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National-State Relations: Cooperative Federalism in the Twentieth Century

Joseph F. Zimmerman
Publius
Vol. 31, No. 2, Essays in Memory of Daniel J. Elazar (Spring, 2001), pp. 15-30
Published by: Oxford University Press
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3330955
Page Count: 16
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National-State Relations: Cooperative Federalism in the Twentieth Century
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Abstract

Daniel J. Elazar's 1959 Ph.D. dissertation demonstrated conclusively the inadequate explanatory value of the theory of dual federalism and the prevalence of cooperative national-state relations in the period ending in 1913. Congressional employment of total and partial preemption and coercive regulatory powers since 1965 raises the question whether the theory of cooperative federalism explains fully the functioning of the federal system at the beginning of the twenty-first century. An examination of national-state relations reveals that each of the two theories retains a degree of explanatory value. There is, however, a need for a more general theory incorporating elements of these theories and coercive use of congressional powers, highlighting the generally cooperative nature of national-state relations, and explaining the continuous readjustment of the respective powers of Congress and states.

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