Sep 292011
Authors: Robert Lopez

The state legislature has been largely ignored by academia, a problem that three CSU professors, John Straayer, Robert Duffy and Courtenay Daumn set out to solve with their joint book, “State of Change.”

“There has been an extraordinarily small quantity of written material on Colorado government and politics,” said Straayer, who teaches in the political science department.

According to Straayer, “State of Change,” which was published by the University Press of Colorado this August, tracks the reason and amount of change that has occurred within the Colorado government since the end of the 20th century.

The authors drew from a wide variety of sources and experts — including other professors from CU-Boulder and University of Denver — giving the book depth that would have been hard to achieve on its own.

“All of us had written on different aspects of Colorado politics in recent years, and knew of others who had done the same,” said Duffy, who is currently on sabbatical from the political science department. “We thought it would be a good idea to try to gather those pieces into one volume.”

One of the main goals of the book, Duffy explained, was to publish information different from what others had written on Colorado politics.

“(It) was either wrong or incomplete, especially from people who don’t live here,” he added. “Many of them had these preconceived notions or theories that they tried to fit onto Colorado, and we didn’t think they were accurate.”

Known as one of the most up-to-date analyses of Colorado politics, “State of Change” is “a rare and comprehensive examination of the state’s political system and a good historical record of the evolution of our state,” according to James Null, a political science professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

But, as for the future, Straayer said nothing is set in stone for Colorado. Moving forward, state and local politics, according to “State of Change” are just that — in a constant state of change.

Collegian writer Robert Lopez can be reached at

 Posted by at 5:14 pm

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