Profs Einstein & Glick Publish on State-Local Conflict

Professors Einstein and Glick recently published an article, “Cities in American Federalism: Evidence on State–Local Government Conflict from a Survey of Mayors,” in Publius: The Journal of Federalism.


Previous scholarship on American federalism has largely focused on the national government’s increasingly conflictual relationship with the states. While some studies have explored the rise of mandates at the state level, there has been comparatively less attention on state–local relationships. Using a new survey of mayors, we explore variations in local government attitudes towards their state governments. We find some evidence that, regardless of partisanship, mayors in more conservative states are unhappy about state funding and—especially—regulations. More strikingly, we also uncover a partisan mismatch in which Democratic mayors provide especially negative ratings of their state’s funding and—even more strongly—regulations. These findings have important implications for state–local relations as cities continue to become more Democratic and Republicans increasingly dominate state-level contests.

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