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Federalism, Metropolitanism, and the Problem of States

TL;DR: The mismatch between the prevailing sites of productive economic activity and the location of regulation and redistribution has subverted the values conventionally associated with federalism as mentioned in this paper, leading to increased political polarization.
Abstract: The United States has long been an urban country, but it is fast becoming a metropolitan one. Population and economic activity are now concentrated in cities and their surrounding regions. The largest twenty of these city-regions accounts for almost fifty-two percent of total U.S. GDP. This “metropolitan revolution” represents a fundamental challenge to our current federalism. The old federalism assumed that capital and labor are fully mobile and that sub-national governments — in this case, states — will engage in competitive efforts to attract desirable investment while the federal government will assume the bulk of redistributive spending. The new federalism rejects the notion that economic growth can be attributed to interstate competition or that only central governments can effectively engage in social welfare redistribution. As economic activity becomes concentrated in cities, those cities become capable of engaging in forms of regulation and redistribution that standard models of fiscal federalism had deemed impossible. Our current state-based federalism, however, fails to appropriately align capabilities with responsibilities. Instead of empowering cities, states are increasingly seeking to defund, defang, and delegitimize them. The mismatch between the prevailing sites of productive economic activity and the location of regulation and redistribution has subverted the values conventionally associated with federalism. State power is being deployed to undermine accountability, limit experimentation, and prevent the effective exercise of local self-government. One consequence of the gap between state and city power is increased political polarization. Another consequence may be an institutional restructuring that better reflects the new geography of production and population.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This paper explored how place-based identities matter for American federalism by documenting how attachments to the American states alter individuals' decisions to leave, or exit, as well as to welcome newcomers into their local communities.
Abstract: A growing number of scholars have documented how social identities defined by an attachment to place influence individuals’ understandings about political power and representation. Drawing on this theoretical framework, we explore how place-based identities matter for American federalism by documenting how attachments to the American states alter individuals’ decisions to leave, or exit, as well as to welcome newcomers into their local communities. Using a set of conjoint experiments designed to measure individual attitudes about place, politics, and America’s federal polity, we find evidence that Americans hold deep and consequential attitudes about the places in which they live. Our evidence confirms that state identities are still highly relevant in shaping American federalism and the competitive pressures between intergovernmental jurisdictions. While federalism may encourage individuals to leave, federalism also nourishes place-specific attachments, motivating people to stay.

14 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this paper, a more dynamic, alternative policy framework that seeks to privilege both local voices and federal stewardship by forging anti-poverty partnerships centered on federal-state and public-private cooperatives is proposed.
Abstract: This article challenges the prevailing conventional wisdom that attests to the natural alliance between welfare reform and devolution; it identifies the serious harms that are engendered when states, for-profit corporations, and faith-based institutions implement the federal imperatives of welfare reform; and, ultimately, it puts forth a more dynamic, alternative policy framework that seeks to privilege both local voices and federal stewardship by forging anti-poverty partnerships centered on federal-state and public-private cooperatives.

6 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this article, the authors propose a new approach to the dilemma of localism in an era of polarization, arguing that a normative lens on localism foregrounds what is truly at stake in contemporary state/local conflicts.
Abstract: Localism, the discourse of local legal power and state-local relations, has returned to the center of national attention, driven by gridlock at the federal level and sharply rising political and cultural conflicts between cities and their states. In recent years, states have aggressively sought to constrain, eliminate, and even criminalize local policy discretion across an array of policy domains. Cities and their advocates have just as aggressively fought back—in litigation, in the political arena, and in popular discourse. Advocacy for resurgent local empowerment is raising anew what has long been the central dilemma of localism: how can a vertical allocation of authority in our legal system reflect a general commitment to devolution and decentralization, yet at the same time check the worst excesses of local parochialism? Local governments can be great fonts of democracy, community, and policy innovation, but they can also be exclusionary and stubbornly unwilling to account for the external consequences of local decision-making. This Essay proposes a new approach to the dilemma of localism in an era of polarization. To calibrate the allocation of state/local power in the current social and political reckoning, the normative dimensions of localism must be more directly confronted. In delineating values to determine where subsidiarity is most appropriately constrained, aspects of state law not always associated with state-local relations can provide normative guidance. State constitutional individual rights provisions, addressing equality and equity in many states, as well as employment, education, social welfare, and the environment, bear on the normative commitments states have undertaken. And the too-often neglected idea that when states delegate authority to local governments, local governments must act cognizant of the broader general welfare of the state provides a complementary structural principle to import normative concerns into the vertical allocation of power. To be sure, there are limits to the judicial capacity to apply a more equitable localism, and the values at issue are contestable. But a normative lens on localism foregrounds what is truly at stake in contemporary state/local conflicts. In short, it is critical to ask not just what localism is, but what localism is for. Properly framed, law can find a jurisprudential and institutional path to an answer.

5 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examine the relationship between municipal receivership and local autonomy and argue that it is not an appropriate tool for economically struggling cities and conclude that it fails to provide a long-term solution for the causes that generated the fiscal instability in the first place.
Abstract: This Note seeks to examine the relationship between municipal receivership and local autonomy. Because few have explored this relationship in great detail, it is unclear whether municipal receivership is an appropriate tool for economically struggling cities. This Note argues that it is not. I begin by examining both the history of municipal receivership and local government law. This is necessary because local government law provides the framework against which municipal receivership developed. I then analyze some of the legal arguments against municipal receivership. Based on specific home rule provisions in state constitutions and a reading of the history of the home rule movement, I argue that home rule should provide cities with some protection against the state imposition of municipal receivership. Additionally, federal law may also be able to protect some cities from the loss of local voting rights that municipal receivership entails. This Note then transitions into an evaluation of the extralegal arguments against municipal receivership. Politically speaking, municipal receivership is problematic because of the effect it has on democratic governance and the political incentives of local residents. Moreover, by defining success narrowly and misunderstanding how local financial crises arise, I argue that municipal receivership represents bad policy in that it fails to provide a long-term solution for the causes that generated the fiscal instability in the first place. This Note concludes with a review of some alternatives to municipal receivership, and discusses why they are superior.

4 citations

Posted Content
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors argue that the basic structure of representation in Congress has not changed since 1790, and that the proper role of the federal courts in regulating the balance of power between the states and the federal government should be discussed.
Abstract: This Article was prepared for the Henry J. Miller Distinguished Lecture Series/Symposium on "New Frontiers of Federalism," held at the Georgia State University College of Law in February 1997. Should the federal courts play a role in regulating the balance of power between the states and the federal government? This Article argues that the answer is "yes," and its starting point is the simple observation that the basic structure of representation in Congress has not changed since 1790. Even if, as some scholars contend, our "real community" today is a "national one," our federal lawmaking process is not national. And this has important implications for any discussion of the proper role of the federal courts in regulating the balance of power between the states and the federal government. Part I describes the structure of representation in Congress and uses modern game theory to show that the disproportionately great power, relative to their shares of the nation's population, that the Senate affords small population states is only very slightly mitigated by the proportional representation that the House provides. Building on this finding, Part II explains why we should expect Congress to generate laws that, in the long run, systematically benefit small-population states at the expense of large ones. Some empirical evidence that supports this theoretical claim is then presented. Part III describes the various constraints on the enactment of special legislation that the Framers included in the Constitution to combat this problem. It argues that those who applaud the Court's unwillingness to enforce these provisions have the burden of justifying the increased federal redistribution in favor of small-population states that is highly likely to result. Part IV discusses the relevance of Article V to the arguments in favor of judicial enforcement of the Constitution's federalism provisions that are presented in Parts I through III.

1 citations

References
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Book
09 Feb 1994
TL;DR: Technopolis as discussed by the authors provides a conceptual framework for understanding urban and regional growth processes based on a combination of inter-industrial, labor market, and geographical factors, and provides case studies and original data on three major industries: aircraft and parts, missiles and space equipment, and electronics.
Abstract: "Technopolis" is a timely theoretical and empirical investigation of the world's largest high-technology industrial complexSouthern California. Allen Scott provides a new conceptual framework for understanding urban and regional growth processes based on a combination of inter-industrial, labor market, and geographical factors. He presents case studies and original data on three major industries that have become synonymous with Southern California: aircraft and parts, missiles and space equipment, and electronics. The business community will be particularly interested in Scott's diagnosis of post-Cold War economic ills and his suggestions for possible remedies. In good times or bad, knowledge of how Southern California's high-tech industry and regional development have interacted in the past and might interact in the future will be invaluable for regional and economic planners everywhere."

245 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors evaluate two models to explain local social welfare: an intergovernmental model, based on federal and state funds, and an interjurisdictional model based on measures of local monopoly power, and find that vertical arrangements tend to drive local redistributive spending.
Abstract: Objectives. Contrary to conventional wisdom, Census data show a substantial local role in providing health, housing, and public welfare services. I evaluate two models to explain local social welfare: an intergovernmental model, based on federal and state funds, and an interjurisdictional model, based on measures of local monopoly power. Methods. I estimate a panel data model of local redistributive expenditures from 1992–2002 to test between these alternative explanations for local redistribution. Results. I find that vertical arrangements tend to drive local redistributive spending. Conclusions. Intergovernmental factors drive local social welfare policy and suppress the local welfare race to the bottom.

63 citations

BookDOI
TL;DR: The Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics as discussed by the authors is an authoritative volume on an established subject in political science and the academy more generally: urban politics and urban studies, which covers the major themes that animate the subfield: the politics of space and place; power and governance; urban policy; urban social organization; citizenship and democratic governance; representation and institutions; approaches and methodology; and the future of urban politics.
Abstract: The Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics is an authoritative volume on an established subject in political science and the academy more generally: urban politics and urban studies. The editors are all recognized experts, and are well connected to the leading scholars in urban politics. The book covers the major themes that animate the subfield: the politics of space and place; power and governance; urban policy; urban social organization; citizenship and democratic governance; representation and institutions; approaches and methodology; and the future of urban politics. Given the caliber of the editors and proposed contributors, the volume should set the intellectual agenda for years to come.

39 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors identify the expansion, spatial distribution, and concentration of this global power over time, and to consider its impact on the global economy, taking the position that transnational corporations are increasingly significant actors in the world economy, independent of the nation-states within which they are located.
Abstract: This is a study of the growth of organizational power in the world-economy over the past forty years. It takes the position that transnational corporations (TNCs) are increasingly significant actors in the world-economy, independent of the nation-states within which they are located. The goal of this work is to identify the expansion, spatial distribution, and concentration of this global power over time, and to consider its impact on the global economy. The TNC networks are identified by locating the headquarters and foreign subsidiaries of the world’s 100 largest manufacturing corporations in 1962, 1971, 1983, 1991 and 1998. The distribution of ownership and location of these foreign subsidiaries are examined, both globally and bilaterally. I find high levels of concentration in ownership of these global networks that decrease over time, in contrast to a high degree of dispersion in the location of these linkages. U.S. corporations are clearly the dominant actors from 1962 to 1971 but decline dramatically through 1998, while Japanese and Western European TNC control over transnational networks grows significantly over this period. An empirical measure of economic dominance in the global economy is also presented.

34 citations