Saturday, October 08, 2011

The Political Safeguards of Federalism: Dead or Alive?

The Center for the Study of Federalism at the Meyner Center invites paper proposals for the 2012 APSA Annual Conference

The Political Safeguards of Federalism: Dead or Alive?

Submission deadline: December 15.

The Center for the Study of Federalism at the Meyner Center invites papers on the vitality of the “political and institutional safeguards of federalism” conceived broadly. Consistent with the conference theme of Representation and Renewal, we invite papers that especially examine the extent to which the interests of state and local governments continue to be represented in and protected by the political safeguards of federalism, such as representation in the U.S. Senate, the electoral college, and Senate confirmation of judicial appointments. In its 1985 Garcia decision, the U.S. Supreme Court opined that states should rely on such political safeguards rather than on the Court to protect their powers. We invite a range of papers, from normative and philosophical to historical and empirical, that examine the effectiveness of these safeguards generally and across different branches of government and different policies. Possible questions to consider include: Are the political safeguards of federalism fundamental to the American federal system or has the United States evolved beyond them? How do federalism's political and/or institutional safeguards affect citizen representation? How have the political safeguards fared under united and divided government of the last two decades? Do the political safeguards protect states from unwelcome federal intrusions? Finally, given that 2012 will be the tenth anniversary of the demise of the Supreme Court’s so-called federalism revolution, one can ask what happened to that revolution and are there any signs of a federalism revival from the Roberts’ Court? Papers on other federalism topics will be considered as well, depending on CSF’s panel allocation.

Submit your proposals to: Troy Smith at