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STATE AND LOCAL POLITICS

FALL 1998 (POL 231)
LIVINGSTONE COLLEGE

SALISBURY, NC   28144



INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Robert Williams CLASS ROOM: Tubman Bldg., Rm. 208
CLASS TIMES: M/W/F: 3 - 3:50 pm

OFFICE: Tubman Bldg., Rm. 202 TELEPHONE: (704) 638-5614
OFFICE HOURS: Mon.,Fri.: 10 - 12 noon E-MAIL: drrobtwms@hotmail.com
4net Mon.-Fri.: 4 - 5 pm


WEB   SITES

Prof. Williams' home page

Livingstone College



COURSE TABLE OF CONTENTS   [toc]
prerequisites text/materials description
requirements outline & calendar bibliography




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There are no prerequisites for this course.


COURSE   PREREQUISITES
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Politics in States and Communities, written by Thomas Dye, will provide the knowledge base for this course. Several copies of various editions will be on reserve at Livingstone College’s Carnegie Library. On-line material, as indicated throughout this course outline, is available by clicking on the appropriately highlighted hyperlinks.


TEXT   AND   MATERIALS
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The study of state and local politics helps us to understand the maxim that all politics involves a local dimension: all political issues—even those of national and international import—have their roots in specific places, and all political issues have (or could have) a local impact. This course focuses on federal/state relationships, and on the political processes found at the subnational level of the state and local (i.e., county and city) governments.

The scope of the course will entail comparisons and contrasts among states and communities across America, with a particular emphasis on the issue of environmental justice. Included in our discussions will be the politics and government of the state of North Carolina, as well as of Rowan County and the city of Salisbury.


COURSE   DESCRIPTION
[ toc ]
There will be two scheduled tests on the material from the textbook. But students should not foreclose the possibility of unannounced quizzes. Any of the quizzes/tests might be in a "take-home" format.

In addition, students will be evaluated on the basis of six (6) short reports dealing with various aspects of environmental justice (see the course outline below for the specific topics to be researched). These reports will detail the student's research efforts using on-line databases and archives, as well as Internet-accessible resources. Such reports are to be submitted in the format prescribed by the instructor. Submitting any assignment after its announced due date will negatively affect a student's grade (including, but not limited to, the dropping of a letter grade for each day that an assignment is late).

Moreover, attendance and class participation in discussions will be factored into the student's final grade.

The following table specifies the nature of the course requirements and the respective weight that each has for the student's final course grade.

Tests (at least 2 tests on readings,
    but unannounced quizzes are possible)
30 %
Assigned Reports (six short submissions
    as specified in the course outline)
60 %
Attendance and Class Participation 10 %


COURSE   REQUIREMENTS
[ toc ]
In the following outline of topics and required readings, please note that some lectures may span more than one class session. Also, other interesting and pertinent topics might be raised, as appropriate, at any given lecture. The portions of the outline more lightly shaded indicate those sessions during which students are to take a quiz/test, or by which time they are expected to submit an assignment.

COURSE   OUTLINE
[ toc ]
The session days left unspecified in the following
calendar and outline of topics will be updated as the
semester progresses. Students are required to
check this web page regularly for updates.

PLEASE   BE   ADVISED

  The session dates are
  subject to change!



CLASS   CALENDAR   (tentative)
August
1998
24
26
28
31

Introduction to the Class
Ideological Orientations: Left, Right, Center
  « Topic continued  »
  « Topic continued  »
What Is Politics?

September 2
4
7
9
11
14
16
18
21
23
25
28
30
  « Topic continued: What Is Politics?  »
Federalism
No Class: Labor Day
  « Topic continued: Federalism  »
State & Local Governmental Institutions: The Executive
  « Topic continued  »
**   In-Class Test  **
State & Local Governmental Insitutions: Legislatures
  « Topic continued  »
State & Local Governmental Insitutions: The Courts
  « Topic continued  »
Political Participation in Formal Institutions
  « Topic continued  »

October
2
5
7
9
12
14
16
19
21
23
26
28
30

Political Participation at the Community Level (Institutional Politics)
  « Topic continued  »
Extra-Institutional Political Participation
  « Topic continued  »

**   In-Class Midterm Exam  **
No Class: Fall Break







November
2
4
7
9
11
14
16
18
21
23
25
27
30












No Class: Thanksgiving Holiday


December
2
4

7
10

Class presentations of findings from exploratory case study
 (last class session)
Reading Day at Livingstone College
Final version of case study is due.



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Introduction to the Course
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Aug. 24 Discussion of syllabus
The relevance of studying state and local politics
none none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Ideological Orientations: Left, Right, Center
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Aug. 26
  and 28
Leftists, conservatives, and all those in between
none none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
What Is Politics?
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Aug. 31 &
Sept. 2
What is national politics?
What is subnational politics?
Ch. 1: "Politics in States and Communities" none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Federalism
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 4
& 9
The relationship between national and subnational governments
The positive and negative aspects of American federalism
Ch. 3: "States, Communities, & Am. Federalism" none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
State and Local Governmental Institutions: The Executive
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 11
and 14
Governors
City council, mayors, and city managers
Ch 7: "Governors in State Politics"
Ch. 9: "Community Political Systems"
none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   First Test   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 16 In-class test Covers chs.
1, 3, 7, 9
Good Luck!


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
State and Local Governmental Institutions: Legislatures
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 18
& 21
State legislators
Local legislative functions
Ch. 6: "Legislators in State Politics" none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
State and Local Governmental Institutions: The Courts
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 23 & 25 The court systems
The political role of the courts
Ch. 8:
On the Courts
none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



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Political Participation (In Formal Institutions)
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. 28 & 30 The US party system: fragmented between national and subnational levels
Voting and elections
Interest groups: private and public
Citizens initiatives and referenda
Ch. 4: "Participation in State Politics;"
Ch. 5: "Party and Campaigns in the States"
none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



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Political Participation at the Community Level (Institutional Politics)
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. 2 & 5 Voting
Lobbying
Interest group activities
Ch. 11: "Participation in Community Politics" none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Extra-Institutional Political Participation
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. 7 & 9 Why do people choose this form of participation?
Types of extra-institutional actions
Readings to be announced none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   Midterm Exam   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. 16 In-class midterm test Covers chs.
6, 8, 4, 5, 11
Good Luck!


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
What Is Environmental Justice   ( EJ )
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. American environmentalism: an overview
Environmental injustice as oppression (racial, class, gender, etc.)
EJ as an issue of state and local politics
Readings to be announced none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Researching Environmental Justice
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. What topics have been studied before?
Sources: periodicals, computer-databases, Internet-based sites
Search strategies: computer databases and web surfing
At LC library, we will explore its varied resources. Using citation style guides. Properly cite sources, & list all web sites visited & search words used.
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



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How to Evaluate Resources, Internet or Otherwise
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. How have research problems been framed?
Critically review the research literature for strengths and weaknesses
Readings to be announced Critically contemplate
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Resources on Environmental Justice Available on the Internet
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. Case studies and analyses
Organizations (community, industry, public interest)
Government sources, all branches and levels (bills, laws, policies, etc.)
Data on EJ issues (demographic, hazardous substances, etc.)
Bibliographies
Link Sites
Additional class session in library to find varied EJ resources. Properly cite sources, & list all web sites visited & search words used.
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   In-Class Discussion   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. In-class discussion of the available EJ resources Submit list of resources, including an evaluation of their research value.


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
History of the Environmental Justice Movement
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Oct. Why and how did the EJ movement get started?
Types of issues (health, economic, stigma, quality of life, etc. )
Types of activities used (local, regional, national, etc. activism)
The movement's Internet presence
Search computer databases and the Internet for information. As homework, continue your searches. Allocate sufficient time for this!
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   In-Class Discussion   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. In-class discussion of the information discovered on the history of the EJ movement. Submit 2-page summary in student's own words (do not extensively quote).


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Governmental Responses
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Responses vary by state and national government institution.
Institutional dimension (executive, legislative, judicial)
Search for bills & legislation at national & subnational levels none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   In-Class Discussion   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Discussion of the information unearthed on governmental responses to EJ activism. Submit 2-page summary in student's own words (do not extensively quote).


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
The Role of the Courts in EJ Issues
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. The court systems as arenas of political activism
Discriminatory intent versus discriminatory outcome
The changing judicial landscape (!?)
Readings to be announced none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Case Studies: At the Barricades
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. What is at stake?
Who is involved?
Examples: Chester, PA and Homer, LA
Rival interpretations of the case studies (e.g. industry responses)
Governmental responses (all levels and institutions) to particular cases
Press ever onwards in the search using the available resources at the LC Library. Cite cite your sources properly, and list all web sites visited and search words used.
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   In-Class Discussion   **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Discussion of the information found on case studies of EJ activism. Submit 2-page summary in student's own words (do not use extensive quotations)


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
The Role of Social Science in the EJ Movement
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. The “Scientific Method”
  » Its central tenets
  » Race/class (independent variable) influences exposure to hazard (dependent variable).
Research designs (aggregate statistical versus case study approaches)
The aggregate statistical approach
  » Levels of analysis (city, county, state, region, country, etc.)
  » Spatial data
  » Strengths and weaknesses of this approach
The case study approach
  » Historical tools
  » Data available
  » Strengths and weaknesses of this approach
Materials will be announced and made accessible on-line. none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Methodological Issues in Social Scientific Studies
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Operationalization
  » Independent variable (how to define race, class, and other variables?)
  » Dependent variables (how to define what is a hazard?)
  » Unit of analysis (how to define the geographical area that is at risk?)
Debates among social scientists, activists, and government officials:
  » Is environmental injustice actually widespread across the USA?
What have we learned from social science?
  » The incomparable research designs mean that findings cannot be generalized across the USA.
  » Is that lack of generalizability a satisfactory research outcome?
Materials will be announced and made accessible on-line. none
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Analysis of a Selected US Place: An Exploratory Case Study
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Specify research design
  » Research question and hypothesis
  » Independent variable
  » Dependent variable
Which data sources are available for the specific place under study?
Materials will be made accessible on-line. This will be a homework assignment with an in-class discussion to follow.
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
**   In-Class Discussion of Research Design **
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Sept. Discussion of each student's reserach design. Students are to prepare and submit a research design to study a particular case of EJ activism.


[ calendar ]     [ toc ]    
Continuation of Exploratory Study
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Find material and information Use the Internet for sources. There are several web sites that provide data.
SOURCES
Print:
  1)
Web Sites:
  1)
REMARKS



[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
In-Class Presentation of Case Study
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Nov. Students present their findings of the exploratory studies. Discussions will ensue. Submit a 3- to-5 report of findings, specifying data sources, all variables used, a plausible explanation of the findings, and avenues for future research. Please indicate how a state-and- local perspective on EJ issues contributes to our understanding of the politics of this particular case study.


[ calendar ]    [ toc ]    
Final Paper Due
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SESSION TOPICS  TO  BE  DISCUSSED ACTIVITY ASSIGNMENT
Dec. Students are to submit the final version of the case study during the scheduled Final Exam period.




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The following texts are useful secondary sources.

Boerner, Christopher & Thomas Lambert. 1994. "Environmental Justice?" Occasional Paper # 136 (April). Center for the Study of American Business, Washington University, St. Louis.

Bowen, William M., Mark J. Salling, Kingsley E. Haynes & Ellen J. Cyran. 1995. "Toward Environmental Justice: Spatial Equity in Ohio and Cleveland," Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 85:4 (December): 641-63.

Briffault, Richard. 1987. "State-Local Relations and Constitutional Law," Intergovernmental Perspective, (Summer/Fall): 10-4.

Brown, Phil. 1995. "Race, Class, and Environmental Health: A Review and Systematization of the Literature," Environmental Health, 69:1 (April): 15-30.

Bryant, Bunyan & Paul Mohai (eds.). 1992. Race and the Incidence of Environmental Hazards: A Time for Discourse. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Bullard, Robert D. (ed.). 1993. Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots. Boston: South End Press.

Bullard, Robert D. 1994. Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, 2nd Ed. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Cheney, John L. (ed.). 1989-1990. North Carolina Manual. Raleigh, NC: Office of the Secretary of State.

Collins, Ronald. 1984. "Rebirth of Reliance on State Constitutions," National Law Journal, (March 12): 25-32.

Dahl, Robert. 1961. Who Governs? New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Davidson, Chandler. 1984. Minority Vote Dilution. Washington, DC: Howard University Press.

Domhoff, G. William. 1983. Who Rules America Now? Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Elazar, Daniel. 1984. American Federalism: A View from the States, 3rd Ed. NY: Harper & Row.

Euchner, Charles C. 1996. Extraordinary Politics: How Protest and Dissent Are Changing American Democracy. Boulder, CO: Westview.

Glick, Henry & Craig Emmert. 1986. "Stability and Change: Characteristics of State Supreme Court Judges," Judicature, v. 70 (August/September): 107-12.

Glickman, Theodore S. & Robert Hersh. 1995. "Evaluating Environmental Equity: The Impacts of Industrial Hazards on Selected Social Groups in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania." Discussion Paper 95-13 (March). Resources for the Future, Washington, D.C.

Grady, Dennis. 1987. "State Economic Development Incentives: Why Do States Compete?" State and Local Review, (Fall): 86-94.

Gray, Virginia, Herbert Jacob, & Robert Albritton (eds.). 1990. Politics in the American States, 5th Ed. Glenview, IL: Scott, Foreman.

Hall, Bob. 1994. "Gold & Green: Can We Have Good Jobs and a Healthy Environment?" Durham, NC: Institute for Southern Studies (October).

Hall, Bob & Mary Lee Kerr. 1991.. 1991-1992 Green Index: A State-by-State Guide to the Nation's Environmental Health. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Hill, Kim Quaile. 1988. Democracies in Crisis: Public Policy Responses to the Great Depression. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Huckshorn, Robert. 1985. "Who Gave It? Who Got It? The Enforcement of Campaign Finance Laws in the States," Journal of Politics, v. 47 (August): 773-91.

Jewell, Malcolm & David Olson. 1982. American State Political Parties and Elections, 2nd Ed. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.

Lawrence, David & Warren Wicker (eds.). 1982. Municipal Government in North Carolina. Institute of Government. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina.

Liner, Charles (ed.). 1985. Shared Responsibility: State-Local Government Relations in North Carolina. Institute of Government. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina.

Liner, Charles (ed.). 1985. State-Local Relations in North Carolina: Their Evolution and Current Status. Institute of Government. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina.

Lowi, Theodore. 1967, "Machine Politics: Old and New," Public Interest, v. 9 (Fall): 86-7.

Mladenka, Kenneth. 1989. "Blacks and Hispanics in Urban Politics," American Political Science Review, v. 83 (March): 165-91.

Nixon, Ron. 1994. "Legislating Justice: A Report on State Environmental Justice Laws." Durham, NC: Institute for Southern Studies (August).

Note. 1982. "Development of the Law—The Interpretation of State Constitutional Rights," Harvard Law Review, v. 95; pp. 1324+.

Rosenthal, Donald & James Hoefler. 1989. "Competing Approaches to the Study of American Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations," Publius, 19:1 (Winter): 1-23.

Shannon, John. 1987. "The Return to Fend-for-Yourself Federalism: The Reagan Mark," Intergovernmental Perspective, (Summer/Fall): 34-7.

Stumpf, Harry & John Culver. 1992. The Politics of State Courts. NY: Longman.

Szasz. Andrew. 1994. EcoPopulism: Toxic Waste and the Movement for Environmental Justice. Social Movements, Protest, and Contention, Volume 1. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota.

Westra, Laura & Peter S. Wenz (eds.). 1995. Faces of Environmental Racism: Confronting Issues of Global Justice. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

COURSE   BIBLIOGRAPHY
[ toc ]

Last updated: August 30, 1998

[ calendar ]         [ toc ]