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The Most Political Activity in America

Charles S. Bullock III

This book will prepare readers for the redistricting of congressional, state legislative, and local collegial bodies that will follow the 2010 Census. Almost every state legislature will devote extensive time to redrawing its own districts along with the state's congressional districts during 2011-2012. Chapters 2 through 5 cover the major factors involved in drawing the new maps. These are arranged in the order of their legal prominence beginning with the need for equal populations before moving to the obligation to avoid discriminating against minorities. Chapter 4 examines the other elements weighed by those redrawing districts: compactness, respect for political boundaries and communities of interest. Chapter 5 deals with partisan considerations and consequences of redistricting. More than any other state, Georgia has probably been the locale for more precedent-setting cases and had more difficulty securing Department of Justice approval of its districting plans. Chapter 6 uses Georgia as a case study to demonstrate the application of a number of concepts discussed in the preceding four chapters. The seventh chapter provides a preview of the post-2010 redistricting with a discussion of projections of likely congressional reapportionment. The final chapter also considers how the changes in the Voting Rights Act adopted in 2006 may affect the next round of redistricting. « less more »
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Pages: 234Size: 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
978-1-4422-0353-2 • Hardback • June 2010 • $91.00 • (£60.00)
978-1-4422-0354-9 • Paperback • June 2010 • $29.00 • (£19.95)
978-1-4422-0355-6 • eBook • June 2010 • $27.00 • (£17.95)
Charles S. Bullock III is Richard B. Russell Professor of Political Science and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professor at the University of Georgia.
1 Introduction: Why Redistricting is Important
2 Population Equality: How Equal Must Districts Be?
3 Minorities and Redistricting
4 The Populations are Equal and Minorities Have Not Been Discriminated Against: Now What?
5 Partisan Gerrymandering: All's Fair in Love, War and Redistricting
6 Gerrymandering Georgia: A Case Study
7 Conclusion: Looking to the Future
There is a saying that 'History teaches us many lessons.' Dr. Bullock's book does a masterful job of tracking the history of redistricting in this country. It should be required reading for all those involved in the upcoming 2010-2012 round of redistricting.
Kimball Brace, Election Data Services, Inc.

Charles Bullock brings substantial insight into the complicated and varied redistricting process. Redistricting has been called the most partisan part of partisan politics, and Bullock elucidates why by laying out the importance of redistricting.
Janet Box-Steffensmeier, The Ohio State University

On the eve of the upcoming round of redistricting, Charles Bullock III, one of the nation's foremost experts on redistricting, has provided us with a comprehensive review of the political and legal issues involved in the districting process.
Thomas L. Brunell, University of Texas at Dallas

Bullock (Univ. of Georgia) provides a comprehensive description and analysis of redistricting and the factors that influence the 'most political activity in America.'....[B]oth scholars and laypeople would be well advised to use this work as the starting point for understanding the heated controversy of redistricting. Highly recommended.

In addition to serving as an excellent redistricting primer, where Bullock's book really shines is in its tracking of the ever-developing set of legal rules that govern the redistricting process and his Georgia case study.
Political Science Quarterly

  • Examines the factors that will guide the redistricting of Congress, state legislatures and local collegial bodies
  • Reviews major court decisions that have set standards for redistricting
  • Provides an up-to-date review of the relevant literature from th disciplines of political science and law
  • Illustrates various gerrymandering techniques with helpful maps
  • Considers consequences of past redistricting decisions