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Journal Articles Publius: The Journal of Federalism Year : 2005

Does Federalism Weaken Democratic Representation in the United States?

Kevin Arceneaux

Abstract

The framers of the U.S. Constitution explicitly designed federalism to enhance representation. Because powers are divided among multiple governments, citizens are able to exert pressure on the elected officials of various governments in an effort to achieve desired outcomes. If one government is not doing what citizens prefer, they can seek it from a different government. This assumes that individuals form opinions about the functions performed by different governments. Given the complexity of federalism, this may be an unrealistic assumption for many citizens. Original survey data uniquely suited to explore this question suggest that citizens do behave in a fashion consistent with the federalist framework. Moreover, the actual change in the assignment of functional responsibilities across governments behaves as if it responds to public opinion.

Dates and versions

hal-03635545 , version 1 (08-04-2022)

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Kevin Arceneaux. Does Federalism Weaken Democratic Representation in the United States?. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, 2005, 35 (2), pp.297-311. ⟨10.1093/publius/pji015⟩. ⟨hal-03635545⟩

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