Federalism Index Project
Making Federalism Accessible
"The federal state relationship is central to our democracy. This has been a topic discussed since our founding fathers first decided to embark on this entire venture...This is basic federalism, the role of the states and the role of the federal government, and it is important that we get this right. Our founding fathers understood, and we have to remember today, that the balance between the state and the federal, that magnificent balance that is articulated in the constitution is the essence of our democracy."
— Governor Andrew M. Cuomo
Federalism Committees provide states an opportunity to enhance dialogue, examine boundaries and roles regarding federal-state relations, as well as strive for a proper balance in our federal system. It is interesting to note that these committees are not specific to a particular region or political party - showing that federalism is a topic that is relevant to a wide range of people.
The concentration of regulatory power in the federal government over the last 100 years has raised numerous concerns related to efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. Measuring variation in regulations provides a perspective on American federalism that can not be captured in other standard measures.
Citizen attitudes toward the American federal system have changed over time. The Public Opinion Dashboard tracks key indicators of how much Americans trust their government, and how they feel about the power, efficiency, and accountability at different levels of government.
What do Americans know about the American federal system? Considering the importance of civic knowledge in evaluating the health of the federal system, this dashboard attempts to provide a comprehensive overview of existing research on how well Americans know their own federal system. Initial research suggests that Constitutional literacy in federalism studies is low, compared to Constitutional literacy in other areas.