Federalist No. 41: Does Polarization Inhibit Coordination?


Anthony M. Bertelli holds the C. C. Crawford Chair in Management and Performance in the School of Policy, Planning, and Development and the Gould School of Law at the University of Southern California. He is also senior lecturer in politics at the University of Manchester. His research focuses on political institutions in the United States and Western Europe.


Federalist Nos. 41–43 provide a unified justification for the powers granted to the national government by posing a series of questions about the four classes of responsibilities, such as declaring war. This essay examines the role of polarization in limiting the coordination of powers needed for effective administration and uses ideology estimates for four states to illustrate the difficulties embedded in shared power between national and state governments.