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Assessing the George W. Bush PresidencyA Tale of Two Terms$
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Andrew Wroe and Jon Herbert

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780748627400

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.001.0001

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Federalism in the Bush Era

Federalism in the Bush Era

Chapter:
(p.59) Chapter 5 Federalism in the Bush Era
Source:
Assessing the George W. Bush Presidency
Author(s):

M. J. C. Vile

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748627400.003.0005

America is a pluralistic society, one in which many interest groups contend over political issues. Although the geographic character of federalism has not been entirely lost, it has increasingly become an institutional mechanism through which the pluralistic battle of differing interest groups is played out. This process was accelerated during the presidency of George W. Bush, for he seemed to have little concern for the values of federalism or for states' rights. Federalism was subordinated to his policy goals, and, where these goals required the centralisation of government power, it was vigorously pursued. In the Bush era, the institutional structure of federalism increasingly became the mechanism through which the politics of pluralism was played out. This chapter discusses federalism under the Bush administration. It first explores centralisation and devolution in the United States and then looks at Bush's conservatism, coercive federalism and federalism and the U.S. Supreme Court.

Keywords:   George W. Bush, United States, Supreme Court, federalism, centralisation, devolution, pluralism, conservatism, coercive federalism

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