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California Politics

California Politics
A Primer

Seventh Edition

May 2023 | 264 pages | CQ Press
Understand how California's political system works with this concise text, thoroughly revised for the Seventh Edition. Renée Van Vechten presses the reader 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 delivers the concepts and details students need.

Included with this title:

LMS Cartridge: Import this title’s instructor resources into your school’s learning management system (LMS) and save time. Don't use an LMS? You can still access all of the same online resources for this title via the password-protected Instructor Resource Site. Select the Resources tab on this page to learn more.

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


Instructor Companion Site
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.

This text does an excellent job providing a broad-based understanding of the California governance. It is easy to read and the publisher provides resources to assist in teaching.

Dr. Roger Lang

I feel the text covers the basics of state government in California and provides a solid foundation from which to expand an examination of the system of government in the golden state...One of the better texts covering the California government.

Steven Marin
Victor Valley College
Key features
  • This edition focuses on policy developments that have been brought about by an unbalanced economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 gubernatorial recall efforts, and how the courts are addressing inequities across underrepresented or at-risk groups. Great care has been taken to address racial and ethnic politics throughout.
  • Increased coverage of policy topics help students see how recent policy has impacted issues such as the environment, housing and homelessness, incarceration, and infrastructure, and exemplifies California's status as either a leader or an outlier.
  • Extended discussions of election-related innovations like the mechanics and effects of universal vote-by-mail and other electoral reforms.
  • Updated coverage of the "Five Californias" gives students 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 students to review the content more effectively.
  • New and updated maps and graphics depict important topics such as recent protest activity in the United States and the spending on the three ballot measures in the 2022 midterm elections.

  • 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.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Ch01_ Introduction

Ch02_Critical Junctures

Sage College Publishing

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