The Upside-Down Constitution

  • Title:

    The Upside-Down Constitution
  • Paperback Dimensions:

    9.2 x 6.1 x 0.6 inches
  • 528 Paperback pages
  • Hardcover Price:

    39.95
  • Hardcover ISBN:

    978-0674061910
  • Buy the Book

Conservative pundits and politicians have long advocated "federalism" and "devolution" as remedies for the ill effects of an overbearing, meddlesome government. However, excessive centralization in some dimensions has gone hand-in-hand with excessive decentralization in others. Witness mounting state debts and bets on federal bailouts, state attorneys general on the prowl against national industries and trial lawyers' class actions in "hellhole" jurisdictions. The problem, Michael Greve argues in his provocative new book, "The Upside-Down Constitution," is not too little federalism but the wrong kind of federalism. Constitutional federalism institutionalizes competition among states, the better to discipline politics. Our contemporary federalism operates on the opposite principle--pervasive state cartels, for the purpose of facilitating interest group politics and exploitation. More federalism of that kind means more fiscal profligacy and political irresponsibility.

In exploring federalism's pathologies, Greve takes aim both at the New Deal's progressive heirs (who champion upside-down federalism) and at the advocates of clause-bound "originalist" constitutional interpretation. The financial crisis will compel a painful renegotiation of the country's federalism arrangements. "The Upside-Down Constitution" argues that a reorientation toward constitutional forms and arrangements will require a wholesale reformulation of conservative jurisprudence.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Michael S.
Greve

What's new on AEI

image The Census Bureau and Obamacare: Dumb decision? Yes. Conspiracy? No.
image A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
image Give the CBO long-range tools
image The coming collapse of India's communists
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 21
    MON
  • 22
    TUE
  • 23
    WED
  • 24
    THU
  • 25
    FRI
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Graduation day: How dads’ involvement impacts higher education success

Join a diverse group of panelists — including sociologists, education experts, and students — for a discussion of how public policy and culture can help families lay a firmer foundation for their children’s educational success, and of how the effects of paternal involvement vary by socioeconomic background.

Thursday, April 24, 2014 | 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Getting it right: A better strategy to defeat al Qaeda

This event will coincide with the release of a new report by AEI’s Mary Habeck, which analyzes why current national security policy is failing to stop the advancement of al Qaeda and its affiliates and what the US can do to develop a successful strategy to defeat this enemy.

Friday, April 25, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Obamacare’s rocky start and uncertain future

During this event, experts with many different views on the ACA will offer their predictions for the future.   

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.