America's State Governments: A Critical Look at Disconnected Democracies

1st Edition

Jennifer Bachner, Benjamin Ginsberg

Routledge
July 20, 2020 Forthcoming
Textbook - 208 Pages - 27 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780367468477 - CAT# 356682

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Summary

This timely and important new work takes a critical look at government in the American states and uses the underlying theme of disconnected democracies to illustrate the ways in which state government institutions—while democratic in form—lack the necessary firm connections with the citizens they should serve. The text illuminates three basic political problems of state governments: weak constitutional and institutional foundations; a lack of civic engagement; and long histories of public corruption unchecked by adequate ethics and conflict of interest rules. The authors base their critical look on an original national survey showing how little Americans know about state government. They also provide a careful analysis of state constitutions and illustrate how poorly many state governments serve their constituents. For students and citizens of state politics, the book concludes with a proposal aimed at civic literacy and action.

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