State Politics


Each U.S. state is comprised of a unique set of individuals and institutions. There is variation in the composition of each state including population size, racial and ethnic groups, gender, income, and urban/rural populations. Each state has an executive, legislative, and judicial branch but the structure and rules of the institutions that makeup these branches vary substantially. States also differ on the types of policies that they enact based on their population, economy, and other factors.

In this course we will examine the politics of the American states with a focus on this variation in individuals, institutions, and policies. We will examine the the role of states in the federal system, foundations of state governments, state institutions such as governors, legislatures, bureaucracies, and courts, and the connection between state and local governments. We will study political parties, campaigns and elections, and political participation and representation. Finally, we will analyze and evaluate state policies in areas includes budgets, taxation, economic development, environment, healthcare, education, welfare, and criminal justice.


State Assignments:
About My State Assignment
State Campaigns and Elections Assignment
State Institutions Assignment
State Policy Assignment

Policy Brief:
Policy Brief Instructions
Policy Brief Rubric