Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Practicing Texas Politics, 16th Edition

  • Lyle C. Brown
  • Joyce A. Langenegger
  • Sonia R. García
  • Ted A. Lewis
  • Robert E. Biles
  • Ryan Rynbrandt
  • Veronica Vega Reyna
  • ISBN-10: 1285861051
  • ISBN-13: 9781285861050
  • 576 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2014, 2012, 2010
  • COPYRIGHT: 2016 Published
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About the Product

PRACTICING TEXAS POLITICS, 2015–¬2016 Edition, analyzes the practices and policies of the Lone Star State and gives students a realistic introduction to how public policy making is conducted there. This edition includes 11 new readings, a new chapter on the media and politics in Texas, expanded material on the courts and the criminal justice system in Texas, new critical thinking questions, and tightly integrated learning objectives throughout each chapter.


  • The “Point/CounterPoint” feature examines a key controversial issue in Texas politics from two sides, promoting development of students' analytical thinking skills and demonstrating that there is rarely a single “right” answer to an issue.

  • “How Do We Compare?” boxes compare Texas with other U.S. and Mexican states.

  • “Learning Checks” provide a few factual questions at the end of major sections for students to use in checking their knowledge and reviewing for tests.

  • “Points to Ponder” provide interesting facts about Texas.

  • The book is now seamlessly integrated with MindTap™, included with this edition. Marginal icons direct students to a variety of assignable, gradable activities that gets them up to speed on current events, promotes their interaction with one another through online discussion boards and polling questions, and engages them with interactive activities and quizzes that are correlated to clearly defined learning outcomes-all while keeping instructors deeply informed of student progress and time spent in the course.


“I am very impressed with the changes to this textbook. It is more engaging and offers a large variety of features to enhance the classroom experience. All of the updates to design and features improve the quality of the textbook and can improve the quality of the pedagogy and student learning.”
— Debra St. John, Collin County Community College

About the Author

Lyle C. Brown

Lyle C. Brown is professor emeritus of political science at Baylor University, where he served as departmental director of graduate studies and director of Baylor's Foreign Service Program. A former president of the Southwestern Council of Latin American Studies, Dr. Brown is the co-editor of RELIGION IN LATIN AMERICAN LIFE AND LITERATURE and the author of numerous articles. His international academic experience includes teaching at Mexico City College (now University of the Americas) and postgraduate study at the Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. He received his M.A. from the University of Oklahoma and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.

Joyce A. Langenegger

Joyce Langenegger teaches government at Blinn College and is the college's executive director of academic success. She is a frequent workshop presenter on innovative teaching strategies. Named to the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers" listing, Dr. Langenegger has been honored with a NISOD Teaching Excellence Award, a Blinn College-Bryan Teacher of the Year award and a San Jacinto College "Most Valuable Player" award for her work as a professor and administrator at that institution. Before beginning her teaching career, Dr. Langenegger practiced law in Houston. She received M.A. and J.D. degrees from Baylor University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Fielding Graduate University.

Sonia R. García

Sonia Garcia, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, is Chair of the Political Science Department at St. Mary's University. She has published articles on Latina politics and is a co-author of MEXICAN AMERICANS & THE LAW: EL PUEBLO UNIDO JAMÁS SERÁ VENCIDO (2004). Sonia also is the lead author of POLITICAS: LATINA PUBLIC OFFICIALS IN TEXAS (2007), which examines the first Mexican-American women elected to public office in Texas from various levels of offices.

Ted A. Lewis

Ted Lewis, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin, is Vice President of Academic Affairs at Pellissippi State Community College. He has taught government and political science at the college level for nearly 30 years. He was previously dean of instruction at Loan Star College–Cyfair and Professor, Chair of the Political Science Department, and Director of the Learning Communities Program at Collin County Community College. Dr. Lewis has conducted workshops on Texas election procedure for the Texas Secretary of State and has served as a county party chairperson, on state political party executive committees, and on several statewide candidate campaign advisory committees. He has delivered numerous national presentations and has published articles in such journals as the Community College Journal of Research and Practice, the Journal of the League for Innovation in the Community College, and the National Social Science Journal. He is listed in both WHO'S WHO IN AMERICAN POLITICS and WHO'S WHO AMONG AMERICA'S TEACHERS.

Robert E. Biles

Robert E. Biles, professor emeritus and former chair of political science at Sam Houston State University, has taught college students about Texas politics in Texas, Colombia, and Ecuador. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University-School of Advanced International Studies. Dr. Biles is the author of numerous books and articles. His involvement in politics includes serving as a school board member, county party chair, county election supervisor, and staff member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has advised state agencies and held leadership positions in statewide lobbying groups and professional organizations. Dr. Biles has received four Fulbright grants, as well as awards for his research, teaching, and administrative service.

Ryan Rynbrandt

Ryan Rynbrandt is a professor of political science and former director of the Honors Institute at Collin College in Plano, Texas, where he teaches courses in American and Texas Government. Professor Rynbrandt works to increase student civic engagement. He is especially committed to initiatives that bring the resources of higher education to bear in addressing problems in the broader community. He earned his master's degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he received multiple teaching awards and served as president of the Graduate Association of Political Scientists. He has been active in politics at the local, state, and national levels.

Veronica Vega Reyna

Veronica Vega Reyna is associate professor of government and assistant dean of Social and Behavioral Sciences for Austin Community College. She has been faculty advisor to a civil rights organization at ACC. Professor Reyna earned her M.A. in Political Science from St. Mary's University in San Antonio, where she taught as adjunct faculty. Her political involvement has included interning for Congressman Ciro Rodriguez, working as a union organizer, and volunteering in various Texas campaigns. She has also taught Texas politics at colleges and universities in San Antonio.

Table of Contents

1. The Environment of Texas Politics.
2. Federalism and the Texas Constitution.
3. Local Governments.
4. Political Parties.
5. Campaigns and Elections.
6. The Media and Politics in Texas.
7. The Politics of Interest Groups.
8. The Legislative Branch.
9. The Executive Branch.
10. Public Policy and Administration.
11. The Court System.
12. Criminal Justice.
13. Finance and Fiscal Policy.

New to this edition

  • Two new co-authors, Ryan Rynbrandt of Collin Community College and Veronica Vega Reyna of Austin Community College, have joined the team.
  • The book's learning objectives are now tightly integrated throughout each chapter. Listed at the beginning of each chapter, the objectives are also linked to each major chapter section and to the paragraph-length recaps of major sections that comprise the chapter summary.
  • Critical thinking questions are now presented with nearly every photo, figure, and selected reading to offer many opportunities for instructors and students to meet the important Texas GOVT 2306 core objective.
  • A new Chapter 6, “The Media and Politics in Texas,” integrates current scholarship on the roles and influence of the media, incorporates history as it relates to current roles and issues, and describes how Texas reflects and differs from national patterns. Topics include changes in the traditional media and the rise of Internet newsletters, news blogs, and social media; regulation of the media; charges of media bias; and concerns about how the decline of traditional media and their replacement by Internet news and social media may affect the quantity and nature of news.
  • This edition includes new discussions of the use and transformative role of technology, and particularly social media, in the major areas of Texas politics. A special icon in the margin indicates the many instances of this new coverage within each chapter.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Cengage Learning Testing, powered by Cognero Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305081323 | ISBN-13: 9781305081321)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero® is a flexible, online system that allows you to author, edit, and manage test bank content from the text and multiple Cengage Learning solutions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want. The test bank for PRACTICING TEXAS POLITICS, 2015-2016 Edition, contains multiple-choice, critical thinking short-answer, and essay questions for each chapter that are tied to the learning objectives.

MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Brown/Langenegger/García/Lewis/Biles/Rynbrandt/Reyna's Practicing Texas Politics  (ISBN-10: 1285872789 | ISBN-13: 9781285872780)

MindTap Political Science for Brown/Langenegger/García/Lewis/Biles/Rynbrandt/Reyna's Practicing Texas Politics, 16th Edition is the digital learning solution that helps instructors engage and transform today's students into critical thinkers. Through paths of dynamic assignments and applications that you can personalize, real-time course analytics, and an accessible reader, MindTap helps you turn cookie cutter into cutting edge, apathy into engagement, and memorizers into higher-level thinkers. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage. Attention: This MindTap contains Flash-based content. Due to the year-end retirement of Adobe Flash, we will no longer support this unique digital solution after November 30th. Please contact your Cengage Sales Representative to find an alternative Flash free MindTap.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106156 | ISBN-13: 9781305106154)

Student Supplements

MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access for Brown/Langenegger/García/Lewis/Biles/Rynbrandt/Reyna's Practicing Texas Politics  (ISBN-10: 1285872789 | ISBN-13: 9781285872780)

MindTap Political Science for Brown/Langenegger/García/Lewis/Biles/Rynbrandt/Reyna's Practicing Texas Politics, 16th Edition provides you with the tools you need to better manage your limited time -- you can complete assignments whenever and wherever you are ready to learn with course material specially customized for you by your instructor and streamlined in one proven, easy-to-use interface. With an array of tools and apps -- from note taking to flashcards -- you'll get a true understanding of course concepts, helping you to achieve better grades and setting the groundwork for your future courses. Access to this product is valid for 6 months of usage.

LMS Integrated for MindTap Political Science, 1 term (6 months) Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305106156 | ISBN-13: 9781305106154)