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Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations
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Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

Clash of Laws: The Growing Dissonance between State and Federal Marijuana Policies

While many states have moved toward legalization of both medicinal and recreational marijuana in recent years, the U.S. Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved toward more stringent enforcement of federal law, under which marijuana remains illegal. This policy brief examines the history of marijuana legalization, major developments since the 2016 election, and issues to watch in the coming year.
Heather Trela, January 25, 2018

Anniversary of President Nixon's National Television Address on the ‘New Federalism’

On August 8, 1969, President Nixon gave a speech on the “New Federalism” — a plan that influenced later thinking on health care reform, welfare reform and other issues. Former Institute Director Richard Nathan, who served as a domestic policy adviser in the Nixon administration, recalled the ideas at a Nixon Library forum 42 years later.
Richard P. Nathan, August 8, 2011

An Exploration of States in the 21st Century

States are at a critical juncture, with expanded responsibilities and strained budgets, says Thomas Gais, former director of the Institute's Federalism Research Group and currently Institute director. In this interview, he shares his thoughts on the Institute's work, including how researchers might build on a foundation of knowledge about the states.
A Q&A with Thomas Gais, September 2010


Federalism During the Obama Administration

The federal government during the Obama Administration has assertively sought to influence state policies, perhaps more so than any time since the 1960s. This effort to impose central control is nothing new, but the range of methods and intensity of efforts used by the Obama Administration is striking, Institute Acting Director Thomas Gais told attendees at the 27th Annual Conference of the National Federation of Municipal Analysts. In this presentation, Gais also offers some ideas about what is needed to advance national purposes among state and local governments while minimizing unwanted side effects.
Thomas Gais, May 7, 2010

The Weakening of the States

The role of the states in American government is weakening, according to this report released at the Institute's first national conference on states' long-term budget gaps. There are three main causes: The Great Recession has strained states' finances, while increasing the need for services. Medicaid continues to put pressure on states' finances. And the information revolution has de-emphasized states by creating the false impression that more domestic government can be micromanaged from Washington.
Richard P. Nathan, November 30, 2009

The Transformation That Fell Short: Bush, Federalism, and Emergency Management

Wrapping up a study of the effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita on America’s governments, this report finds that “traditional federalism” won out over the George W. Bush administration’s attempt to centralize and nationalize emergency management. States and localities continued to be relied on for disaster response, with federal fiscal aid arriving mostly after the fact.
Martha Derthick, August 2009

Book List 2009: The New Deal

The current version of this compilation of books, recommended by the Institute's co-director, focuses on the New Deal, whose lessons may be critical in this time of deep economic recession. Richard P. Nathan writes that this survey of books shows the New Deal was "often brilliantly creative institutionally" — something the current administration could learn from.
Richard P. Nathan, 2009


Federalism Archive


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