Remote and thinly populated, Maine was long insulated from many of the demographic and economic trends of states to the south. Maine Politics and Government traces recent changes in the state’s system as agriculture, manufacturing, and maritime trades have ceded dominance to high-tech businesses, extensive commercial development, and an expanding governmental sector.
This compact overview of Maine politics and government describes how the state’s history and political culture have shaped its political processes, its governing institutions, and its public-policy priorities. It also highlights the shift in the role of Maine’s governments in the past half century—from low-service entities to administrators of a broad range of public policies. The authors consider the impact of the influx of newcomers along the southern Maine coast, serious financial issues involving burdensome taxation, the pressing need to make the nearly five hundred units of local government more efficient, and problems attending the spread of suburbs throughout the state.
Fully updated and expanded, this second edition provides a wealth of new material—maps, case studies, updated demographic information, treatment of new policies and health-care plans, and an overview of the administrations of the two most recent governors.