Suggested Reading

Bensel, Richard. Sectionalism and American Political Development: 1880–1980. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1984.

A look at the effects of sectionalism on American history.

Dye, Thomas R. American Federalism: Competition Among Governments. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books, 1990.

A prominent political scientist studies how different governments compete on many matters.

Farber, Daniel A. Lincoln’s Constitution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.

States’ rights and the extent of federal power were key issues in the events that led to the Civil War. Farber looks at the Constitution as it existed in Lincoln’s time and thinks through the arguments used by the contending sides in their disputes.

Kelley, E. Wood. Policy and Politics in the United States: The Limits of Localism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1987.

What effect do local and state politics have on American policy? Kelley answers this question—and others—in this work.

Nagel, Robert. The Implosion of American Federalism. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Nagel laments the loss of state power despite court rulings in favor of states in recent years. He warns that centralized power is dangerous to a democratic society.

Peterson, Paul E. The Price of Federalism. Washington, D.C.: Brookings, 1995

Peterson looks at the costs of America’s federal system.

Walker, David B. The Rebirth of Federalism. 2nd ed. Chatham, NJ: Chatham, 2000.

Walker takes a look at the current state of federalism in a positive light.

Yarbrough, Tinsley. The Rehnquist Court and the Constitution. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

The Rehnquist Court limited federal power by striking down a number of laws. This book examines all of the Rehnquist Court’s decisions, including those on federalism.

Useful Websites

The Urban Institute’s program, known as “Assessing the New Federalism,” examines the effects of recent laws and court decisions on federalism.

The homepage for the Washington Metropolitan Council of Governments, a fairly successful collaboration among state and local governments around Washington, D.C.

The Council of State Governments helps coordinate state policies and practices.

The National Governors’ Association also helps coordinate state policies and practices.

The Center for the Study of Federalism at Temple University offers information on American federalism.

Popular pages: Federalism