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date: 19 April 2021

The Study of New York Government

Abstract and Keywords

Six of New York's nine constitutional conventions occurred before the turn of the twentieth century. The New York constitution mandated in 1848 that a referendum be held every twenty years on whether a state convention should be held. One result of the governing processes defined in the state constitution is the public record that offers the basis for professional analysis and commentary on New York State government. Columbia University—and therefore New York State—was the American birthplace of the academic study of state government. The development of university-based public opinion polling organizations has a major impact on the study of state government and politics. This book assumes that governmental structure and institutions are the shaping factors in governance. It therefore tries to demonstrate how and why New York is governed.

Keywords: New York State government, New York constitution, state constitution, Columbia University, public opinion polling, politics, governmental structure, institutions, governance

Robert Moses once wrote that he would have spent his life as “just another academic researcher” if he had not had the good fortune to win the confidence of New York's greatest twentieth-century governor, Alfred E. Smith.1 Smith was a man of little formal education. This was the source, Moses thought, of Governor Smith's “exaggerated respect for the learned professions, the doctors and the cogniscenti.”2 Ironically, perhaps this respect for formal learning contributed to the governor's attraction to Moses himself. New York's future master builder held a doctorate in political science from Columbia University.

Research within Government

Al Smith “went to college” on New York State government as an elected member of the assembly, where he became famous for his diligence in studying budget bills and rose to be speaker during a rare (and brief) interlude of Democratic Party control. By the time he was a delegate to the 1915 convention, Smith, though still not formally credentialed, was qualified to teach the subject. Elihu Root, former secretary of state, U.S. senator, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and the Republican convention chair, called the future Democratic governor “the best informed man on the business of the State of New York.”3

(p. 4) Constitutional Change Processes

Six of New York's nine constitutional conventions occurred before the turn of the twentieth century. These occasioned extensive debates on the structure and operation of state government, and sometimes great changes in the predominant thinking of the time. (Witness, for example, the impact of Jacksonian democratic thinking on the redesign of New York government at the 1846 convention.) The results of these conventions were summarized by Charles Z. Lincoln, one of the great historians of New York State government, in his then definitive The Constitutional History of New York State From the Beginning of the Colonial Period to the Year 1905.4 However, for none of these conventions was there the kind of advance preparation to which we have more recently become accustomed: a set of carefully wrought scholarly papers detailing the history of existing constitutional provisions, exploring the issues that delegates might take up, comparing structures and practices in New York with those in other states, and setting alternative choices that might be considered.

The 1915 state constitutional convention was the first for which scholarly analyses were prepared. Surely Smith read these essays, produced by the New York Bureau of Municipal Research. The bureau was founded for the scientific study of government as the Bureau of City Betterment in 1905 and renamed in 1907; it is regarded as a pioneer institution in the field of American public administration.5 A number of cities in New York State had such bureaus, which proliferated in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.6 Of them, only the Center for Governmental Research (CGR) in Rochester continues in New York State. Founded in 1915 at the initiative of George Eastman, the CGR is now an important research resource for local governments throughout the state.

The 1938 Constitutional Convention Committee performed the first extensive governmentally sponsored research effort undertaken in anticipation of a state constitutional convention in New York. It was established by Governor Herbert Lehman under the chairmanship of his former counsel (later lieutenant governor and, briefly, governor) Charles Poletti as “an unofficial committee, non-partisan and non-political in character and in motive, to undertake and direct the preparation and publication of accurate, thorough, and … impartial factual studies on the important phases of government, certain to be considered at the Constitutional Convention.”7 The work of this committee was the most thorough preparation for a constitutional convention ever done in New York, and remains an important source on the history and structure of state government.

The New York constitution has mandated since 1848 that a referendum be held every 20 years on whether a state convention should be held. Since 1938, in preparation for the possibility of such a convention, systematic research, often by academics specializing in the study of state government, has been customary in New York, though only one convention has been called, in 1967.8 In contemporary New York, there has been significant scholarship on virtually every aspect of the state constitution, much of it appearing in law journals published at New York's 15 law schools. There are (p. 5) important monographs on each of the last three conventions, held in 1915, 1938, and 1967.9 Professor Peter Galie's New York State Constitution: A Reference Guide (1991) and his Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (1996) were particularly notable and authoritative in advance of the 1997 convention referendum vote.10

Research Arising From the Governing Process

One result of the governing processes defined in the state constitution is the public record that provides the basis for professional analysis and commentary on New York State government: gubernatorial messages, legislative journals, proposed bills and chapter laws (and materials attendant to their consideration), court decisions and other records, and commissioned reports and analyses. Laws passed in New York prior to independence were compiled by Charles Z. Lincoln in his The Colonial Laws of New York From the Year 1664 to the Revolution.11 Since independence, statutes and decisions have been published both by the state and privately (sometimes annotated or with commentary).12 Both the New York Red Book and the “Blue Book” provide valuable snapshots of state government at particular moments in time.13 Much other material—some published, some unpublished—is held in the New York State Archives and New York State Library, and made accessible through the work of their staffs.14 A compilation of governors’ public papers dating to the early colonial period, also edited by Charles Z. Lincoln, was published in 1909.15 Beginning with Governor George Clinton, and until 1991, the governors’ papers were published by the state. More recently, material on the governors’ websites has been transferred to the New York State Archives.

Many state departments collect data that are fundamentally important for systematic social research, some of these are annually reported and published in hard copy and on-line in the New York State Statistical Yearbook.16 An important recent development has been the commitment by state comptrollers to use the data collected during the course of their oversight of local government for the preparation and publication of serious analyses of local fiscal challenges and issues.17

The Legacy of Practitioners

Outside of the official record, practitioners have offered accounts of their experience, informing the study of state government. Al Smith was one.18 Another was Abbott Low Moffat, of Manhattan's silk stocking district, a leader of the assembly Democrats during the 1930's budget battles between the executive and legislative branches.19 On the senate side, Floyd Anderson, of Binghamton, whose son Warren succeeded him in the body and became a distinguished majority leader, also published on the workings of the legislature.20 More recently, Governor Mario M. Cuomo's diary chronicled from his perspective the period in which he decided (p. 6) to run for governor and his first campaign.21 Lloyd Constantine, a key advisor to Elliot Spitzer, gave an inside account of his “Plague Year” with the governor.22

More generally, scandal and controversy in New York is richly documented in the public record, for example, in the reports of numerous state Moreland Act Commissions.23 Often, high-profile events occasioned publications on the workings of the state government by those involved or investigative journalists. Many examples may be cited: the expulsion of elected Socialist members from the state assembly in 1920,24 the riot at Attica prison in 1971 that resulted in the deaths of 39 people,25 the aforementioned separation of powers battle over the budget following the adoption of executive budgeting by constitutional amendment in 1927,26 and the scandalous conditions at the Willowbrook State School on Staten Island for special needs children.27

Academic Research

Columbia University—and therefore New York State—was the American birthplace of the academic discipline of political science, and thus the academic study of state government. John Burgess established the Graduate School of Political Science at Columbia in 1880, where, according to one historian of the profession, the early curriculum “focused on the ‘State’ as a whole and on the American states and local governments as parts of the federal system.”28 The first journal in the field, Political Science Quarterly, was launched at Columbia in 1886. Its third volume, published in 1888, included an extensive review of the constitutions of the state of New York.29 One early PhD at Columbia was awarded to John Archibald Fairlie in 1898 for a truly extraordinary study of “The Centralization of Administration in New York State,” detailing the development of the state–local relationship across a myriad of functions over the course of the nineteenth century.30

In his bibliography for this volume, Jim Folts of the New York State Archives describes William C. Morey's The Government of New York: Its History and Administration as “the first systematic survey of New York's government by a political scientist.”31 Early political scientists divided themselves into two schools, those interested in “political theory” and those interested in “practical politics.”32 The former, Morey among them, wrote about legal questions and organizational structures. The work of Howard L. McBain and later Joseph D. McGoldrick on local home rule in New York provides other good examples.33 A focus on the state constitution, laws, and governing institutions was also the primary feature of books prepared to help New York high school students complete civics requirements specified in curricula mandated by the state Board of Regents.34

Leaders of the aforementioned Bureau of Municipal Research regarded New York City and State as “a laboratory of the science of administration,” and created a Training School for Public Service—a forerunner of the university schools of (p. 7) public administration described below—to prepare researchers and governmental managers.35 Early empirical scholarly work on the operation of New York government was frequently linked to normative, progressive reform goals.36 One early “realist” book on New York politics, Harold F. Gosnell's Boss Platt and His New York Machine, became a classic in the profession.37 A little more than a decade later, Belle Zeller published the first systematic study of pressure group politics in New York State, another pioneering work.38

In the decades after the founding of the American Political Science Association in 1903, issues of its Review regularly reported on developments in state government, both comparatively and on a case study state-by-state basis.39 But there were relatively few courses on state government. A 1915 report on a survey by a committee of the association identified state and local government as a separate disciplinary subfield from municipal government; their research showed that the latter was far more studied than the former in American colleges and universities.40 In fact, municipal government—now called urban government—long attracted, and has continued to attract, a preponderance of scholarly energy in New York, especially downstate, because of the defining presence of New York City. Consideration of the study of the city would require an essay in itself. One aspect that is germane to this summary, however, is work on the state–city relationship, for example, the collection edited by Gerald Benjamin and Charles Brecher.41

Advancing effective rural local government was an element of the mission of Cornell University's School of Agriculture, connected with its role as New York's land grant university.42 This work continues, often in collaboration with the state's associations of local governments, through Cornell's Community and Regional Development Institute (CaRDI).43 Both the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, established in 1924 at Syracuse University, and the Graduate School of Public Administration, established in 1938 as part of New York University (NYU; since 1989, the Wagner School), have been major centers for advancing the professionalization of public administration in the United States.44 Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote on New York politics following his service in the W. Averell Harriman administration from an academic base at the Maxwell School in Syracuse.45 Lynton K. Caldwell, a political scientist there, was the author of the authoritative mid-twentieth-century text Government and Administration of New York.46 A second major book of the period on New York was jointly authored by faculty members from the two schools, Frank Munger and Ralph Straetz.47

Staffing for preparation of the 1957 mandatory constitutional convention referendum, under commission chair Nelson Rockefeller, done under the direction of William Ronan, the dean at NYU, called upon the talents of many of the school's faculty members and graduate students. Ronan and many of his colleagues thereafter became key players in the state during the Rockefeller governorship. Later, Alan K. Campbell, dean of the Maxwell School, encouraged scholarly focus on New York while serving as a delegate-at-large to the 1967 state constitutional convention.48 More recently, extensive work on New York's legislature and political (p. 8) parties has been done by Jeffrey Stonecash, chair of Maxwell's Department of Political Science.49

Stonecash jointly edited with Robert F. Pecorella a collection of readings widely used in the study of New York State government, soon to appear in its sixth edition.50 Another collection, edited by Sarah Liebschutz, was part of an ambitious effort by a publisher—in this instance the University of Nebraska Press—to produce a scholarly book on every state in the union.51 Lynton Caldwell's work on New York, published almost a half century earlier and previously cited, was part of a similar effort (the American Commonwealth Series.)

In the immediate post–World War II period, with the encouragement of the state, Syracuse and NYU agreed to jointly offer a graduate program in public administration in Albany. It began in 1947. Concomitant with the general expansion of the state university during the Rockefeller administration, in 1962 this effort was transferred to the Graduate School of Public Affairs (GSPA) at the State University of New York (SUNY), which launched its program in 1963.52 SUNY Albany became the institutional base of Joseph A. Zimmerman, who focused the efforts of numerous graduate students upon the study of New York State government and was a leading scholar on the subject in the last half of the twentieth century.53

This was followed, in 1981, by the creation of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and the founding of the Rockefeller Institute of Government at SUNY Albany, the latter with the study of New York government explicitly part of its mission.54 The result of these developments in the state capitol was a major, unprecedented focus of scholarly resources and effort on the operation of state government. Under the leadership of Richard Nathan, the institute became a national leader in the comparative study of state government, politics, and policy. The institute has published numerous works on the governance structures, processes, and political dynamics of New York, with particular attention to the leadership record of governors and the institutional development of the state legislature. With support from the Governor's Office of Employee Relations (GOER), a handbook was prepared for management training on Governing the Empire State.55 Later, the institute published its comprehensive contemporary treatment of New York State Government, by Deputy Director Robert Ward, now in its second edition.56

Nonetheless, there have been relatively few general works on New York State government. A survey of college catalogs conducted for this book in 2011 found that courses on “state and local government” were given in that year at 42 of New York's 120 colleges and universities offering baccalaureate or advanced degrees; 6 additional schools gave courses entirely focused on state government. Of these, however, only 17 of the former and 2 of the latter indicated a specific emphasis on New York State. There are a number of possible reasons for this. The comparative approach that came to dominate the field of state government studies discouraged focus on a single state. Unlike in some other states, Texas, for example, no automatic market for books on New York is created by a legislative mandate that a state politics course be required of all students. And, as elsewhere noted, the attractiveness of New York City as an intellectual focus drew the attention of some (p. 9) who otherwise might have been interested in looking seriously at governance in Albany.

A byproduct of the growth of the state university has been important contributions to the understanding of state elections and politics made in monographs by SUNY political scientists.57 And it has persistently been the case that published scholarly books on New York have arisen from doctoral study within the state; for example, that of Leonard Ruchelman, Alan Hevesi, and Daniel M. Shea on, respectively, leadership paths through the state legislature, state legislative functioning, and the finance of legislative elections.58 A compendium of interviews with leaders and key staff published at the Rockefeller Institute documented efforts of the legislative branch to restore the separation-of-powers balance in its relationship with the executive.59 Most recent writing on the legislature, however, has been highly critical of its performance, marked in recent years by multiple examples of corruption and a predisposition to stasis. The work of the Brennan Center at the NYU Law School focused serious attention on legislative reform.60 Writing with Robert Polner, former state senator Seymour P. Lachman summarized what came to be the accepted, highly critical perspective.61 Collaborations between scholars and legislators have resulted in two relatively recent volumes, one a more general treatment of state government and the other an account of legislative service with a particular focus on criminal justice policymaking that seeks, in part, to restore the reputation of the New York legislature.62

There are numerous biographies of New York leaders, both legislative and executive, and summarizing them is beyond the scope of this chapter. Reflective of the persistent fascination with executive leadership in American politics, political scientists have given attention to the approaches, achievements, and failings of governors of great impact, or who had the prospect of becoming president. A prime example was Nelson Rockefeller.63 Another was Hugh Carey.64 Interestingly, although Thomas Dewey is widely credited with a fine performance as New York's chief executive and was twice candidate for president, his approach as governor has still not been subject to thorough analysis.65 Both Eliot Spitzer's record as attorney general and his fall from grace as governor also received considerable attention, though thus far more from journalists than from scholars.66

On the executive side, scholarly attention has been drawn to not only the overall record of governors, but to the exercise of particular powers and attendant separation-of-powers issues. A primary focus over time has been the adoption and exercise of executive budget authority.67 Written to apply beyond New York, Dall Forsythe's Memos to the Governor on budgeting is rooted in deep experience in his staff role as the state's budget director.68 Frank Prescott and Joseph Zimmerman produced a major review of the use of the executive veto in the state.69 Daniel Patrick Moynihan and James Q. Wilson looked at the governor's appointing authority.70 In anticipation of an effort by Governor Andrew Cuomo to reorganize state government, the governor's authority in this area has been revisited.71 Lee M. Miringoff and Barbara L. Carvalho, of the Marist Poll, have looked at public opinion as an informal source of gubernatorial power.72

(p. 10) More generally, the development of university-based public opinion polling organizations has had a major effect on the study of state government and politics. Many polls are contracted by candidates, elected officials, or those advancing a particular issue or agenda; the results of these polls are released at the discretion and in the interest of those who pay for them. However, credible, regularly published public polls (sometimes cosponsored by media outlets), in addition to affecting a leader's capacity to gain and retain office and achieve policy objectives, also provide valuable time series and crosscut data for the study of New York. In addition to Marist, the most visible and important regular public polling on New York politics and government is done at research centers located at Siena College (Loudonville, NY), Quinnipiac College (Hamden, CT), and Cornell University.73 There are also important polls with a regional focus done at SUNY Stonybrook and the City University of New York's (CUNY) Baruch College, among others.74

The law reviews at the Albany Law School and the Touro School of Law pay regular attention to developments in New York constitutional law and the state's legal and political systems.75 Annual surveys of developments in New York law are published by the Pace, St. Johns, and Syracuse law schools, sometimes in collaboration with sections of the New York State Bar Association.76 The New York Bar Journal, published by the state bar association, and The Record, published by the New York City Bar Association, are both attentive to state legal and public policy issues and organizational developments in New York's judiciary.77

The members of the fourth estate (the press) have come to play a major role in state politics, first systematically examined by the British scholar David Morgan.78 Less attended to, there is an established record in New York of serious books by journalists on state politics. For a decade or more after World War II, New York Times reporter Warren Moscow's Politics in the Empire State was the most widely read book in the field. In 2005 Jay Gallagher, the long-time Gannett bureau chief in Albany, attempted a comprehensive look at The Politics of Decline in the state.79

Finally, the last part of the twentieth century was marked by the growth in number of university-based think tanks doing professional research on New York government, politics, and policy. The Brennan Center, previously mentioned, is one example. Albany Law School's Government Law Center grew as a focal point for consideration of policy and professional issues arising from the practice of law in the public service.80 Pace Law School's Land Use Law Center became a key resource for those working in that field.81 Hofstra University maintains a National Center for Suburban Studies that pays considerable research attention to home-state matters.82 At SUNY's University Center in Buffalo, the Regional Institute took on great importance in western New York; there were similar regional initiatives, though on a smaller scale, at other SUNY campuses (e.g., Binghamton, Fredonia, and New Paltz).83

The commitment to professional research by groups in support of broad (and often divergent) policy goals also advances the study of state government. (p. 11) Some examples are illustrative. The Citizens Union, an organization rooted late nineteenth-century Progressive Era New York City politics, and the Citizens’ Budget Commission, created with business backing in 1932 as a fiscal watchdog, both turned their attention to state government in the 1990s, the first seeking government reform, the second fiscal accountability.84 The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), supported by activity fees paid by university students, also advanced a “good government” agenda.85 The Business Council, the principle advocacy organization for business in New York, maintains the Public Policy Institute.86 The research work of the Fiscal Policy Institute, founded in 1991, focuses, from a Progressive perspective, on equity in tax and social policy and stresses the importance of sustaining a strong public sector.87 The Empire Center of the Manhattan Institute, in contrast, advances an agenda that gives primacy to cutting taxes and reducing the size of the state's public sector.88

This is a framework. Further detail on scholarship on New York is presented in the extensive bibliography prepared for this volume by Jim Folts, the New York State Archivist, and in the documentation supporting each of its 31 chapters. This handbook does not seek to respond to the particular concerns of the moment, however compelling they may be. It is a book that assumes that governmental structure and institutions are shaping factors in governance. It therefore seeks to establish how and why New York is governed as it is by comprehensively

  • assembling recent scholarship in key areas of structure, process, and policy;

  • documenting the state's record in comparison to other states;

  • establishing a baseline, that is, the “way things are now”; and

  • identifying the merits of likely future directions for institutional and policy development, and for research.

The topics are organized within five sections following this one that consider the political and governmental structures and processes and some of the key policy areas of New York State government. Because the New York State–New York City relationship is unique, or near unique, one challenge in organizing any book on New York State government is the proper treatment of that city in a work focused on state government. This volume includes one chapter on the relationship between the city and the state, and takes up New York City–related questions in other chapters.


Thanks to Kim Juszczak, an undergraduate researcher at the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz, for her assistance with the preparation of this essay.


(1.) Robert Moses, A Tribute to Governor Smith (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1962), 17.

(2.) Moses, Tribute to Governor Smith, 48.

(3.) “Alfred E. Smith Dies Here at 70; Four Times as Governor,” New York Times, October 4, 1944.

(4.) Charles Z. Lincoln, The Constitutional History of New York State From the Beginning of the Colonial Period to the Year 1905 (Rochester: Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, 1906).

(5.) John Louis Recchiuti, Civic Engagement: Social Science and Progressive-Era Reform in New York City (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007), chap. 4; Bruce D. McDonald III, “The Bureau of Municipal Research and the Development of a Professional Public Service,” Administration & Society 42, no. 7 (2010): 815–835.

(6.) William H. Tolman, Municipal Reform Movements in the United States (New York: Revell Co., 1895).

(7.) Quoted in “Constitutional Convention of 1938,” (accessed January 3, 2011).

(8.) The year 1977 was an exception. With the state still recovering from the 1975 fiscal crisis, the governor and both houses of the legislature refrained from preparing for a convention, ostensibly to discourage a positive referendum vote. The ballot measure failed.

(9.) Thomas Schick, The New York Constitutional Convention of 1915 and the Modern State Government (New York: National Municipal League, 1979); Vernon A. O’Rourke and Douglas W. Campbell, Constitution-Making in a Democracy—Theory and Practice in New York State (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1943); and Hendrik N. Dullea, Charter Revision in the Empire State: The Politics of New York's 1967 Constitutional Convention (Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute Press, 1997).

(10.) Peter Galie, New York State Constitution: A Reference Guide (Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood Press, 1991) and Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (New York: Fordham University Press, 1996).

(11.) Charles Z. Lincoln, The Colonial Laws of New York From the Year 1664 to the Revolution (Albany, NY: James B. Lyon, 1894).

(12.) For an example of a privately published book of New York statutes with commentary, see William Mark McKinny, Consolidated Laws of New York, Annotated (New York: Edward Thompson Company, 1918).

(13.) The Manual for the Use of the Legislature of the State of New York, otherwise known as the “Blue Book,” was published biennially from 1940 to 1974 and then annually until publication ceased in 1989. A partial list of contents included the text of the U.S. and New York constitutions, detailed boundary descriptions of congressional districts in New York, biographies of top executive officials, and a list of the members of the New York State legislature. The New York State Red Book provides photographs and biographies of all the legislators.

(15.) Charles Z. Lincoln, Messages From the Governor (Albany, NY: J. B. Lincoln, 1909).

(16.) Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 2009 New York State Statistical Yearbook, 34th ed. (Albany, NY: Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, 2010),

(18.) Alfred E. Smith, Up To Now (New York: Viking, 1929).

(19.) Abbot Low Moffat, “The Legislative Process,” Cornell Law Quarterly 24 (1939): 223–33.

(20.) Floyd Anderson, “Legislative Reorganization in New York State Government,” 17 (November 1944).

(21.) Mario M. Cuomo, Diaries of Mario M. Cuomo: The Campaign (New York: Random House, 1984).

(22.) Lloyd Constantine, A Journal of the Plague Year (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2010).

(23.) See “Records of the Governor's Office,” citing Ernest Henry Breuer, Moreland Act Investigations in New York: 1907–65, New York State Library Bibliography Bulletin 85 (Albany, NY: University of the State of New York, 1965); Audrey M. Davies, Moreland Investigations in New York State (New York: New York Institute of Public Administration, 1936); and J. Ellswerth Missall, The Moreland Act: Executive Inquiry in the State of New York (New York: King's Crown Press, 1946).

(24.) See Louis Waldman, Albany: The Crisis in Governing (New York: Boni and Liverwright, 1920). Waldman was one of the assembly members who was expelled.

(25.) Tom Wicker, A Time To Die (New York: Quadrangle, 1975).

(26.) Peter J. Galie, Ordered Liberty: A Constitutional History of New York (New York: Fordham University Press, 1996), 210–212.

(27.) Geraldo Rivera, Willowbrook: A Report on How It Is and Why It Doesn't Have to be That Way (New York: Random House, 1972).

(28.) David M. Ricci, The Tragedy of Political Science: Politics, Scholarship, and Democracy (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1984), 60. See also John W. Burgess, “The Study of Political Science at Columbia College,” International Review 12 (1882): 346–357.

(29.) J. Hampden Dougherty, “The Constitutions of the State of New York,” Political Science Quarterly 3 (1888): 489–548.

(30.) John A. Fairlie, The Centralization of Administration in New York State (New York: Columbia University Press, 1898).

(31.) Morey does not appear to have formally studied political science. He was best known for his work in ancient history. His university title, “Professor of History and Political Science,” is reflected in the content of this book, which is focused in its first part on the state's history and in the second on its governance. William C. Morey, The Government of New York: Its History and Administration (New York: McMillan, 1902).

(32.) Albert Somit and Joseph Tanenhaus, The Development of American Political Science (Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 1967), 24.

(33.) Howard L. McBain, The Law and Practice of Municipal Home Rule (New York: Columbia University Press, 1916); Joseph D. McGoldrick, The Law and Practice of Municipal Home Rule, 1916–1930 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1933).

(34.) Many examples may be cited. See, for example, Frank David Boynton, Actual Government of New York (Boston: Ginn & Company, 1911); and Charles DeForest Hoxie, Civics for New York State (New York: American Book Company, 1918).

(35.) Ricchiuti (2007), 109ff.

(36.) David Leigh Colvin, The Bicameral Principle in the New York Legislature (New York: Columbia University Press, 1913).

(37.) Harold F. Gosnell, Boss Platt and His New York Machine (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1924).

(38.) Belle Zeller, Pressure Politics in New York (New York: Prentice Hall, 1937). See also the interview of Belle Zeller in Michael A. Baer, Malcolm E. Jewell, and Lee Sigelman (eds.), Political Science in America: Oral Histories of a Discipline (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1991), 40–51.

(39.) An early essay on New York was by Arthur Ludington, “The New York Direct-Primaries Bill of 1909,” American Political Science Review 3, no. 3 (1909): 371–381.

(40.) Charles G. Haines, “Report of the Committee of Seven on Instruction in Colleges and Universities,” American Political Science Review 9 (1915): 353ff.

(41.) Gerald Benjamin and Charles Brecher, The Two New Yorks: State and City in a Changing Federal System (New York: Russell Sage Foundation, 1988).

(42.) Martin P. Catherwood, T. Norman Hurd, and C. A. Bratton, Rural Government in New York (Ithaca, NY: New York State College of Agriculture, 1947).

(44.) See the website for the Maxwell School,; and the website page for the Wagner School,

(45.) See Daniel Patrick Moynihan's essay on the use of patronage and also the essays on New York in his Coping: Essays on the Practice of Government (New York: Random House, 1973).

(46.) Lynton K. Caldwell, Government and Administration of New York (New York: Thomas Y. Crowell Co., 1954).

(47.) Frank J. Munger and Ralph A. Straetz, New York Politics (New York: NYU Press, 1960).

(48.) For example, Donna Shalala and Hendrik Dullea were both graduate students at this time. See, Donna E. Shalala, The City and the Constitution: The 1967 New York Convention's Response to the Urban Crisis (New York: National Municipal League, 1972); and also Dullea, Charter Revision in the Empire State.

(49.) See the essay by Jeffrey Stonecash and Amy Widestrom, “Political Parties and Elections,” on parties in New York, in Governing New York State, 5th ed., ed. Robert F. Pecorella and Jeffrey M. Stonecash (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2006), 49–72.

(50.) Robert F. Pecorella and Jeffrey M. Stonecash, ed., Governing New York State, 5th ed. (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, forthcoming, 2012).

(51.) Sarah F. Liebschutz, New York Politics and Government: Competition and Compassion (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1998).

(52.) See “Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, Formerly the Graduate School of Public Affairs, Dean's Office Administrative History,”

(53.) Many works may be cited. See, for example, his general treatment, Joseph A. Zimmerman, The Government and Politics of New York State, 2nd ed. (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2008).

(54.) See the Rockefeller Institute's website,

(55.) Jane Zacek, Governing the Empire State: An Insiders Guide (Albany, NY: State of New York Management Resources Project, 1988).

(56.) Robert B. Ward, New York State Government, 2nd ed. (Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute Press, 2006).

(57.) Howard A. Scarrow, Parties, Elections and Representation in the State of New York (New York: NYU Press, 1983); Robert J. Spitzer, The Right to Life Movement and Third Party Politics (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1987).

(58.) Leonard I. Ruchelman, Political Careers: Recruitment Through the Legislature (Rutherford, NJ: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1970); Alan G. Hevesi, Legislative Politics in New York State: A Comparative Analysis (New York: Praeger, 1975); Daniel M. Shea, Transforming Democracy: Legislative Campaign Committees and Political Parties (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1995).

(59.) Gerald Benjamin and Robert Nakamura, ed., The Modern New York State Legislature: Redressing the Balance (Albany, NY: Rockefeller Institute of Government, 1994).

(60.) See the Brennan Center's website,

(61.) Seymour P. Lachman and Robert Polner, Three Men in a Room: the Inside Story of Power and Betrayal in an American Statehouse (New York: New Press, 2006).

(62.) Edward Schneier and John Brian Murtaugh, New York Politics: A Tale of Two States (Armonk, NY: M. E. Sharpe, 2001; Dan Feldman and Gerald Benjamin, Tales From the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2010).

(63.) Robert Connery and Gerald Benjamin, Rockefeller of New York: Executive Power in the State House (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979); James D. Underwood and William J. Daniels, Governor Rockefeller of New York: The Apex of Pragmatic Liberalism in the United States (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1982).

(64.) Rob Polner and Seymour Lackman, The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Fiscal Crisis of 1975 (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2010).

(65.) Richard Norton Smith, Thomas Dewey and His Times (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982).

(66.) Brooke A. Masters, Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer (New York: Henry Holt, 2006); Peter Elkind, Rough Justice (New York: Penguin, 2010).

(67.) A very good summary of the record was published on the 50th anniversary of executive budgeting in New York; see Robert Kerker, The Executive Budget in New York State: A Half Century Perspective (New York: New York State Division of the Budget, 1981). See also Gerald Benjamin, “Reform in New York: The Budget, the Legislature and the Governance Process,” a paper prepared for the Citizens Budget Commission, November 13–14, 2003,

(68.) Dall Forsythe, Memos to the Governor: An Introduction to State Budgeting, 2nd ed. (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2004).

(69.) Frank W. Prescott and Joseph F. Zimmerman, The Politics of the Veto of Legislation in New York State (Washington, DC: University Press of America, 1980).

(70.) Daniel Patrick Moynihan and James Q. Wilson, “Patronage in New York State, 1955–1959.” American Political Science Review 54, no. 2 (1964): 286–301.

(71.) Gerald Benjamin, Blair Horner, John Kaehny, and Lawrence Norden, “Executive Powers and Authority to Reorganize State Government,” in Executive Orders (New York: Reinvent Albany, 2010), 79–100,

(72.) Lee M. Miringoff and Barbara L. Carvalho, The Cuomo Factor (Poughkeepsie, NY: Marist Institute of Public Opinion, 1986).

(73.) See the Marist Poll website,; “Siena Research Institute,”; “Quinnipiac University Polling Institute,”; and “Empire State Poll,”

(75.) See “Journals & Publications,”

(78.) David Morgan, The Capitol Press Corps: Newsmen and the Governing of New York State (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1978).

(79.) Jay Gallagher, The Politics of Decline (Albany, NY: Whitston, 2005).

(80.) See Albany Government Law Review,; Albany Law Review,; and Touro Law Review,

(81.) See “Land Use Law Center,”

(82.) See “National Center for Urban Studies,”

(83.) See the University of Buffalo Regional Institute website,; “Center for Local Government,”; “Center for Regional Advancement,”; “Center for Research, Regional Education, and Outreach,

(84.) See the Citizen Union's website,; and the Citizens Budget Commission's website,

(85.) See the New York Public Interest Research Group's website,

(86.) See the Public Policy Institute of New York State's website,

(87.) See the Fiscal Policy Institute's website,

(88.) See the Empire Center for New York State Policy's website,