Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State / Edition 2

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Democracy in California: Politics and Government in the Golden State is readable and thought-provoking. It is not the standard "textbook" example of a textbook. Brian P. Janiskee and Ken Masugi clearly explain the politics and character of California's governmental institutions and the dynamics affecting the lives of its citizens. The second edition is updated throughout and includes analysis of the 2006 elections, the 2005 special election, and the unprecedented 2003 recall election. In addition to thorough coverage of California's constitution and development, this book also examines each branch of government as well as local systems. As Janiskee and Masugi explore the nature of public opinion, parties, and campaigns, they show the effects that the state's diverse population has on all levels of politics and government. Janiskee and Masugi have added case studies to each chapter, bringing ideas to life and challenging the reader to become an active participant in California politics. The case studies are ideal starting points for class discussions. Perfect for courses in American government and state and local politics, Democracy in California is a succinct guide to the governmental intricacies of our nation's most populous state.
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Editorial Reviews

Steven Greenhut
Non-Californians and even some Californians struggle to understand the State's various political, social, and economic crosscurrents. Democracy in California sorts through the complexities of this diverse and trend-setting state. The book artfully puts the present situation in the context of the state's history. If you want to understand California's exceptionalism, beyond the trite clichés, here's a good place to start.
Ralph A. Rossum
In their succinct, highly-readable, and now updated guide to California politics, Janiskee and Masugi provide a historical overview and contemporary account of the major constitutional features, governmental arrangements, fiscal practices, and diverse social characteristics of the Golden State.

Aiming high, they consciously model their Democracy in California on Tocqueville's Democracy in America. They offer thoughtful meditations on Tocqueville's insights into the principles, problems, and prospects of democratic life. Their aim is uncannily accurate. This is an indispensable book for anyone wishing to understand and assess the successes and failures of California politics and government.

Scot Zentner
Democracy in California is the best book of its kind. With a view to the enduring questions of political life, the authors present a view of the Golden State unlike that of any other textbook available today. The case studies are especially useful, providing students with readable and memorable examples of the central ideas of each chapter. The result is a cogent yet comprehensive account of America’s most important state.
National Review
A brief but valuable textbook on the operation of one of the most important and complex governments in the world: the State of California. Tip O'Neil was right that all politics are local; this book shows how the great issues of self-government work out at the most prosaic of levels
— Michael Potemra
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742548350
  • Publisher: The Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group Inc
  • Publication date: 7/10/2007
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 172
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Brian Janiskee is an associate professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at California State University at San Bernardino, where he is also a faculty member in the national security studies program. In addition, he is a fellow at the Claremont Institute and active with its Center for Local Government. He has published several articles in topics ranging from special districts to crime policy to presidential elections. He lives in Highland, California. Ken Masugi was director of the Center for Local Government of the Claremont Institute. He is editor of Interpreting Tocqueville's "Democracy in America" (described in the American Political Science Review as representing a "revolution in Tocqueville scholarship") and coeditor of four other books on modern and American political thought. He has served in the federal government as a speechwriter for high-level officials, including members of the Cabinet.
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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Diversity
Chapter 2 A Progressive Constitution
Chapter 3 Public Opinion and the Media
Chapter 4 Parties and Interest Groups
Chapter 5 Campaigns and Elections
Chapter 6 The Legislature
Chapter 7 The Executive
Chapter 8 The Courts
Chapter 9 The Budget and Government Finance
Chapter 10 Local Government
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