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

We still don't know how many people Obamacare enrolled
image The war on invisible poverty
image Cutting fat from the budget
image Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 15
    MON
  • 16
    TUE
  • 17
    WED
  • 18
    THU
  • 19
    FRI
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Constitution as political theory

Please join us for the third-annual Walter Berns Constitution Day Lecture as James Ceasar, Harry F. Byrd Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia, explores some of the Constitution’s most significant contributions to political theory, focusing on themes that have been largely unexamined in current scholarship.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 | 8:10 a.m. – Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 1:30 p.m.
Third international conference on housing risk: New risk measures and their applications

We invite you to join us for this year’s international conference on housing risk — cosponsored by the Collateral Risk Network and AEI International Center on Housing Risk — which will focus on new mortgage and collateral risk measures and their applications.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 | 2:15 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Speaker of the House John Boehner on resetting America’s economic foundation

Please join us as Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) delivers his five-point policy vision to reset America’s economy.

Friday, September 19, 2014 | 9:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Reforming Medicare: What does the public think?

Please join us as a panel of distinguished experts explore the implications of the report and the consumer role in shaping the future of Medicare.

Event Registration is Closed
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.