The thoroughly revised Fifth Edition of California Politics: A Primer concisely explains how California’s history, political culture, rules, and institutions come together to shape politics today and how they will determine the state of affairs tomorrow. Author Renee B. Van Vechten begins with a brief political history of California, then walks through direct democracy, the legislature, executive branch, and court system. She covers local government and concludes with a discussion of the state’s budget process, campaigns and elections, political engagement, and policy issues. From the structure of the state's government to its local representatives, policies, and voter participation, California Politics: A Primer delivers the concepts and details students need. New to the Fifth Edition An emphasis on California’s place in the federal system provides you with context around the state leadership's resistance to Trump administration policies on things like California’s sanctuary state status, immigration, the environment, and more. Increased coverage of policy topics throughout the book helps you see how recent policy has impacted issues such as greenhouse gas emissions regulations, attempted “fixes” for water- and drought-related issues, new transportation projects, and prison reform. Extended discussions of elections-related innovations introduce you to recent elections-related topics such as the Top-Two Primary, efforts to increase voter registration, all vote-by-mail elections, and redistricting. New coverage of the “Five Californias” gives you a better understanding of California’s political geography and how distinct segments of the population are primed for political engagement or disaffection. New lists of key terms with clear definitions at the end of each chapter enable you to review the content more effectively. New and updated maps and graphics depict important topics such as California’s newly proposed high-speed rail project.
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John E. McDonough affords a rare glimpse into the practice of state politics in this insider's account of the fascinating interface between political science and real-life politics. A member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for thirteen years and a skilled storyteller, McDonough eloquently weaves together stories of politics and policy with engaging theoretical models in a way that illuminates both the theory and the practice. By providing a link between scholarship and the world of experience, he communicates much about the essence of representative democracy. In the process, he demonstrates how politics extend beyond the public sphere into many aspects of life involving diverse values and interests. McDonough describes the nature of conflict, the role of interests, agenda setting, the nature and pace of change, the use of language, and more. Accessible, insightful, and original, his stories touch on a broad range of issues—including health care politics, campaigns, and elections; a street gang called the X-men; the death penalty; campaign finance reform, and tenants versus landlords. To the author, politics is everywhere and political dynamics are universal. While the setting for this book is one legislature, the lessons and insights are intended for everyone.
Help students to understand how California′s political system works with this concise text, thoroughly revised for the Sixth Edition. Author Renée Van Vechten presses students to think about how history, political culture, rules, and institutions conspire to shape politics today, and how they will determine the state of affairs tomorrow. From the structure of the state′s government to its local representatives, policies, and voter participation, California Politics: A Primer provides the concepts and details students need. Instructors! The Instructor Resource Site gives you access to all of the resources included with this text. Learn more.
California is full of myths and legends, but its political system shouldn’t be. In this refreshingly critical take, Edgar Kaskla brings an analysis of power—how it is distributed, how it is used, and to what end—to bear on California’s political system and the many troubling issues it currently faces. Starting from the premise that California is in deep crisis politically, economically, culturally, and environmentally, Kaskla traces the state’s economic and political development as a process controlled by and for the elite, be they land barons, the Hollywood glitterati, or Silicon Valley execs. Kaskla focuses on what he calls growth machine politics—elites and their land use as promoters of development and redevelopment—to show students how the gap between the rich and poor in California continues to widen. As minority communities increase in size, as the cost of campaigning in the state balloons, and as the state’s debt crisis mounts, the socio-economic and cultural issues at play in California add up to a real threat to democratic governance. Kaskla clearly outlines how each of the state’s institutions are organized, but also shows how they are affected—indeed distorted—by a host of serious economic and social inequalities. Not one to mince words, Kaskla is in places irreverent, but his text is thoroughly researched and well argued, never crossing the line into the polemical. Tables, figures, maps, and lists for further reading help reinforce the book’s substantive points and critical approach, and a host of student and instructor ancillaries help with study, review, and preparation.
Underscoring the essentials, Van Vechten's concise text delivers on the concepts and details students need to understand how California's political system works. The thoroughly revised second edition retains all the strengths of the first edition.
We all witness, in advertising and on supermarket shelves, the fierce competition for our food dollars. In this engrossing exposé, Marion Nestle goes behind the scenes to reveal how the competition really works and how it affects our health. The abundance of food in the United States--enough calories to meet the needs of every man, woman, and child twice over--has a downside. Our over-efficient food industry must do everything possible to persuade people to eat more--more food, more often, and in larger portions--no matter what it does to waistlines or well-being. Like manufacturing cigarettes or building weapons, making food is big business. Food companies in 2000 generated nearly $900 billion in sales. They have stakeholders to please, shareholders to satisfy, and government regulations to deal with. It is nevertheless shocking to learn precisely how food companies lobby officials, co-opt experts, and expand sales by marketing to children, members of minority groups, and people in developing countries. We learn that the food industry plays politics as well as or better than other industries, not least because so much of its activity takes place outside the public view. Editor of the 1988 Surgeon General's Report on Nutrition and Health, Nestle is uniquely qualified to lead us through the maze of food industry interests and influences. She vividly illustrates food politics in action: watered-down government dietary advice, schools pushing soft drinks, diet supplements promoted as if they were First Amendment rights. When it comes to the mass production and consumption of food, strategic decisions are driven by economics--not science, not common sense, and certainly not health. No wonder most of us are thoroughly confused about what to eat to stay healthy. An accessible and balanced account, Food Politics will forever change the way we respond to food industry marketing practices. By explaining how much the food industry influences government nutrition policies and how cleverly it links its interests to those of nutrition experts, this path-breaking book helps us understand more clearly than ever before what we eat and why.
This new edition includes key political developments over the last few years and continues to look at the diverse and hyperpluralistic nature of the state itself, particularly its people and the groups to which they belong.The authors continue to explain California politics through the dual lenses of diversity and hyperpluralism.