Federalist No. 10: How Do Factions Affect the President as Administrator-in-Chief?


David H. Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. A member of the National Academy of Public Administration, he is the recipient of the Gaus, Waldo, Brownlow, and Levine awards, among others. His scholarship focuses primarily on public administration and democratic constitutionalism.


Federalist No. 10 arguably is the most frequently read of the Federalist Papers, in no small measure because it offers a distinct and often negative image of the polity as a source of conflict. It argues that factions cannot be tamed, but they can be controlled. This essay argues that factions have weakened effective public administration and offers a detailed discussion of the proliferation of interest groups and their role in undermining the system of checks and balances.