This course investigates variation in political behavior in the context of state and local politics. We often conceptualize local political participation as engagement within a managerial democracy, wherein partisanship plays a smaller role than local needs and efficient management of resources. Who participates in a managerial democracy and why? This course evaluates participation in local politics, political reform, and engagement with local elected officials. This is a course that focuses on writing, with the aim of producing research at the frontier of the field.