Dispersed Federalism as a New Regional Governance for Homeland Security

Posted: 18 Aug 2009

See all articles by Patrick Roberts

Patrick Roberts

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


State and local officials complain about their lack of involvement in disaster plans issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Their complaints point to a common theme: the reorganization that produced the DHS complicated shared governance. States and localities carry out most of the work of homeland security, but the federal government's guidelines and grants shape much of what subnational governments do. This article offers an interpretation of the complaints of emergency management officials and a proposal for dispersing federal homeland security personnel and resources out of Washington, DC, to FEMA regions. Dispersing federal agencies to the regions they oversee offers an alternative to pure centralization and decentralization that combines the task and location specificity of major approaches to federalism.

Suggested Citation

Roberts, Patrick, Dispersed Federalism as a New Regional Governance for Homeland Security. Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Vol. 38, Issue 3, pp. 416-443, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1456151 or http://dx.doi.org/pjn010

Patrick Roberts (Contact Author)

Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University ( email )

Center for Public Administration and Policy
School of Public and International Affairs
Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics