Legislators, Law And Public Policy

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This book evaluates Mississippi politics since the pivotal 1978 Connor v. Johnson decision, which replaced multi-member legislative districts with single-member districts. Mary DeLorse Coleman examines how, after an arduous journey through the judicial system, this decision changed the profile of Mississippi politics from its domination by the agrarian elite to its integration by multi-racial representatives. The study issues a challenge to the legislature, formerly a stronghold of white leadership, to foster legislation which will erase racial and class divisions.

The analysis begins with a review of black politics from 1865 to 1986, followed by an in-depth account of the Connor litigation. Attention turns to the subsequent voting actions of the Mississippi legislature and what variables predict member voting. Although Mississippi politics is the book's primary topic, Coleman demonstrates how it serves as a touchstone from which to view politics throughout the deep South and Black politics in general. A bibliography and general subject index complete the work.

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Editorial Reviews

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"The author, herself rooted as youth and adult in the Mississippi experience, provides an insightful account as she applies modern political science perspectives to the Mississippi case. Recommended for advanced undergraduate and graduate collections."



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Product Details

Meet the Author

MARY DeLORSE COLEMAN is an Associate Professor of Political Science at Jackson State University, where she teaches public law and research methods.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Analytical Approach, Methodology, and Organization 13
2 Black Politics and Political Change from 1865 to 1990 23
3 The Connor Litigation 1965 to 1978: From Voter Registration to Political Representation 59
4 The Mississippi Legislature After Redistricting: Structural Continuities and Change 75
5 The Mississippi Legislature After Redistricting: Voting Continuities, Ambivalence and Change 91
6 Legislators' Attitudes in Mississippi and the South: Their Content and the Meaning of Change 121
7 Legislators' Attitudes: The Salience of Race, Ambition and Election Status 133
8 Summary: The Bias of Political Change in Legislative Politics 147
Appendix: Mississippi Elected Officials - A Research Questionnaire 159
Selected Bibliography 167
Index 179
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