The Public’s Unorthodox Views Toward State Structure

29 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020

Date Written: May 4, 2020


Advocates of state’s rights have often rallied behind the belief of a clear separation between federal and state authority over specific policy areas. Politicians from Madison to George Wallace to Ronald Reagan to recent Tea Party activists have opposed policies based on these federalism preferences. A key assumption of both political pundits and scholars of federalism is that these federalism preferences are genuine and can attenuate the public’s willingness to maximize their policy goals when citizens object to a specific level of government from intervening in the policy domain. Relying on insights from social psychology, we predict that the public will attempt to maximize their policy goals rather than rely on their federalism preferences.

Keywords: politics

Suggested Citation

Penkland, Josh, The Public’s Unorthodox Views Toward State Structure (May 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Josh Penkland (Contact Author)

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, Queensland 4072

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