Governing the Lone Star State, 4th Edition
By Cal Jillson
Routledge – 2014 – 336 pages
The fourth edition of this popular text is now expanded to better fit the needs of a standalone Texas Politics course. Jillson continues to approach the politics of the Lone Star State from historical, developmental, and analytical perspectives, while giving students the most even-handed, readable, and engaging description of Texas politics available today. Throughout the book students are encouraged to connect the origins and development of government and politics in Texas--from the Texas Constitution, to party competition, to the role and powers of the Governor--to its current day practice and the alternatives possible through change and reform. This text helps instructors prepare their students to master the origin and development of the Texas Constitution, the structure and powers of state and local government in Texas, how Texas fits into the U.S. federal system, as well as political participation, the electoral process, and public policy in Texas.
Texas Politics offers instructors and students an unmatched range of pedagogical aids and tools. Each chapter opens with an engaging vignette and a series of focus questions to orient readers to the learning objectives at hand and concludes with a chapter summary, a list of key terms, review questions, suggested readings, and web resources. Key terms are bolded in the text, listed at the end of the chapter, and included in a glossary at the end of the book. Each chapter includes "Let's Compare" boxes to help students see how Texas sits alongside other states, and "Pro & Con" boxes to bring conflicting political views into sharper focus. Tables, figures, and photos throughout highlight the major ideas, issues, individuals, and institutions discussed.
"Cal Jillson has provided students with a concise yet thorough introduction to the often Byzantine intricacies of the Texas government. Especially helpful are the special features in each chapter that bring abstract concepts into contemporary and concrete focus. Students who use this book will find it engaging, timely, and relevant, and will be spurred to further independent exploration of their state’s institutions, warts and all—a critical step toward becoming actively participating democratic citizens."
—Kevin T. Holton, South Texas College
"In this new edition of his excellent Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State, Cal Jillson offers an admirably concise discussion of politics and government in Texas. Students and instructors will find this a useful, appropriately thorough, and at times provocative resource for understanding Texas politics."
—Daniel Sledge, The University of Texas Arlington
"Cal Jillson has masterfully developed a Texas Politics book that combines readability with scholarship and enables the student to understand much of the institutional structure and unique character of Texas within the Federal context. Jillson provides needed insights to understanding Texas institutions and the interactions of interest groups within those institutions. He does so in an enjoyable readable format while addressing the important Texas state-mandated student learning outcomes and the significance of Texas politics for everyone. Texas Politics is reflective of the myriad of interesting stories which made Texas what it is today."
—Ray Sandoval, Richland College
"Texas Politics is a well-written and documented text that will be an asset to any professor or student interested in Texas politics. As mentioned in the Preface, one will find a broad 'range of pedagogical aids and tools' that will be helpful in the classroom."
—Morris D. Drumm, Texas Christian University
1. Texas and the Texans: Then and Now. 2. The Texas Constitution and American Federalism. 3. Political Participation in Texas: Voters, Campaigns, and Elections. 4. Interest Groups in Texas. 5. Political Parties in Texas. 6. The Texas Legislature. 7. The Governor and the Executive Branch. 8. The Judicial System in Texas. 9. Local Government in Texas. 10. Financing State Government: Budgets, Revenues, and Expenses. Appendix A: William Barrett Travis’s Letter from the Alamo. Appendix B: The Texas Declaration of Independence. Appendix C: The Texas Constitution (Selections)
Cal Jillson is professor in the department of political science at Southern Methodist University. His recent books include American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change, 7th edition; Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy; Pursuing the American Dream: Opportunity and Exclusion Over Four Centuries; and Pathways to Democracy: The Political Economy of Democratic Transition. He is frequently cited in local and national media on a range of political issues.