Social policymaking in federal systems: Can equity and diversity coexist?

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Classroom discussions of social policymaking and federalism often begin with the presumption that federalism is incompatible with a strong and egalitarian welfare state. Assessing the logic of this claim and the empirical evidence to support it invokes issues of representation, government performance, and citizenship that are central to many scholarly disciplines. It also highlights two key themes of federalism research: (1) the importance of institutional design and the many ways that federal systems differ from one another; and (2) the impact of intergovernmental relations, especially the interactions between the federal and constituent governments. This chapter offers general advice on how to structure and teach social policymaking and federalism, provides a set of potential questions for classroom discussions and examinations, and describes how instructors might engage these issues in undergraduate and graduate courses on comparative federalism, the politics of social policy, individual federal systems, and specific policy domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTeaching Federalism
Subtitle of host publicationMultidimensional Approaches
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781800885325
ISBN (Print)9781800885318
StatePublished - Jan 1 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© John Kincaid and J. Wesley Leckrone 2023.


  • Democracy
  • Federalism
  • Institutional design
  • Policy experimentation
  • Social citizenship
  • Social policymaking


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