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Lone Star Politics

Lone Star Politics
Tradition and Transformation in Texas

Sixth Edition
Additional resources:

Texas Politics

January 2019 | 600 pages | CQ Press

“I really love this textbook. It is easy to read and flows logically. […] as far as an “assigned reading” book for a face-to-face lecture goes, the book is top notch.”
—Brian Naples, Panola College

In Texas, myth often clashes with the reality of everyday government. Explore the state's rich political tradition with Lone Star Politics as this local author team explains who gets what and how. 

Utilizing the comparative method, the authors set Texas in context with other states' constitutions, policymaking, electoral practices, and institutions as they delve into the evolution of its politics. Critical thinking questions and unvarnished "Winners and Losers" discussions guide students toward understanding Texas government and assessing the state's political landscape. The Sixth Edition expands its coverage on civil rights in the state, as well as contemporary issues highlighting the push-pull relationship between the state and federal and local governments.

A Complete Teaching & Learning Package

Interactive eBook
Includes access to video, multimedia tools, and much more! Save when you bundle the interactive eBook with the new edition. Order using bundle ISBN: 978-1-5443-6568-8. Learn more.

SAGE coursepacks
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Bundle and save!
When bundled with the new edition of Lone Star Politics, your students can receive the following books from our trending topics series for free.

  • Texas State and Local Media: Use Bundle ISBN 978-1-5443-6542-8
  • The Learning Outcomes Guide to accompany Lone Star Politics Use Bundle ISBN 978-1-5443-2167-7

About the Authors
Texas Geography  
History: The Birth of Texas Traditions  
Texas Statehood  
Transitions to the Twenty-First Century  
A Tradition of Change  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Constitutional Government  
The Federal System of the United States  
Texas Constitutions  
The Current System: The Constitution of 1876  
Criticisms of the Texas Constitution  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
The Texas Legislature in Context  
Typologies of State Legislatures: Full-Time and Part-Time  
Qualifications for Office and Length of Terms  
Representation: Theories and Demographics  
Winners and Losers  
Electing the State Legislature  
Legislative Organization  
Winners and Losers  
Legislative Process  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
The Office of the Governor  
Powers of the Governor  
Informal Powers  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
The Plural Executive  
Boards and Commissions  
Bureaucratic Accountability  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Judicial Federalism and Texas Courts  
Local Trial Courts  
County-Level Trial Courts  
District Courts (State-Level Trial Courts)  
Appellate Courts  
Judicial Selection  
Texas Judges  
Problems with the Texas Judiciary  
Alternative Systems of Judicial Selection: Appointment and Merit  
Criminal Justice in Texas  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Justice in Texas  
Incarceration in Texas  
Rights of the Accused  
Law and Punishment  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Democracy, Representation, and Elections in Texas  
Voting Rights in Texas  
Types of Elections in Texas  
Voting, Voter Registration, and Turnout  
Getting on the Ballot in Texas Elections  
Campaign Finance in Texas  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
The Development of Political Parties in Texas  
Political Parties in Texas  
Party Organizations  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Organized Interests in Texas Politics  
Influencing Policy in Texas through Organized Interests  
The Relationship between Organized Interests and Parties  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Local Government: The Basics  
County Government, Texas Style  
Other Forms of Local Government  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
The Policymaking Process  
Sources of State Revenue: Taxes  
Winners and Losers  
Sources of State Revenue: Other Resources  
Spending and Budgeting  
Fiscal Policy Tools  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Oil and Gas in Texas  
Texas Energy  
Environmental Policy  
Texas Air Quality  
Droughts and Floods  
Hazardous Waste  
Winners and Losers  
Transportation Policy  
Winners and Losers  
Texas Trade  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Education Policy  
Winners and Losers  
Winners and Losers  
Health and Human Services  
Winners and Losers  
Immigration Policy  
Winners and Losers  
Key Terms  
Active Learning  
Chapter Review  
Appendix: Declaration of Independence of the Republic of Texas


Instructor Resource Site

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  • quality textbook content delivered directly into your LMS
  • an intuitive, simple format that makes it easy to integrate the material into your course with minimal effort;
  • assessment tools that foster review, practice, and critical thinking, including:
    • diagnostic chapter pre tests and post tests that identify opportunities for improvement, track student progress, and ensure mastery of key learning objectives
    • test banks built on Bloom’s Taxonomy that provide a diverse range of test items with ExamView test generation
    • activity and quiz options that allow you to choose only the assignments and tests you want 
    • instructions on how to use and integrate the comprehensive assessments and resources provided;
  • assignable data exercises in each chapter help students build essential data literacy skills using interactive data visualization tools from SAGE Stats and U.S. Political Stats. Drawing on key data series ranging from demographic patterns to state budget to voting behavior, these exercises offer students a dynamic way to analyze real-world data and think critically about the stories behind the numbers.
  • assignable SAGE Premium Video (available via the interactive eBook version, linked through SAGE coursepacks) that is tied to learning objectives, and curated exclusively for this text to bring concepts to life, featuring: 
    • Corresponding multimedia assessment options that automatically feed to your gradebook
    • Comprehensive, downloadable, easy-to-use Media Guide in the coursepack for every video resource, listing the chapter to which the video content is tied, matching learning objective(s), a helpful description of the video content, and assessment questions 
    • Topics in American Government videos that recap the fundamentals of American politics in every chapter—from the Bill of Rights to voter turnout to the powers of the presidency
  • editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides that offer flexibility when creating multimedia lectures so you don’t have to start from scratch;
  • instructor manual for each chapter, including a chapter summary, learning objectives, chapter outline, and discussion questions to support your teaching;
  • integrated links to the interactive eBook that make it easy for students to maximize their study time with this “anywhere, anytime” mobile-friendly version of the text. It also offers access to more digital tools and resources; and
  • all tables and figures from the textbook 
Student Resource Site

SAGE edge for students enhances learning, it’s easy to use, and offers:

  • an open-access site that makes it easy for students to maximize their study time, anywhere, anytime;
  • eFlashcards that strengthen understanding of key terms and concepts;
  • eQuizzes that allow students to practice and assess how much they’ve learned and where they need to focus their attention;
  • chapter summaries with learning objectives that reinforce the most important material;
  • meaningful video and Web links that facilitate student use of Internet resources, further exploration of topics, and responses to critical thinking questions.

“I really love this textbook. It is easy to read and flows logically. […] as far as an “assigned reading” book for a face-to-face lecture goes, the book is top notch.”

Brian Naples
Panola College

“The text is informative and easy to use in a lecture.”

Celeste Rios
Austin Community College

“The main strength of this book is the attention to and depth of detail offered in the text. I find it helpful for looking at Texas government and politics comparatively. Students have commented on this as well—that comparisons to Louisiana, Alaska, etc. give them a better frame of reference for how and why Texas is uniquely situated.”

Bonnie Ford
Collin College

“The text strategically works to capture as many governmental and political changes across time, and the difficulties which Texas government and voters face in the ever-changing landscapes of Texas and American politics today and tomorrow while keeping in mind Texas traditionalism.”

Rebecca Jackson McElyea
University of Texas at Tyler

“The authors have created a true Texas political science textbook. Lone Star Politics is written with the intent to teach about Texas government. The book and its resources are an advantage to all who read it because you can truly tell that the authors care about educating students.”

Alicia Andreatta
Cisco College

“Of all the textbooks I’ve used, Lone Star Politics is my favorite. It does an excellent job of providing a deeper look at the roots, and the making, of Texas. It not only has more to offer students, but it’s depth of content makes this textbook one of the better, if not best, ones out there.”

Bonnie Ford
Collin College

“The authors’ approach, attention to detail, and writing style in Lone Star Politics are superior. They do an excellent job at communicating local government and policies while balancing an array of relevant topics and issues.”

Brian Johnson
Tarrant County College

“Being someone who is partial to tradition, I think that Lone Star Politics is a great textbook on the theme of tradition and transformation, and the subject of Texas government as a whole. The authors have created a well-organized, detailed, and scholarly textbook without being intimidating.”

Robert Findley
Odessa College

“Lone Star Politics is definitely a stand out. The text strategically focuses on the institutional aspects of government. The authors have created a well-organized book with emphasis on traditions and changes important to Texas politics.”

John Seymour
El Paso Community College
Key features


  • A streamlined the discussion of Texas legislature, combining two chapters into a single “Texas Legislature” chapter, enables professors to focus on the essential elements of the legislative process.
  • Increased alignment to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) curriculum standards makes the instructor’s assessment tasks as simple as possible by providing a clear connection between the textbook and the THECB standards. 
    • Questions on critical thinking, quantitative reasoning, personal responsibility and social responsibility are added throughout each chapter
    • End-of-chapter Active Learning assignments address communication and teamwork 
    • End-of-chapter multiple-choice review questions allow students to check understanding of key concepts
  • New discussion of Texas’ trade policy focus on key trade partners such as Mexico and China, giving students a broader understanding of Texas’ economic impact at home and across the world.
  • An in-depth discussion of the impact of Hurricane Harvey focuses on how the lessons learned (or that should have been learned) from the storm continue to present challenges to Texas government. 
  • New and updated “How Texas Government Works” infographics include: 
    • Comparison of Texas’ imports, exports, and foreign direct investment into the state
    • Where immigrants in Texas come from internationally
    • Diversity in the Texas judiciary
  • Increased discussion on federalism engage students in important topics, such as disagreements between the state and local governments on voter I.D. laws, sanctuary cities, and fracking.


  • Chapter objectives and Core Assessment questions align with the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s (THECB) Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM), reinforcing chapter content and ensuring that learning outcomes are achieved. 
  • “Federalism in Action” boxes appear in nearly every chapter and highlight city and state issues, such as fracking in Denton, campus carry, voter I.D. laws, and transgender bathrooms.
  • “Texas vs. ______” boxes are an extension of the book’s comparative method, incorporating a data literacy approach that encourages students to think about how Texas differs compared to other states.
  • "Texas Legends" boxes showcase figures and events that have shaped—and continue to influence—Texas politics.  Examples include Sam Houston, Barbara C. Jordan, the League of United Latin American Citizens, and Texas Supreme Court justice Raul Gonzalez.
  • SAGE coursepacks allows instructors to import high-quality content into their school’s learning management system (LMS) with no access codes.
  • SAGE edge provides students helpful tools, including eFlashcards, practice quizzes, and more, in one easy-to-use online environment. 

Sample Materials & Chapters

1. Introduction

2. Texas Constitutions

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