POLS 225 PROFESSOR FRANK BRYAN
INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS COURSE NO. 91728
Course Requirements and Expectations
This is a senior level seminar. Significant preparation and participation is expected from everyone. Each member of the seminar is important to its success. Therefore, class attendance is essential and I will record it. There is no basic text to purchase for this course but substantial reading is required. I will make many of the assigned readings available by placing them on reserve. But, please note, because one of the goals of the course is to make sure you graduate from UVM with some library skills, I will not place on reserve "standard" stuff like the Federalist Papers or a Supreme Court decision or an article in a journal I know is in the library and can't be taken out.
A key component of the course is a research project which you will present to your colleagues during class time and which will be the basis for a paper you will present to me by December 17. (This is two days before the end of the exam period.) For obvious reasons I strongly urge you to have it completed before exams begin. There is no final exam in the course.
An hour test will be given on October 14. This will be an essay exam dealing with: (1) the theoretical and descriptive elements of my lectures and the assigned readings and (2) the methodological / policy component of my lectures.
The Grading Breakdown
Class participation 30%
daily attendance & participation 15%
the paper presentation 15%
Hour Exam 30%
Dates to Remember
Tuesday, September 30th Paper Proposal Due
Tuesday, October 14th Hour Exam
TBA Paper Presentation
Wednesday, December 17th Final Paper Due
It has struck me over the years that there has been no direct relationship between the technical quality of papers submitted to me and the development of electronic word processing capacities. Papers look neater (even prettier) and more symmetrical but the mechanics are as shoddy as ever. I don't give points for things like right justification, color, or fancy covers. Therefore, the first requirement is that it be clean, clear, properly outlined, footnoted and formatted. Remember words "to" and "too" or "there" and "their" will not be flagged by a spell check. Computers can't do everything. (Yet.)
Second, I want these papers to become your best piece of written work in your undergraduate career. That is, when you are asked by a graduate school, law school, or employer to submit a sample of your written work, I want you (without hesitation) to reach for the paper you wrote for this course. Be proud of your work!
Finally, the content of your paper must be designed, if not to answer original questions with original research, at least to provide interesting insights to important questions. Envision your paper as a publishable piece of research--that is, to be able to argue that if it were done well it would be interesting and/or useful to some (even if very small) audience beyond the university. For example something like the "Vermont School Finance Newsletter" on the minimalist end or the "Maine Policy Review" in the middle or the magazine "Governing" on the high end. Go for it.
Intergovernmental Relations has evolved from the study of federalism (almost exclusively) to the study of interactions of a wide spectrum of governmental structures. Still, the principal focus of the course begins with and is grounded in the relationships between the states and the national government. Beyond this, however, the study of intergovernmental relations deals with the connections between the states and their localities, these localities and the federal government, the states with one another and non-profit "quasi public" institutions with all three levels of government.
IGR has also moved (as has much of political science) away from the study of structure and process to the study of behavior and public policy. Yet IGR is more concerned with policy because it deals with the interactions of institutions. Other areas of political science are more properly concerned with behavior since they are dealing with individuals.
In this course I will use questions of public policy as vehicles to carry us into (and, hopefully, through) the tangled underbrush that chokes our understanding of why governments do what they do. Thus in many ways this course might be defined (at least in part) as a course in public policy taught against a background of political structure and using comparative techniques with the states and their localities as the fundamental unit of analysis.
(The states and the nation)
(A) Theories of Federalism
(B) Federalism in the Constitution
(C) American Federalism -- the Bias Toward the Center
(D) Federalism in the Court
(E) Methods I
(F) Methods II
1. William Livingston A Note on the Nature of Federalism (R)
2. Martin Diamond What the Framers Meant by Federalism (R)
3. Walter Burns The Meaning of the 10th Amendment (R)
4. Hunter and Oakerson "The Intellectual Crisis in American Federalism" Publius 16 (1986)
5. James Madison The Federalist Papers no. 39.
6. John Marshall McCullouch vs
7. Kenneth Meier Introduction to Regression Analysis (R)
(The Localities and the States)
(A) "Baker vs Carr" and the Creatures of the State
(B) Local Governments: What they Look Like, How they Work
(C) The "Erosion of Local Autonomy"
(D) The Case of Educational Finance
(E) The Chaos of Sub-state Jurisdictions
(F) Interstate Politics and the Variants of Public Policy
1. R. Briffault "Centralization and Constitutional Law" (R)
2. Baker vs Carr (1962)
3. Stevens "State Centralization and the Erosion of Local Autonomy" Journal of Politics (Feb. 1974)
4. C. Mathesian "The Quagmire of Educational Finance" (R)
5. C. Smith "Tax Reform and State Educational Spending" (R)
(Variants of Public Policy)
(A) Fiscal Federalism
(B) Models of Taxation
(C) Social Services
(E) The Environment
(F) Law Enforcement
1. Robert Stein, The Allocation of Federal Aid Monies: The Synthesis of Demand-Side and Supply Side Explanations The American Political Science Review 75 (1981) pp. 334-343.
Berry and William Berry, Tax Innovation in
the States: Capitalizing on Political
3. Virginia Gray, Federalism and Health Care, PS: Political Science and Politics 27 (1994), pp. 217-220.
4. Susan H. Fuhrman, Legislatures and Education Policy in the 1990's Publius 24 (1994), pp. 83-98.
5. Bruce Williams and Albert Matseny, Testing Theories of Social Regulation: Hazardous Waste Regulation in the American States, Journal of Politics 46 (1984), pp. 428-458.
(A) Crossover Sanctions and the Issues of Federal Blackmail
(B) Mandates and Prescription, Keeping Power--Delegating Blame
(C) Innovation: Where Does it Come From?
(D) Federalism and the Problem of Variety
(E) Levels of Government and the Democratic Process
(F) Whither Federalism in the Post Industrial Period
1. Ali Sevin, Highway Sanctions: Circumventing the Constitution, State Legislatures 15 (1989), pp. 25-29 (R)
2. Jacqueline Colmes, Bricks Without Straw: the Complaints Go on but Congress Keeps mandating, Governing September (1988), pp. 21-26 (R)
3. Ellen Perlman, The Gorilla that Swallows State Laws Governing, August (1994) (R)
4. Robert J. Pranger, The Decline of the American National Government, Publius Fall (1973)