This edition is thoroughly updated to help students analyze the results of the 2016 election, recent court decisions, and current policy issues.
- Expanded coverage of ideology and social issues such as marijuana, abortion, immigration, and firearms policies, among others. Chapters 4, 5, and 6 extensively cover tea party politics and Republican Party factionalism. Chapters 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, and 11 also feature expanded analysis of the effects of the state’s demographic changes and the rising importance of Latinos in the future of Texas politics.
- Enhanced visuals including new intuitive graphics to illustrate federalism, ballot organization, political party structures, interest-group tactics, the plural executive system, the governor’s appointive powers, and the forms of municipal government. New easy-to-follow process-oriented charts take students step-by-step through the dynamics of the constitutional amendment, legislative, electoral, and criminal justice processes.
- For the new Politics in Practice features, the authors called upon their resources among a wide range of office-holders and political activists to write exclusive new essays. These features conclude each chapter with a fully developed exercise to close the gap between the theoretical themes and the actual practice of Texas politics; they put a face on the political system and give students a glimpse of how it operates from an insider’s viewpoint. Essays are included from the governor and his staff, legislators, lobbyists, campaign consultants, political activists, and local officials.
- Updated and targeted Texas Insiders and How Does Texas Compare boxes are visually distinct and provide the reader with an uninterrupted flow through the text. The role of social and digital media in Texas politics is discussed and illustrated in every chapter throughout the text.
- Each chapter now ends with new Think Critically and Get Active projects that support purpose-driven activities, political involvement, and personal introspection. Pedagogy links to targeted objectives throughout the chapter and delivers students a cohesive learning experience.
- "Think Critically and Get Active!" feature, at the end of each chapter, provides an annotated list of websites and social media sites that offer ways to increase students' own political involvement and reflect on their place in the political system.
- Carefully written photo, figure, and table captions convey the major takeaway messages to students. A critical analysis question follows each caption. Process-oriented charts clearly take students step-by-step through political processes.
- The book is now seamlessly integrated with MindTap®, available with this edition. Marginal icons direct students to a variety of assignable, gradable activities that gets them up to speed on current events, promotes their interaction with one another through online discussion boards and polling questions, and engages them with interactive activities and quizzes that are correlated to clearly defined learning outcomes--all while keeping instructors deeply informed of student progress and time spent in the course.
- The hallmark comparative approach of TEXAS POLITICS TODAY is highlighted in the "How Does Texas Compare?" sections that feature maps and figures in every chapter. This comparative feature focuses on how Texas's unique political culture shapes the state's policies and institutions differently from other states. The text stimulates critical thinking and civic participation with a special focus on current political issues ranging from immigration, LGBT politics, gun control policies, abortion laws, and Latino politics to the culture wars in education.
- Each chapter opens with numbered learning objectives that are repeated throughout the chapter in major sections to help students focus their reading and track their progress. Bulleted summaries and review questions at the end of each chapter (both now organized by learning objective), as well as marginal key terms throughout the narrative, facilitate study and review.
- New Politics in Practice essays show students how Texas political practitioners actually apply the theoretical principles of Texas government. Together with the Texas Insiders feature, these new features give students a taste of political reality.
1. Texas Culture and Diversity.
2. Texas in the Federal System.
3. The Texas Constitution in Perspective.
4. Voting and Elections.
5. Political Parties.
6. Interest Groups.
7. The Legislature.
8. The Executive.
9. The Judiciary.
10. Law and Due Process.
11. Local Government.
12. Public Policy in Texas.
"I'm surprised at how much I liked it. It seemed to be a little bit more 'in your face' about Texas in the real world than I anticipated. The essays are terrific."
"Very nicely done. This book does a better job of the above than most other texts I have looked at."
"I like the approach of this book and the MindTap!"
Cengage provides a range of supplements that are updated in coordination with the main title selection. For more information about these supplements, contact your Learning Consultant.
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