In STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM, Donovan, Mooney, and Smith intrigue students by going beyond the purely descriptive treatment usually found in state and local texts. This book offers an engaging comparative approach, showing students how politics and government differ between states and communities, as well as the causes and effects of those variations. Written by three young, high profile specialists who have contributed significantly to the field in the last decade, STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM incorporates into the course the most recent scholarship available, giving students access to perspectives that no other textbook on the market currently provides. In addition, the text goes beyond the purely descriptive, traditional approach by focusing on what social scientists know about the effects of rules and institutions on politics and policy. This comparative, institutional framework enables students to think more analytically about the impact of institutions on policy outcomes, asks them to evaluate the effectiveness of one institutional approach over another, and encourages them to consider more sophisticated solutions. STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM is the only text of its kind to dedicate three full chapters to direct democracy, land use policy, and morality politics. Throughout the text are boxed features that elaborate on the themes of institutions, comparison, and reform. These feature sections provide thought provoking, concrete examples of the issues at state and local levels so that students can understand how institutions and systems impact individuals in real life situations. In addition, vivid tables, maps, graphs, and photographs provide the visual tools that students need to process detailed comparative data about the states.