GerrymanderingThe Politics of Redistricting in the United States
The Politics of Redistricting in the United States

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.

<i>Gerrymandering: The Politics of Redistricting in the United States</i> 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.

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  • June 2021
  • 240 pages
  • 155 x 214 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509536863
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509536870
  • Open eBook $18.00
  • 9781509536887
Table of Contents
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


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