Hawai’i is in many ways the most unique of the American states. Distinguished by its unusual beauty, ethnic diversity, and lingering image as a paradise, Hawai’i is special for other important, but less apparent, reasons. It is the only American state to have evolved from a kingdom, the only state with no jurisdictions below the level of county, the only state in which Caucasians have never been in the majority, and the only state whose historic identity and contemporary relationships are as much with Asia and the Pacific as with the rest of the United States.
The nature and trajectory of Hawaiian politics spring from the interaction of these unique elements with more traditional American cultural practices, institutions, and political processes. Also shaping past and present politics are multiple collisions among Native Hawaiians, western missionaries and businessmen, and Asian immigrants. Hawai’i Politics and Government brings together information on historical development, ethnic relations, public institutions, political culture, and current issues to discover both the similarities and the differences between Hawai’i and the rest of the country.