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West Virginia Politics and Government offers the only recent study of politics in the Mountain State. Combining new empirical information about political behavior with a close examination of the capacity of the state's government, this second edition is a comprehensive and pointed study of the ability of the state's government to respond to the needs of a largely rural and relatively low-income population. The authors discuss public demands on state government, the shaping of the political agenda by interest groups, elections and the role of political parties, and the influence of the federal government on the state's political and administrative functions. The book also examines the nature of the state's constitution and the role of governmental institutions, including the state legislature, the governor, and the state bureaucracy, in the making of public policy and the construction of a state budget, as well as the judiciary and local governments. The concluding chapter assesses the future of governance in the state.