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American Intergovernmental Relations

A Fragmented Federal Polity

G. Ross Stephens and Nelson Wikstrom

Publication Date - March 2006

ISBN: 9780195172027

320 pages
6-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

This compelling text examines how the dynamic social, economic, and political forces that impinge on American government--at all levels--shape the way that our federal system functions.


The one constant in the American federal system is change--change that is not always beneficial. American Intergovernmental Relations: A Fragmented Federal Polity examines how the dynamic social, economic, and political forces that impinge on American government at all levels shape the way that our federal system functions.
Stephens and Wikstrom--both senior scholars specializing in federalism, intergovernmental relations, and fiscal policy--offer concise, comprehensive, and easy-to-understand coverage of these materials. Beginning with the key elements of federalism, the authors trace these principles as they have evolved since the founding of the republic and through the various phases and types of federal arrangements as they exist today. They examine and analyze the extreme complexity of the system and the cooperative and conflicting components of vertical and horizontal intergovernmental relations. Stephens and Wikstrom also discuss the impact of public policy and intergovernmental relations on American society in light of rising globalism, rapidly changing technology, and new security concerns. Featuring relevant case studies from the headlines, American Intergovernmental Relations is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in federalism and intergovernmental relations. It is also an excellent text for a different approach to a course in American government.

About the Author(s)

G.Ross Stephens is Professor of Political Science and Public Administration (Emeritus) at the University of Missouri, Kansas City.

Nelson Wikstrom is Professor of Political Science and Public Administration at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Table of Contents

    1. The United States as a Federal System: Theories, Insights, & Experience
    2. Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations: Concepts, Models, and the American Experience
    3. Contemporary American Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations: Cooperation and Conflict
    Case Study 1. Homeland Security: Intergovernmental Response
    4. Fiscal Federalism
    5. Federal Intergovernmental Relations: The National Policy Process & Public Policy
    Case Study 2. No Child Left Behind
    6. Regulation in the Intergovernmental System
    7. The Resurgent States in the Intergovernmental System
    Case Study 3. Welfare to Work
    8. State-Local Relations
    9. Local Governments in the American Intergovernmental System
    Case Study 4. Semi-Independent State and Local Agencies: Special Districts, Authorities, and Government Corporations
    10. Intergovernmental Relations: Present and Future
    Selected Bibliography

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