In this second edition of STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS: INSTITUTIONS AND REFORM, Donovan, Mooney, and Smith go beyond the purely descriptive treatment usually found in state and local texts. First, the book offers an engaging comparative approach, showing students how politics and government differ between states and communities, and pointing out the causes and effects of those variations. Second, it focuses 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, boxed features elaborate on the themes of institutions, comparison, and reform, providing thought provoking, concrete examples of the issues at state and local levels so that students can understand how institutions and systems effect individuals. New 'You Decide' boxes and Discussion Questions at the end of each chapter ask students to apply critical thinking to the subject at hand. In addition, vivid tables, maps, graphs, and photographs provide the visual tools that students need to process detailed comparative data about the states. 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, Second Edition, incorporates into the course the most recent scholarship available, giving students access to perspectives that no other textbook on the market currently provides.