The Politics of Unfunded Mandates

cover art
264 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407088 (0878407081)

264 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878407095 (087840709X)

ISBN: 9781589018747

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December 1998
LC: 98-16020

American Governance and Public Policy series



The Politics of Unfunded Mandates
Whither Federalism?
Paul L. Posner

Winner of the 2008 Martha Derthick Best Book Award of the American Political Science Association
This book is the first comprehensive analysis of the politics behind the use of mandates requiring state and local governments to implement federal policy.

Over the last twenty-five years, during both liberal and conservative eras, federal mandates have emerged as a resilient tool for advancing the interests of both political parties. Revealing the politics that led to the policies, Paul L. Posner explores the origins of these congressional mandates, what interests and needs they satisfy, whether mandate reform initiatives can be expected to alter their use, and their implications for federalism.

This book reveals how mandates have changed the way policy is formed in the United States and the fundamental relationship between the federal government and the state and local governments.
Paul L. Posner is director of Federal Budget Issues at the U.S. General Accounting Office and an adjunct professor in the Graduate Public Policy Program at Georgetown University.
Barry Rabe and John Tierney, Series Editors
"A pioneering quantitative and qualitative study of a hot intergovernmental topic — federal mandates on state and local governments … this superb study should be read by every student of American federalism. Its breadth also makes it classroom friendly."—Political Science Quarterly

"Posner has written the definitive work on the politics of federal mandates. He has given us a subtle, comprehensive, and commanding analysis of one of the most important intergovernmental trends of the past three decades. Every serious student of American federalism and contemporary policymaking will find it essential reading."—Timothy J. Conlan, associate professor of government and politics, George Mason University

"By far the most comprehensive treatment of the 'second face' of contemporary federalism … Posner brings a great depth of knowledge and painstaking research to his examination of these important environmental, educational, non-discrimination, and health and safety programs … A significant work worthy of the attention of any student of American government."—David R. Beam, director, Graduate Program in Public Administration, Illinois Institute of Technology