Governing the Lone Star State, 3rd Edition
By Cal Jillson
Routledge – 2011 – 210 pages
Approaching the politics of the Lone Star State from historical, developmental, and analytical perspectives, Cal Jillson's text avoids partisanship, ideology, and gimmicks to provide the most comprehensive, readable, and accurate brief 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 will allow teachers to share with their students the evolution of Texas politics, where we stand today, and where we are headed.
Texas Politics is one of the briefest and most affordable texts on the market, yet it offers instructors and students an unmatched range of pedagogical aids and tools. Each chapter opens with a number of focus questions to orient readers to the learning objectives and concludes with a Chapter Summary, a list of Key Terms, 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 presents several photos and numerous tables and figures to highlight the major ideas, issues, individuals, and institutions discussed. Each chapter also contains a Let’s Compare feature, comparing selected states to Texas on various dimensions.
"Texas Politics: Governing the Lone Star State by Cal Jillson takes an interesting approach to the study of Texas politics and state politics more generally. Jillson successfully integrates the necessary components of Texas politics, while using keen insight about the origin of many political issues facing Texas. Further, the text uses a distinctly comparative approach toward examining politics in Texas. This book will enrich the quality of understanding about Texas politics and is an essential contribution to any course on Texas or state politics."
—Brent D. Boyea, The University of Texas at Arlington
"Cal Jillson offers a concise look at Texas government and politics that is both interesting and informative. The third edition successfully balances the need to provide necessary factual information with the more difficult task of capturing the dynamic and color of the Texas political process."
—Jerry Polinard, The University of Texas-Pan American
"A brief textbook can be an instructor’s boon or bane, depending upon what’s included. Professor Jillson’s choices and his writing style make this textbook a joy to use, thoroughly covering the essentials while allowing an instructor the freedom to expand on the topics that engage and interest students."
—Stefan D. Haag, Austin Community College
"Dr. Jillson employs a writing style that makes the subject of Texas politics understandable for students. It is the perfect text for an instructor who doesn’t use the subject as the crux of material in their introductory American and Texas government courses. At the same time, the material is concise and accurate."
—Gary Brown, Lone Star College-Montgomery
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
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, 6th edition; 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.