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California Politics

California Politics
A Primer, 6e

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:

January 2021 | 240 pages | CQ Press
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

1. Introduction
2. Critical Junctures
3. Direct Democracy
4. The State Legislature
5. The Executive Branch
6. The Court System
7. Other Governments
8. The California Budget Process
9. Political Parties, Elections, and Campaigns
10. Political Engagement
11. Concluding Thoughts


Instructor Resources
Online resources included with this text

The online resources for your text are available via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site, which offers access to all text-specific resources, including a test bank and editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides.

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Key features
  • Updated coverage on California’s racial and ethnic politics, its situation in a federal system, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the relationship between tribal governments and the state.
  • An emphasis on California’s place in the federal system provides students with context around the state leadership's resistance to Trump administration policies on topics like California’s sanctuary state status, immigration policies, the environment, and more.
  • Increased coverage of policy topics throughout the book helps students see how recent policy has impacted issues such as greenhouse gas emission regulations, attempted “fixes” for water- and drought-related issues, new transportation projects, and prison reform.   
  • Extended discussions of elections-related innovations introduce students to recent elections-related topics such as the Top-Two Primary, efforts to increase voter registration, all vote-by-mail elections, and redistricting.
  • Updated coverage of the “Five Californias” gives students a better understanding of California’s political geography, racial and ethnic divides, 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 students to review the content more effectively.  
  • New and updated maps, charts, and graphs depicting party control of state government, the scale of protest activity, and other important data released by the secretary of state, public affairs research organizations, and state agencies.
  • Fast Facts boxes provide data and a snapshot of information on topics such as the legislature and plural executive.
  • Charts, graphs, and tables illustrate campaign and election trends, demographic patterns, and budgeting trends.
  • Photos, maps, and cartograms illustrate California’s diversity, government in action, and citizen engagement.

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ISBN: 9781544388670