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Federalism

The federal system of the United States acted as a bulwark against the centralization of government, until recently. Constitutional authority and jurisdiction must return to states in order to lessen the burden of government on everyday Americans.

Barry Weingast Hoover Headshot

Barry R. Weingast

Senior Fellow
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Barry Weingast Hoover Headshot

Barry R. Weingast

Senior Fellow

Barry R. Weingast is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the Ward C. Krebs Family Professor in the Department of Political Science at Stanford University. He received a BS from the University of California, Santa Cruz (mathematics, 1974), and completed his PhD in economics at Caltech (1977). Weingast served as chair of Stanford’s Department of Political Science from 1996 through 2001. Weingast is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has won numerous awards, including the James L. Barr Memorial Prize in Public Economics, the Duncan Black Prize for the best paper of the year on public choice (with Kenneth Shepsle), the Heinz Eulau Prize for best paper in the American Political Science Review (with Kenneth Shepsle), the Mary Parker Follett Prize for the best paper in politics and history (twice, once with Charles Stewart); the Distinguished Scholar Award in Public Policy from the Martin School of Public Policy at the University of Kentucky, the Franklin L. Burdette Pi Sigma Alpha Award (with Kenneth Schultz), and the William H. Riker Prize in recognition of scholarly achievement in political science. Weingast has written extensively on the political economy of development, federalism, legal institutions and the rule of law, and democracy. He is author of Violence and Social Orders: A Conceptual Framework for Interpreting Recorded Human History (with Douglass North and John Wallis, 2009, Cambridge University Press) Editor (with Donald Wittman) of The Handbook of Political Economy (Oxford University Press, 2006) “The Industrial Organization of Congress” (with William Marshall), Journal of Political Economy (1988) "Structure and Process, Politics and Policy: Administrative Arrangements and the Political Control of Agencies" (with Mathew McCubbins and Roger Noll) Virginia Law Review (1989) "Constitutions and Commitment: The Evolution of Institutions Governing Public Choice in 17th Century England" (with Douglass North), Journal of Economic History (1989) "The Economic Role of Political Institutions: Market-Preserving Federalism and Economic Development," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization (1995) “The Political Foundations of Democracy and the Rule of Law," American Political Science Review (1997) "Second Generation Fiscal Federalism: The Implications of Fiscal Incentives," Journal of Urban Economics (2009)

Jonathan Rodden Hoover Headshot

Jonathan Rodden

Senior Fellow
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Jonathan Rodden Hoover Headshot

Jonathan Rodden

Senior Fellow

Jonathan Rodden is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor in the political science department at Stanford. Rodden was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, 2006–7, and a W. Glenn Campbell and Rita Ricardo-Campbell National Fellow, 2010–12. He has written several articles and a pair of books on federalism and fiscal decentralization. His most recent book, Why Cities Lose: The Deep Roots of the Urban-Rural Political Divide (Basic Books, 2019), Rodden demonstrates the left's electoral challenges have deeper roots in economic and political geography. He frequently works with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund on issues related to fiscal decentralization. His research focuses on the comparative political economy of institutions. Rodden has also written papers on the geographic distribution of political preferences within countries, legislative bargaining, the distribution of budgetary transfers across regions, and the historical origins of political institutions. He is currently writing a series of articles and a book on political geography and the drawing of electoral districts around the world. Rodden received his PhD in political science from Yale University and his BA from the University of Michigan and was a Fulbright student at the University of Leipzig, Germany. Before joining the Stanford faculty in 2007, he was the Ford Associate Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Michael McConnell Hoover Headshot

Michael McConnell

Senior Fellow
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Michael McConnell Hoover Headshot

Michael McConnell

Senior Fellow

Michael W. McConnell is the Richard and Frances Mallery Professor of Law and the director of the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. From 2002 to 2009, he served as a circuit judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. He was nominated by President George W. Bush, a Republican, and confirmed by a Democratic-majority Senate by unanimous consent. McConnell has previously held chaired professorships at the University of Chicago and the University of Utah, and visiting professorships at Harvard and New York University. He teaches courses on constitutional law, constitutional history, the First Amendment, and interpretive theory. He has published widely in the fields of constitutional law and theory, especially on matters relating to church and state, equal protection, and the separation of powers. He has two upcoming books: The President Who Would Not Be King: Executive Power under the Constitution will be published by Princeton University Press in late 2020, and Establishment of Religion: Neutrality, Accommodation, and Separation will be published by Cambridge University Press in 2021. McConnell has argued fifteen cases in the US Supreme Court, most recently a 8-1 victory in a Takings Clause case on behalf of California raisin farmers. He is next scheduled to argue in Carney v. Adams, defending a provision of the Delaware constitution requiring political balance on that state’s courts. He served as law clerk to Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan Jr. and DC Circuit Chief Judge J. Skelly Wright. He has been assistant general counsel of the Office of Management and Budget, assistant to the solicitor general of the Department of Justice, and a member of the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board. He is senior of counsel to the law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati.

Paul Peterson Hoover Headshot

Paul E. Peterson

Senior Fellow
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Paul Peterson Hoover Headshot

Paul E. Peterson

Senior Fellow

Paul E. Peterson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a member of the Koret Task Force on K–12 Education, and editor in chief of Education Next: A Journal of Opinion and Research. He is also the Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government and director of the Program on Education Policy and Governance at Harvard University. His research interests include educational policy, federalism, and urban policy. He has evaluated the effectiveness of school vouchers and other education reform initiatives. In 2006, Peterson was appointed leader of the Florida state Education Citizen Review Group and is a member of the Department of Education’s independent review panel, which is evaluating No Child Left Behind. In 2003, he was awarded the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation Prize for Distinguished Scholarship. Among the many other honors and fellowships Peterson has received are a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, a German Marshall Fund of the United States Fellowship, and a Woodrow Wilson Foundation Award from the American Political Science Association for the best book published in politics, government, or international relations. The Editorial Projects in Education Research Center reported that Peterson’s studies on school choice and vouchers were among the country’s most influential studies of education policy. Peterson is a former director of governmental studies at the Brookings Institution and has been elected to the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His most recent book, with Michael Henderson and Martin R. West, Teachers versus the Public: What Americans Think about Schools and How to Fix Them, shows the comparison of the education policy views of both teachers and the public as a whole and reveals a deep, broad divide between the opinions held by citizens and those who teach in the public schools. Other works include Endangering Prosperity: A Global View of the American School (coauthor with Eric Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann), Saving Schools: From Horace Mann to Virtual Learning, School Money Trials: The Legal Pursuit of Educational Adequacy; The Education Gap: Vouchers and Urban Schools; Reforming Education in Florida: A Study Prepared by the Koret Task Force on K-12 Education; Generational Change: Closing the Test Score Gap; and Choice and Competition in American Education.

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