Texas Politics : Governing the Lone Star State book cover
8th Edition

Texas Politics
Governing the Lone Star State

ISBN 9781032015873
Published December 28, 2021 by Routledge
364 Pages 55 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The eighth edition of this popular text has been expanded and updated to better fit the needs of a stand-alone Texas politics course. Jillson continues to approach the politics of the Lone Star State from historical, developmental, and analytical perspectives, while giving students the most even-handed, readable, and engaging description of Texas politics available today. Students are encouraged to connect the origins and development of government and politics in Texas to its current practice and the alternatives possible through change and reform. This text helps instructors prepare their students to master the origin and development of the Texas Constitution, the structure and powers of state and local government in Texas, how Texas fits into the U.S. federal system, as well as political participation, the electoral process, and public policy in Texas.

Texas Politics offers instructors and students an unmatched range of pedagogical aids and tools. Each chapter opens with an engaging vignette and a series of focus questions to orient readers to the learning objectives at hand and concludes with a chapter summary, a list of key terms, review questions, suggested readings, and web resources. "Let’s Compare" boxes help students see how Texas sits alongside other states, "Texas Legends" boxes spotlight key figures in Texas political history, "Pro & Con" boxes bring conflicting political views into sharper focus and every chapter features a timeline of important events in Texas history.

New to the eighth edition

• Covers the 2020 national elections, the 2021 legislative session, and the 2018 state and national elections as they affect Texas.

• Highlights Governor Greg Abbott’s call for policy solutions to the vulnerability of the Texas energy grid; Texas voter eligibility laws; the coronavirus recovery program; and preparation for redistricting in the wake of the 2020 census.

•  Provides a detailed study of the 2022–2023 state budget and the taxing and spending decisions that went into it, including the school funding and property tax reforms of 2019.


Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Texas and the Texans: Then and Now

Chapter 2: The Texas Constitution and American Federalism 

Chapter 3: Political Participation in Texas: Voters, Campaigns, and Elections  

Chapter 4: Interest Groups in Texas

Chapter 5: Political Parties in Texas

Chapter 6 : The Texas Legislature

Chapter 7: The Governor and the Executive Branch  

Chapter 8: The Judicial System in Texas  

Chapter 9: Local Government in Texas  

Chapter 10: Budgets and Public Policy: Revenues, Expenditures, and Policy Goals in Texas  

Appendix A: William Barret Travis’s Letter from the Alamo

Appendix B: The Texas Declaration of Independence  

Appendix C: Selections from the Texas Constitution



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Cal Jillson is professor in the department of political science at Southern Methodist University. His recent books include American Government: Political Development and Institutional Change, 11th edition; Lone Star Tarnished: A Critical Look at Texas Politics and Public Policy, 4rd edition; The American Dream in History, Politics, and Fiction; and Pathways to Democracy: The Political Economy of Democratic Transition. He is frequently cited in local and national media on a range of political issues.


Praise for Texas Politics

"I've taught from all editions of Cal Jillson's Texas Politics and am now looking forward to the new edition. I've organized my Texas government course to the Jillson text and it works like a charm, be it for a full semester or a shorter summer session."

-- Gary Brown, Lone Star College-Montgomery

"Ounce per ounce, this new Jillson edition is among the better reads on Texas politics. The mandated essentials for Student Learning Objectives are presented in clear, to-the-point prose. A good tool for government teachers and students of rough-and-tumble Texan politics."

- -Jose Angel Gutierrez, University of Texas-Arlington

"Jillson’s text offers an excellent description and analysis of politics and political institutions in Texas. Students will appreciate the accessible and lively writing style. Brief but thorough, this textbook is well-suited to the task of introducing students to Texas government."

-- Daniel Sledge, University of Texas-Arlington

"Cal Jillson has provided students with a concise yet thorough introduction to the often byzantine intricacies of the Texas government. Especially helpful are the special features in each chapter that bring abstract concepts into contemporary and concrete focus. Students who use this book will find it engaging, timely, and relevant, and will be spurred to further independent exploration of their state’s institutions, warts and all—a critical step toward becoming actively participating democratic citizens."

-- Kevin T. Holton, South Texas College

"Cal Jillson has masterfully developed a Texas Politics book that combines readability with scholarship and enables the student to understand much of the institutional structure and unique character of Texas within the federal context. Jillson provides needed insights to understanding Texas institutions and the interactions of interest groups within those institutions. He does so in an enjoyable, readable format while addressing the important Texas state-mandated student learning outcomes and the significance of Texas politics for everyone. Texas Politics is reflective of the myriad interesting stories which have made Texas what it is today."

-- Ray Sandoval, Richland College

"Texas Politics is a well-written and well-documented text that will be an asset to any professor or student interested in Texas politics. As mentioned in the Preface, one will find a broad "range of pedagogical aids and tools" that will be helpful in the classroom." -

- Morris D. Drumm, Texas Christian University