The Perils of Federalism

Ultimately, the book not only challenges what we think about the advantages of relying on federal power for sensible and fair solutions to longstanding social problems.

The Perils of Federalism

In the past dozen years, a number of American cities plagued by gun violence have tried to enact local laws to stem gun-related crime. Yet policymakers at the state and federal levels have very frequently stymied their efforts. This is not an atypical phenomenon. In fact, for a whole range of pressing social problems, state and federal policymakers ignore the demands of local communities that suffer from such ills the most. Lisa L. Miller asks, how does America's multi-tiered political system shape crime policy in ways that empower the higher levels of government yet demobilize and disempower local communities? After all, crime has a disproportionate impact on poor and minority communities, which typically connect crime and violence to broader social and economic inequities at the local level. As The Perils of Federalism powerfully demonstrates, though, the real control to set policy lies with the state and federal governments, and at these levels single-issue advocates - gun rights groups as well as prison, prosecutorial and law enforcement agencies - are able to shape policy over the heads of the people most affected by the issue. There is a tragic irony in this. The conventional wisdom that emerged from the Civil Rights era was that the higher levels of government - and the federal level in particular - best served the disadvantaged, while localities were most likely to ignore the social problems resulting from racial and economic inequality. Crime policy, Miller argues, teaches us an opposite lesson: as policy control migrates to higher levels, the priorities of low-income minority communities are ignored, the realities of racial and economic inequality are marginalized, and citizens lose their voices. Taking readers from the streets of Philadelphia to the halls of Congress, she details how and why our system operates in the way that it does. Ultimately, the book not only challenges what we think about the advantages of relying of federal power for sensible and fair solutions to longstanding social problems. It also highlights the deep disconnect between the structure of the American political system and the ideals of democratic accountability.

More Books:

The Perils of Federalism
Language: en
Pages: 254
Authors: Lisa L. Miller
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-09-29 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

In the past dozen years, a number of American cities plagued by gun violence have tried to enact local laws to stem gun-related crime. Yet policymakers at the state and federal levels have very frequently stymied their efforts. This is not an atypical phenomenon. In fact, for a whole range
The Perils of Federalism
Language: en
Pages:
Authors: Lisa Lynn Miller
Categories: African Americans
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008 - Publisher:

Much of the existing research on race and crime focuses on the manipulation of crime by political elites or the racially biased nature of crime policy. In contrast, the author here specifically focuses on political and socio-legal institutions and actors that drive these developments and their relationship to the politics
The Perils of Federalism
Language: en
Pages: 266
Authors: Lisa L. Miller
Categories: Social Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2008-09-29 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Much of the existing research on race and crime focuses on the manipulation of crime by political elites or the racially biased nature of crime policy. In contrast, Lisa L. Miller here specifically focuses on political and socio-legal institutions and actors that drive these developments and their relationship to the
Federalism and the Making of America
Language: en
Pages: 238
Authors: David Brian Robertson
Categories: Political Science
Type: BOOK - Published: 2017-09-14 - Publisher: Routledge

Though Americans rarely appreciate it, federalism has profoundly shaped their nation’s past, present, and future. Federalism—the division of government authority between the national government and the states—affects the prosperity, security, and daily life of every American. Some of the most spectacular political conflicts in American history have been fought on
From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime
Language: en
Pages: 459
Authors: Elizabeth Hinton
Categories: History
Type: BOOK - Published: 2016-05-09 - Publisher: Harvard University Press

How did the land of the free become the home of the world’s largest prison system? Elizabeth Hinton traces the rise of mass incarceration to an ironic source: not the War on Drugs of the Reagan administration but the War on Crime that began during Johnson’s Great Society at the