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%


            Paper                                                                                       40%



Dates to Remember


            Tuesday, September 30th                                             Paper Proposal Due

            Tuesday, October   14th                                   Hour Exam

            TBA                                                                             Paper Presentation

            Wednesday, December 17th                             Final Paper Due



                                                                        The Paper


            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.



                                                             Conceptual Boundaries


            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.



                                                                 Lecture Schedule



                                                                     PART ONE

                                                          (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


Required Reading


            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 Maryland

            7. Kenneth Meier  Introduction to Regression Analysis  (R)



                                                                    PART TWO

                                                       (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


Required Reading


            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)



                                                                   PART THREE

                                                          (Variants of Public Policy)




            (A) Fiscal Federalism 

            (B) Models of Taxation

            (C) Social Services

            (D) Education

            (E) The Environment

            (F) Law Enforcement


Required Reading        


            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.

            2. Frances Berry and William Berry, “Tax Innovation in the States: Capitalizing on Political Opportunity,” American Journal of Political Science 36 (1992), pp. 715-742.

            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.


                                                                    PART FOUR





            (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


Required Readings


            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)



                                                                     PART FIVE