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Since 1980 he has been a member of the Alaska State Senate from Anchorage. Page viii Gerald McBeath, professor of political science at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, has published several studies on Alaska government and politics, including Dynamics of Alaska Native Self-Government (with Thomas Morehouse), Alaska's Rural Development (co-editor, with Peter Cornwall), and Alaska's Urban and Rural Governments (with Thomas Morehouse and Linda Leask). David Maas teaches politics and government at Anchorage Community College.

The four chapters in Part One describe the aspects of the environment most directly relevant to the operation of institutions and processes of government in Alaska-history, constitution, political culture, and state-federal relations. Chapter 1, by Claus-M. Naske, discusses the history of Alaska from the first contacts between Western explorers and Alaska Natives to statehood. Most attention is devoted to the state's history as first a possession and then an organized territory of the United States.

Morehouse 335 Glossary 341 Index 353 Page vii PREFACE Alaska state government and politics include much that is fascinating: a volatile legislature, dramatic statewide elections, large numbers of independent voters, strong interest groups, and much more. During the first 25 years of statehood, Alaska saw wide swings in state revenues and fiscal policies, shifts in the balance of power between the governor and the legislature, development of an administrative bureaucracy, emergence of a court system recognized as one of the most progressive in the nation, and changing orientations of Alaskans toward their political system.

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