The framers of the US Constitution enumerated specific powers for the federal government, leaving all else under the purview of states or the people. Over time, the federal government has expanded its role, yet the American people have more trust in state and local governments that are closer to them—and where co-partisanship is often a matter of necessity. Scholars and practitioners in policymaking gathered at the Hoover Institution in September 2023 to discuss the ramifications of federalism for contemporary issues. American Federalism Today presents those conference proceedings.

Renowned experts from a range of disciplines, including economics, political science, history, and law, lay out the key priorities in evaluating and reinvigorating America’s federal system of governance. Among the topics they examine are infrastructure, education and healthcare financing, trust in government, and intergovernmental relations in an era of rising federal debt and unfunded state and local liabilities. Three influential governors—Mitch Daniels, Jeb Bush, and Jerry Brown—describe navigating the federalist system as they led their states through many challenges. This unique compilation draws on the remarkable expertise and experience of its contributors to probe federalism’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges in the nation’s political and economic governance.


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