Equally at home as a companion to an introductory text or as a stand-alone resource, Virginia Government offers an excellent introduction to the political institutions, actors, and policy processes of the Old Dominion State. Paying special attention to the governing arrangements that make Virginia unique, from statewide city-county separation to a single-term governor to shifting electoral alignments, Peaslee and Swartz strike the perfect balance, combining necessary background and historical analysis with current events and policy issues to make the information relevant and engaging for today's students. Grounded in the comparative method, the text provides useful comparisons with governing institutions, political processes, and public polices in other states and localities.

An Introduction to Government and Policymaking in the Commonwealth

An Introduction to Government and Policymaking in the Commonwealth

An introduction to government and policymaking in the commonwealth


  • One State, Many Virginias
    • An Unparalleled Political
    • History
    • A Snapshot of Virginia
    • Citizens
    • The Economy
  • Plan of the Book

I know no safe depositary of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.

—Thomas Jefferson, 1820

As an introduction to government and policymaking in Virginia, in this book we attempt to answer the charge by Thomas Jefferson—perhaps one of Virginian's best known countrymen—to ensure a well-educated citizenry. Understanding our political structures and how state-level policy is made and being aware of ...

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