Political Theory

Federalism, Decentralization, and Liberty


This conference explored different understandings of federalism and further asked if any of these versions of federalism were necessarily better for individual liberty and prosperity than centralized political systems.


Conference Readings

Chart: "Federal, State, and Local Own-Source Revenue in the United States, 1907 to present."

Greve, Michael S. The Upside-Down Constitution. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2012.

Hamilton, Alexander, James Madison, and John Jay. The Federalist: The Gideon Edition. Edited by George W. Carey and James McClellan. Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, Inc., 2001.

Kohn, Meir. Commerce, Predation, and Production: A New Theory of Economic Progress. Hanover: Dartmouth College Department of Economics, 2013.

Kymlicka, Will, “Is Federalism a Viable Alternative to Secession?” In Theories of Secession, edited by Percy B. Lehning, 111-150. London: Routledge, 1998.

Levy, Jacob T. “Federalism, Liberalism, and the Separation of Loyalties.” American Political Science Review 101, no. 3 (2007): 459-477.

Qian, Yingi, and Barry R. Weingast. “Federalism as a Commitment to Preserving Market Incentives.” Journal of Economic Perspectives 11, no. 4 (1997): 83-92.

Rodden, Jonathan A. Hamilton’s Paradox: The Promise and Peril of Fiscal Federalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Siegel, Neil. “Competitive Federalism and Collective Action Federalism.” For the symposium on Michael Greve, Balkinization, June 18, 2013.

Somin, Ilya. “Foot Voting, Political Ignorance, and Constitutional Design.” Social Philosophy and Policy 28, no. 1 (2011): 202-227.

Treisman, Daniel. The Architecture of Government: Rethinking Political Decentralization. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007.