The Political Battle over Congressional Redistricting

The Political Battle over Congressional Redistricting

by William J. Miller
     
 

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John Engler, former Governor of Michigan, once claimed that redistricting is one of the purest actions a legislative body can take. Academicians and political leaders alike, however, have regularly debated the ideal way by to redistrict national and state legislatures. Rather than being the pure process that Governor Engler envisioned, redistricting has led to

Overview

John Engler, former Governor of Michigan, once claimed that redistricting is one of the purest actions a legislative body can take. Academicians and political leaders alike, however, have regularly debated the ideal way by to redistrict national and state legislatures. Rather than being the pure process that Governor Engler envisioned, redistricting has led to repeated court battles waged on such traditional democratic values as one person, one vote, and minority rights. Instead of being an opportunity to help ensure maximum representation for the citizens, the process has become a cat and mouse game in many states with citizen representation seemingly the farthest idea from anyone’s mind. From a purely political perspective, those in power in the state legislature at the time of redistricting largely act like they have unilateral authority to do as they please. In this volume, contributors discuss why such an assumption is concerning in the modern political environment.

Editorial Reviews

William E. Cunion
A core principle of representative democracy is that the people are free to choose their leaders, but more and more, leaders are actually choosing their voters. The case studies presented here trace carefully how the redistricting process played out across the country following the 2010 census, not only testing key theories of redistricting, but also exploring the confluence of increasingly sophisticated technology and the hyper-partisan political environment. The stories are thorough without being excessive, and the mix of states creates for good generalizations. This excellent book is long overdue!
Jonathan Winburn
The book is a comprehensive overview of Congressional redistricting in 2011. With chapters covering 18 states, William J. Miller and Jeremy D. Walling’s collection of state experts provide an excellent account of the complexities and nuances of redistricting across the country. Each case provides details and insights that capture the political battle over Congressional redistricting. Overall, this volume brings together the interesting differences and similarities inherent in the redistricting process across the country.
CHOICE
Congresspeople run for office from geographically bounded districts, and the drawing of those districts is of intense concern to politicians, parties, interested groups, the media, and the public. This book focuses on the process of drawing district lines in the 18 states that gained or lost seats in 2010. The selection of these states provides one side of the redistricting picture, ignoring intrastate population shifts in states with no changes in the number of seats. The 18 case studies are bookended by an initial contextual chapter and a brief summary chapter. . . . The introductory chapter provides some useful generalizations. . . . The final chapter largely makes the arguments that the Republicans will be favored in near future redistricting due to their success in districting state legislatures. Overall generalizations about redistricting are avoided. Most readers will find this a good archival summary of redistricting in their state if they are among the chosen 18. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739169834
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
06/16/2013
Pages:
460
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

William J. Miller is assistant professor of public administration at Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. He received his doctorate in 2010 in public administration and urban studies from The University of Akron along with a master’s degree in applied politics (campaign management and polling). He had previously earned his B.A. from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College and an M.A. in political science also from Ohio. He is the editor of Tea Party Effects on 2010 U.S. Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle to Lose (Lexington 2012), Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Public Administration & Policy (McGraw Hill 2012), The Battle to Face Obama: The 2012 Republican Nomination and the Future of the Republican Party (Lexington Forthcoming), The Tea Party in 2012: The Party Rolls On (Lexington Forthcoming), and Handbook on Teaching and Learning in Political Science and International Relations (Edward Elgar Forthcoming). His research appears in Journal of Political Science Education, Journal of Political Marketing, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, International Studies Quarterly, Nonproliferation Review, Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, American Behavioral Scientist, PS: Political Science and Politics and Journal of Common Market Studies.

Jeremy D. Walling is associate professor of political science at Southeast Missouri State University. He received his Ph.D. in 2005 from the University of Kansas and his M.P.A. from Missouri State University in 1998. He studies American national institutions, state politics and intergovernmental relations, and public administration ethics and accountability. He was co-editor (with William J. Miller) of Tea Party Effects on 2010 U.S. Senate Elections: Stuck in the Middle To Lose (Lexington Books) and Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Public Administration and Policy (McGraw-Hill). Book chapters have been published in The Battle to Face Obama: The 2012 Republican Nomination (Lexington), Teaching Politics Beyond the Book (Continuum), and The Constitutionalism of American States (University of Missouri Press). His work has also appeared in The Handbook of Administrative Ethics and Public Personnel Management, both with H. George Frederickson.

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