Written from the perspective of someone who has worked in local government, this text is a comprehensive, thematically-organized treatment of California politics. The author brings the subject to life for students using the two themes—diversity and hyperpluralism—that make California's political climate so interesting. In particular, the author examines the growing proliferation of pressures and groups that compete for attention and make governing the state increasingly challenging. And, to illustrate the connection between California politics and American politics, the author discusses aspects of American politics—such as the democratic, elite, and pluralist theories—and how these broader concepts add new clarity and depth to any understanding of California politics.
Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.14 (h) x 0.41 (d)
Meet the Author
David G. Lawrence is Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. As a teacher, scholar, and former public official, he applies theory and practice to California politics. He served on a city council as mayor pro tem, chaired a regional planning agency, and is former president of CALCOG, the California Association of Councils of Governments. He currently serves on the Measure A Citizens Oversight Committee, a group that advises the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments on the expenditure of sales tax revenues earmarked for transportation (an estimated $1 billion over 30 years). He is also former president of the California Center for Education in Public Affairs, a consortium of colleges and universities dedicated to helping students better understand California politics through Sacramento seminars and post-election briefings.
1. EXPLAINING CALIFORNIA POLITICS. Introduction. How Diversity Explains California Politics. How Theory Explains California Politics. How Hyperpluralism Explains California Politics. California: The Ironies of Diversity. 2. CALIFORNIA'S POLITICAL DEVELOPMENT. Introduction. The Politics of Unification. The Politics of Modernization. The Politics of Welfare. The Politics of Abundance and Beyond. 3. CONSTITUTIONALISM AND FEDERALISM. Introduction. State Constitutions as Rulebooks. California's Constitution. California and the Nation: The Boundaries of Federalism. California in Washington. California and the World: The Politics of Fences. 4. DIRECT DEMOCRACY IN A HYPERPLURALISTIC AGE. Introduction. Selected Initiative Battles in California. The Initiative Mess. Progressive Cousins: Referendum and Recall. 5. THE POLITICAL BEHAVIOR OF CALIFORNIANS. Introduction. Forms of Participation in a Democracy. Voters and Nonvoters in California. Partisanship in California. Party Affiliation. California's Electoral Gaps. 6. LINKING PEOPLE AND POLICYMAKERS. Introduction. Mass Media. Political Parties. Elections. Interest Groups. 7. LEGISLATIVE POLITICS. Introduction. California's Legislative History. What the Legislature Does. Getting There and Staying There. Organizing to Legislate. The Legislative Process. The Third House. 8. EXECUTIVE POLITICS. Introduction. How Governors Lead. The Governor's Duties and Powers. The Plural Executive: Competing for Power. California's Bureaucracy and the Politics of Diversity. 9. CALIFORNIA'S JUDICIARY. Introduction. State Courts in Our Legal "System". How California Courts Are Organized. So You Want to Be a Judge. How Courts Make Decisions. How Courts Make Policy. 10. COMMUNITY POLITICS. Introduction. Counties. Cities. Special Districts. School Districts. Regional Governments. 11. PUBLIC POLICY IN CALIFORNIA. Budget Policy: The Cost of Diversity. Policies Stemming from Growth. Policies Stemming from Diversity.