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Democracy Works

135 EpisodesProduced by Penn State McCourtney Institute for Democracy/The Democracy GroupWebsite

Examining what it means to live in a democracy

35:45

Federalism in uncertain times

With each passing day, the relationship between states and the federal government seems to grow more complicated. States are forming coalitions and working together to chart a path out of COVID-19, while sometimes competing with one another for resources. A lack of clear guidance from the federal government will likely lead to a fragmented return to business and social life state by state in the coming weeks and months.

This situation is unique in many ways, but brings to light the complexities of American federalism — our topic of discussion this week. Charles Barrilleaux, Leroy Collins Professor and Political Science Department Chair at Florida State University, is an expert on American federalism and joins us to discuss the relationship between states and the federal government, and how that manifests itself during the response to COVID-19.

The episode begins with Michael and Chris explaining the history of federalism and what powers the Constitution gives states and the federal government.

Related Episodes

COVID-19 exposes democracy’s tensions

When states sue the federal government

Episode Credits

This episode was recorded on April 13, 2020. It was engineered by Jenna Spinelle, edited by Chris Kugler, and reviewed by Emily Reddy.

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