Arizona Politics & Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development

Arizona Politics & Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development

Arizona Politics & Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development

Arizona Politics & Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development

Synopsis

Arizona Politics & Government analyzes the development & operation of one of the country's fastest-growing states. The author cogently explains the distinctive history & culture of Arizona politics, thoroughly describing the development, structure, & operation of major components of the governing system. According to the author, three forces have shaped the history, structure, & present character of Arizona politics: autonomy, derived from the traditional western individualiism of settlers, has deeply influenced the role of their government, their views of outsiders, & intergovernmental relations. Concerns about democracy produced several progressive reforms in the early twentieth century, heightened awareness of the dangers of special-interest influence & corruption, & resulted in a long struggle to open the political system. A quest for economic development has been another major force in state politics, becoming especially significant during the last few decades.

Excerpt

John Kincaid

The purpose of this series is to provide information and interesting books on the politics and governments of the fifty American states, books that are of value not only to the student of government but also to the general citizens who want greater insight into the past and present civic life of their own states and of other states in the federal union. the role of the states in governing America is among the least well known of all the 85,006 governments in the United States. the national media focus attention on the federal government in Washington dc, and local media focus attention on local government. Meanwhile, except when there is a scandal or a proposed tax increase, the workings of state government remain something of a mystery to many citizens--out of sight, out of mind.

In many respects, however, the states have been, and continue to be, the most important governments in the American political system. They are the main building blocks and chief organizing governments of the whole system. the states are the constituent governments of the federal union, and it is through the states that citizens gain representation in the national government. the national government is one of limited, delegated powers; all other powers are possessed by the states and their citizens. At the same time, the states are the empowering governments for the nation's 84,955 local governments-counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and special districts. As such, states provide for one of the most essential and ancient elements of freedom and democracy, the right of local self-government.

Although, for many citizens, the most visible aspects of state government are state universities, some of which are the most prestigious in the world, and state highway patrol officers, with their radar guns and handy ticket books, state governments provide for nearly all domestic public services.

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