Publication date:

07 June 2013

Length of book:

460 pages

Publisher

Lexington Books

ISBN-13: 9780739169834

John Engler, former Governor of Michigan, once claimed that redistricting is one of the purest actions a legislative body can take. Academicians and political leaders alike, however, have regularly debated the ideal way by to redistrict national and state legislatures. Rather than being the pure process that Governor Engler envisioned, redistricting has led to repeated court battles waged on such traditional democratic values as one person, one vote, and minority rights. Instead of being an opportunity to help ensure maximum representation for the citizens, the process has become a cat and mouse game in many states with citizen representation seemingly the farthest idea from anyone’s mind. From a purely political perspective, those in power in the state legislature at the time of redistricting largely act like they have unilateral authority to do as they please. In this volume, contributors discuss why such an assumption is concerning in the modern political environment.

Congresspeople run for office from geographically bounded districts, and the drawing of those districts is of intense concern to politicians, parties, interested groups, the media, and the public. This book focuses on the process of drawing district lines in the 18 states that gained or lost seats in 2010. The selection of these states provides one side of the redistricting picture, ignoring intrastate population shifts in states with no changes in the number of seats. The 18 case studies are bookended by an initial contextual chapter and a brief summary chapter. . . . The introductory chapter provides some useful generalizations. . . . The final chapter largely makes the arguments that the Republicans will be favored in near future redistricting due to their success in districting state legislatures. Overall generalizations about redistricting are avoided. Most readers will find this a good archival summary of redistricting in their state if they are among the chosen 18. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections.