American Federalism: A Concise Introduction

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M.E. Sharpe, Jan 1, 2007 - Political Science - 197 pages
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Understanding federalism--the form of political organization that unites separate polities within an overarching political system so that all maintain their political integrity--is central to the study of democratic government in the United States. Yet textbooks tend to cover the topic as a set of abstract principles or a maze of budgetary transfers with little connection to real political life. This concise and engaging text boils the discussion down to its essence: federalism is about power, specifically the tug for power among and within the various levels of government. Author Larry N. Gerston examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of federalism; the various change events that have been involved in defining America's unique set of federal principles over time; and the vertical, horizontal, and international dimensions of federalism in the United States today. The result is a book with wide application for undergraduate students in American government, state and local politics, public administration, or any course examining the ways in which institutional political power is both diffused and concentrated in the United States.
  

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Contents

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50. Diamond, Larry, and Marc F. Plattner, eds. Electoral Systems and Democracy. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. 272 pp., $45.00 cloth, ...
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About the author (2007)

Larry N. Gerston, professor emeritus of political science at San Jose State University, interacts with the political process as both an author and an observer. As an author, he has written ten academic books in addition to CALIFORNIA POLITICS AND GOVERNMENT: A PRACTICAL APPROACH, including MAKING PUBLIC POLICY: FROM CONFLICT TO RESOLUTION (1983), POLITICS IN THE GOLDEN STATE (with Terry Christensen, 1984), THE DEREGULATED SOCIETY (with Cynthia Fraleigh and Robert Schwab, 1988), AMERICAN GOVERNMENT: POLITICS, PROCESS AND POLICIES (1993), PUBLIC POLICY: PROCESS AND PRINCIPLES (1987), PUBLIC POLICYMAKING IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY: A GUIDE TO CIVIC ENGAGEMENT (2002), RECALL! CALIFORNIA'S POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE (with Terry Christensen, 2004), AMERICAN FEDERALISM: A CONCISE INTRODUCTION (2007), CONFRONTING REALITY: TEN ISSUES THREATENING TO IMPLODE AMERICAN SOCIETY AND HOW WE CAN FIX IT (2009), and NOT SO GOLDEN AFTER ALL: THE RISE AND FALL OF CALIFORNIA (2012). As an observer, Gerston serves as the political analyst for NBC11, a San Francisco Bay Area television station, where he appears on a regular basis. He has written more than a hundred op-ed pieces for newspapers throughout the nation and speaks often on issues such as civic engagement and personal political empowerment.

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