The Basics of American Government, 4th edition was published in 2021. Edited by Dr. Carl Cavalli, the newly-revised text offers a comprehensive overview of the American political system for students taking introductory courses in American National Government and combines the best aspects of both a traditional textbook and a reader. The Basics of American Government was first published in 2011 as a collaborative effort among five current and four former faculty members in the Department of Political Science & International Affairs and the Department of Criminal Justice, and a student contributor, at the University of North Georgia.

This new edition reflects significant changes in politics and government over the past four years. Dr. Cavalli says, “Like most political and social science textbooks, we are looking to stay relevant.” The new edition reflects changes over the past few years, most notably the new administration in Washington, D.C. There have also been significant changes to Congress, including a partisan change in one chamber.  The new edition also reflects changes to state politics, such as the election of a new governor in Georgia in 2018. In addition, this update discusses aspects of the November 2020 election.

As with the previous versions, the new edition examines the rise of new political figures and the exit of others, the shift in policy and political focus at both the state and federal level, the changes in the public, the rise of partisanship, and shifting views of government in everyday life – including those resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lastly, the authors are honored to have the contribution and insights of former Governor Nathan Deal added to the upcoming edition.

Along with Dr. Cavalli, contributors to the current and upcoming edition of the textbook include Maria J. Albo, Ross C. Alexander, Barry D. Friedman, Craig B. Greathouse, Jonathan S. Miner, Brian M. Murphy, K. Michael Reese, Charles H. “Trey” Wilson III and student contributor Mary Catherine Beutel, along with contributions from former GA Governor and Regents professor Nathan Deal.

For additional details about the textbook and to access associated materials visit: