Fragmented Federalism: The State of American Federalism 2012–13

Bowling, Cynthia J.; Pickerill, J. Mitchell
July 2013
Publius: The Journal of Federalism;Jul2013, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p315
Academic Journal
Intense party polarization at the state and federal levels has hindered the adoption and implementation of numerous policies. One of the most important ways we see “fragmented federalism” is in the patchwork of policies across the country, created by factions and implemented in fragments across and within conflicted institutions throughout 2012–13. Implementation of various policies—notably education and health care—has been plagued by partisanship, pushback, and uncertainty. Operating under conditions of fiscal stress and a federal budget plagued by roadblocks has further complicated planning and program implementation at all government levels. Finally, Supreme Court decisions continue to contribute to the fragmented nature of federalism by alternately protecting state sovereignty from federal intrusion and at other times endorsing broad federal preemption of state laws.


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