As unique as is Utah’s formative history of civil and religious conflict, its political institutions today broadly resemble those found in other American states. While its majority Mormon population translates into an enormous Republican advantage in local and national elections, Utahns have taken a more centrist stance on some issues such as immigration, while Utah itself has become the third‑fastest-growing state in the country since 2000. The mostly geographically rural state is demographically urban, and Salt Lake County is now a swing county in some elections.
Utah Politics and Government offers an accessible analysis of Utah’s political cultures, starting with the state’s unique pioneer heritage, its development into a secular American state, and its explosive modern growth. The book covers the state constitution and its place in the federal system, ongoing public lands disputes, and major political institutions. Several original datasets covering the last thirty years in Utah politics provide contemporary context and analysis. The final chapter offers practical advice to citizens wishing to engage with their elected officials.
Adam R. Brown has written a book that is beneficial not only for educational purposes but also for the average citizen who wishes to understand how Utah’s government operates, get involved in state politics, and make informed choices.
List of Figures
List of Tables
Introduction: Making Sense of Utah
1. A Church and a State
2. A State and a Nation
3. A Peculiarly Republican People
4. Legislating in the People’s Branch
5. Representing Competing Voices
6. Legislating at the Ballot Box
7. The Most Powerful Governor
8. Judges and Courts
9. Local Governments
10. A Multibillion-Dollar Budget
11. Different People, Similar Processes
Appendix 1: The Utah Capitol
Appendix 2: Data Tables
"This is an informative study of Utah politics, its institutions, and its citizenry within the broader setting of US politics. . . . Well-written and referenced, this is an important contribution to political science and political sociology collections."—G.B. Osborne, CHOICE
“The only book of its kind for Utah. It will serve as an important resource for state employees, interns, and others interested in the topic.”—Morgan Lyon Cotti, associate director at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah
Morgan Lyon Cotti
“A masterful overview of Utah state government. Solidly grounded in the academic state politics literature while also accessible and informative for students and citizens seeking a practical understanding of Utah politics, this book is undoubtedly the go-to resource for understanding government and politics in the Beehive State.”—Damon Cann, associate professor of political science at Utah State University