Get access

Federalist No. 44: What Is the Role of Intergovernmental Relations in Federalism?


Robert Agranoff is professor emeritus in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. Since 1990, he also has been a senior professor in the Government and Public Administration Program, Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, Madrid, Spain. He continues to do research in public management, networks, and intergovernmental relations. His latest book is Local Governments and Their Intergovernmental Networks in Federalizing Spain (2010).


Federalist No. 44 examines the connective mechanisms underlying a federal system of government. Traditionally called “intergovernmental relations,” these systems were intended to facilitate the pursuit of effective implementation of national policies. This essay suggests that the national government's officers should not be impressed by collaboration unless it produces better performance or lower costs. Collaboration is a means to an end, not an absolute requirement.