Book Description: Politics in States and Communities is distinguished by its focus on politics, its comparative approach, its concern with explanation, its interest in policy, and its focus on conflicts in states and communities and the structures and processes designed to manage conflict. Several themes are carried on throughout the book that emphasize the importance of politics at the state and community level including the “conflict management” theme which emphasizes the sources and nature of conflict in society, how key decision makers act in conflict situations, and how “politicos” emerge and determine “who gets what.” An equally important theme is that states and communities in America play an important role in the political life of the nation. This text illustrates that state and local governments do more than merely provide certain services such as education, road building, or fire protection. They also perform a vital political function by helping to resolve conflicts of interest in American society. This book includes multiple instructional features designed to provide timeliness and relevance, to capture readers' attention and interest, to involve students interactively with political questions, and to aid in the study of state and local politics. While the instructional features should aid in teaching state and local politics, the text material is not “dumbed down.” It still includes the most important research by scholars in the field.