Contemporary American Federalism

The Growth of National Power, Second Edition

By Joseph F. Zimmerman

Subjects: American Government, Constitutional Studies, Congressional Studies, Public Policy
Paperback : 9780791475966, 266 pages, July 2009
Hardcover : 9780791475959, 266 pages, October 2008

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Table of contents


1. National-State Relations

2. Establishment of the Federal System

3. The United States Constitution

4. Congressional Preemption of State Regulatory Authority

5. Federalism and the Judiciary

6. Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations

7. Interstate Relations

8. State-Local Relations

9. Power Centralization in the Federal System


Traces the development of the American federal system of government, focusing principally on the shifting balance of powers between the national government and the states.


Contemporary American Federalism traces the development of the federal system within the United States from 1789 to the present. In contrast to earlier works on American federalism, this book examines not only national-state relations, but also interstate relations and state-local relations, and does so while introducing and explaining how theories of federalism may be utilized to understand the system at its origins and as it operates today. Individual chapters explore the establishment of the federal system, the United States Constitution, congressional preemption of state regulatory authority, federalism and the judiciary, intergovernmental fiscal relations, interstate relations, state-local relations, and, finally, the growth of power centralization within the federal system.

Joseph F. Zimmerman is Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is the author of many books, including The Silence of Congress: State Taxation of Interstate Commerce; Interstate Disputes: The Supreme Court's Original Jurisdiction; and Congressional Preemption: Regulatory Federalism, all also published by SUNY Press.


"As an exposé on the vast increase of national authority at the expense of state power and autonomy, this book is quite successful. " — American Review of Politics

"This book not only covers almost every conceivable issue that is relevant to the topic of American federalism, including familiar subjects like the advantages and disadvantages of a federal system, but also less familiar subjects, such as intergovernmental fiscal relations. " — Robert F. Nagel, author of The Implosion of American Federalism