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The Politics of Redistricting in the United States

Stephen K. Medvic



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Polity Press
14 May 2021
For nearly as long as there have been electoral districts in America, politicians have gerrymandered those districts. Though the practice has changed over time, the public reaction to it has remained the same: gerrymandering is reviled. There is, of course, good reason for that sentiment. Gerrymandering is intended to maximize the number of legislative seats for one party. As such, it is an attempt to gain what appears to be an unfair advantage in elections. Nevertheless, gerrymandering is not well understood by most people and this lack of understanding leads to a false sense that there are easy solutions to this complex problem.

Gerrymandering: The Politics of Redistricting in the United States unpacks the complicated process of gerrymandering, reflecting upon the normative issues to which it gives rise. Tracing the history of partisan gerrymandering from its nineteenth-century roots to the present day, the book explains its legal status and implementation, its consequences, and possible options for reform. The result is a balanced analysis of gerrymandering that acknowledges its troubling aspects while recognizing that, as long as district boundaries have to be drawn, there is no perfect way to do so.
By:   Stephen K. Medvic
Imprint:   Polity Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 210mm,  Width: 161mm,  Spine: 19mm
Weight:   322g
ISBN:   9781509536870
ISBN 10:   1509536876
Pages:   214
Publication Date:   14 May 2021
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Lists of Figures and Tables Chapter 1. What's the Problem? Chapter 2. A Brief History of Gerrymandering Chapter 3. The Legal Status of Gerrymandering Chapter 4. How Gerrymandering Works Chapter 5. The Consequences of Gerrymandering Chapter 6. Reform Proposals Further Reading Notes Bibliography

Stephen K. Medvic is The Honorable & Mrs. John C. Kunkel Professor of Government at Franklin & Marshall College.

Reviews for Gerrymandering: The Politics of Redistricting in the United States

Stephen Medvic's nuanced analysis unpacks the complex dynamics of gerrymandering. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the topic. David Dulio, Oakland University This thoughtful and timely book on gerrymandering pulls apart many of the flimsy assumptions underlying debates over it. Reviewing the history, process, jurisprudence, political impacts, and normative claims about gerrymandering, Stephen Medvic draws the reader to some essential truths: there is no empirically correct, truly fair, or apolitical way to draw district lines, yet reform is possible depending on the democratic values we choose to prioritize. Seth Masket, University of Denver

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