THE SHAPING OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

THE AMERICAN FEDERAL SYSTEM HAS ALWAYS BEEN CHARACTERIZED BY THE CO-OPERATIVE INTERRELATIONSHIP OF FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS WHICH SERVE THE SAME PEOPLE, GENERALLY SHARE THE SAME GOALS, AND ARE FACED WITH THE SAME DEMANDS. CO-OPERATIVE FEDERALISM AS WE KNOW IT IS NOT DECENTRALIZATION BUT NONCENTRALIZATION, PREDICATED ON BROAD NATIONAL LEGISLATIVE AND FISCAL POWERS JOINED WITH A TRADITIONAL PENCHANT FOR MAINTAINING MAXIMUM LOCAL CONTROL OVER GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITIES. THE PATTERN OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS IN THE TWENTIETH CENTURY HAS REMAINED WITHIN THE CO-OPERATIVE TRADITION ESTABLISHED EARLIER, MODIFIED ONLY AS NECESSARY IN LIGHT OF THE GREAT EXPANSION OF GOVERNMENT ACTIVITY IN AMERICAN SOCIETY SINCE 1913. BECAUSE OF THE PRESENT PERVASIVENESS OF GOVERNMENT IN THE UNITED STATES, THIS MEANS THAT EVERY LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT IS INVOLVED IN VIRTUALLY EVERY GOVERNMENTAL ACTIVITY. INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS MAY INVOLVE INFORMAL COOPERATION, CONTRACTS FOR SIMPLE SHARING, INTERCHANGE OF PERSONNEL, INTERDEPENDENT ACTIVITIES, GRANTS-IN-AID, TAX OFFSETS, AND SHARED REVENUES. THE PRECISE CHARACTER OF THE CO-OPERATIVE RELATIONSHIP IS TAILORED TO FIT EACH PROGRAM THROUGH THE POLITICAL PROCESS IN WHICH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE FEDERAL, STATE, AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND CONCERNED PRIVATE INTERESTS ALL PARTICIPATE. NONCENTRALIZED GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN MAINTAINED IN THE FACE OF MANY CENTRALIZING PRESSURES ONLY BECAUSE ITS MECHANISMS HAVE BEEN SUFFICIENTLY FLEXIBLE TO RESPOND TO THE CHANGING INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

  • Availability:
  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Vol 359 pp 10-21, 2 TAB
  • Authors:
    • Elazar, D J
  • Publication Date: 1965-5

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  • Accession Number: 00239094
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 5 1994 12:00AM