Administration and Governance in a Compound Republic: Martha Derthick’s Contributions to the Study of American Federalism


Tim Conlan is University Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and a recipient of the Daniel J. Elazar Distinguished Federalism Scholar Award from the American Political Science Association. He is the editor, with Paul Posner, of Intergovernmental Management for the 21st Century (Brookings Institution, 2008), and the author of From New Federalism to Devolution: Twenty-Five Years of Intergovernmental Reform (Brookings Institution, 1998).


Martha Derthick is among the most influential scholars of American federalism, administrative behavior, and domestic policy making. Her work over a half century has pioneered the study of policy implementation, administrative and political relationships in federal grant programs, intergovernmental policy making, as well as the evolution of the federal system. This essay reviews her major intellectual contributions to the fields of federalism, public administration, and intergovernmental relations.