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The Impacts of New Federalism on Public/Private Partnerships

James C. Musselwhite, Jr.
Publius
Vol. 16, No. 1, Assessing the New Federalism (Winter, 1986), pp. 113-131
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330179
Page Count: 19
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The Impacts of New Federalism on Public/Private Partnerships
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Abstract

A fundamental tenet of the New Federalism is that many social welfare problems are a result of federal usurpation of responsibilities belonging to those institutions nearest the people. According to the New Federalism, state and local governments and public/private partnerships involving private, nonprofit organizations are the most appropriate mechanisms for dealing with social welfare responsibilities. To remedy the problem of federal usurpation, the Reagan administration proposed severe cuts in federal spending for social welfare programs. New data suggest that, while significant, actual cuts were not as great as originally feared by some. Yet these cuts appeared to work counter to their stated objectives. The cuts weakened the extensive public/private partnerships already existing in many communities, and forced nonprofits to adopt more entrepreneurial strategies to make up for lost government funds. These changes have raised major questions about the future role of public/private partnerships and the nonprofit sector in addressing the needs of communities.

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