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The partisan and ideological polarization associated with federal government plagues states and localities too, bringing with it significant implications for public policy and intergovernmental relations. The trusted and proven Governing States and Localities guides students through these issues and continues its focus on the role economic and budget pressures play. With their engaging journalistic writing and crisp storytelling, Kevin B. Smith and Alan Greenblatt employ a comparative approach to explain how and why states and localities are both similar and different in institutional structure, culture, history, economy, geography, and demographics. A great blend of high-quality academic analysis and the latest scholarship, the Sixth Edition is thoroughly updated to account for such major developments as state vs. federal conflicts over immigration reform, gun control, and voter rights; health and education reforms aimed at improving the effectiveness of state and local government service delivery; and the lingering effects of the Great Recession.