Arizona Politics and Government


Arizona Politics and Government

The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development

Second Edition

David R. Berman

Politics and Governments of the American States Series

398 pages


July 2024


$40.00 Pre-order

About the Book

Arizona has become a swing state in recent national elections, the source of controversial policies and policy proposals, and the home of well-known political personalities. In this new edition of Arizona Politics and Government, David R. Berman examines contemporary issues in a broad historical, comparative, and theoretical context to identify the mixture of ideas, activities, and events that have helped shape the essential character of the Arizona polity.

Beginning with an overview of continuities and changes in Arizona politics, Berman then discusses more specific topics such as immigration and water issues, cultural wars, political extremism, voting rights, and political reform, as well as intergovernmental relations, judicial elections, the place of rural Arizona and organized labor in state politics, and the state’s treatment of Natives, Mexican Americans, and African Americans. Above all Berman considers the values, beliefs, and behavioral patterns reflected in the state’s political life that have fueled Arizonans’ quests for autonomy, democracy, and development.

Author Bio

David R. Berman is professor emeritus of political science at the Morrison Institute at Arizona State University. He is the author of many books, including Local Government and the States: Autonomy, Politics, and Policy and Governors and the Progressive Movement.


“Among all the books I’ve read about Arizona history and politics, there is nothing that matches this one in scope and depth. The range of topics—and the author’s mastery of each of them—should make the book a ‘must’ for a wide array of scholars, attorneys and judges, city managers, politicians, nonprofit directors, etc.”—Daniel J. Herman, author of Hell on the Range: A Story of Honor, Conscience, and the American West

“David Berman has an unmatched knowledge of the breadth of Arizona politics and government, both historical and contemporary. He understands the range of structural elements of Arizona’s government, its election patterns, and its interest and cultural groups. . . . Of particular use and insight is his coverage of reforming the election system.”—Philip VanderMeer, author of Burton Barr: Political Leadership and the Transformation of Arizona

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
Chapter 1: Describing Arizona
Chapter 2: Constitutional Foundations: From Territory to State
Chapter 3: Changing Regimes
Chapter 4: Republican Ascendency, Reform, and Turmoil
Chapter 5: Interests and Influence
Chapter 6: The Fearful, Angry, Extremist Streak
Chapter 7: What happened to Labor?
Chapter 8: What Happened to Rural Arizona?
Chapter 9: The Legislature
Chapter 10: Gubernatorial Leadership
Chapter 11: Budgeting, Taxing, Spending: Who Pays, Who Benefits?
Chapter 12: The Feds
Chapter 13: State and Local Tensions
Chapter 14: On the Local and Tribal Turfs: Governing and Development
Chapter 15: The Direct Democracy Experiment
Chapter 16: The Battle for Voting Rights
Chapter 17: Who Should Be Elected?
Chapter 18: Reforming the Election System: Competition and Choice
Chapter 19: Minorities: Displacement and Discrimination
Chapter 20: Crossing the Southern Border

Also of Interest