Statesmanship, Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations – PLCY 804

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

The interplay between and among American state governments and the federal government will be examined at the macro and micro (intergovernmental relations) levels. Students will be challenged to examine the complexities of the modern American political system in light of competing models of federalism and statesmanship.


PLCY 700 or PADM 700


PLCY 804 enables a student pursuing a Ph.D in Public Policy to understand the complex issues, institutions, and interplay between American state and federal governments. Because both creating and enacting public policy in America depends on an understanding of federalism, this course gives students the necessary knowledge to evaluate the constitutional foundations, historical evolution, and current relationships between state and federal governmental structures. Additionally, the course prepares students to critically assess various political, fiscal, and administrative issues in an intergovernmental system.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Apply a Christian worldview of human nature and political institutions to analyze the merits of competing models of federalism and statesmanship.
  2. Evaluate the constitutional foundations, historical evolution, and current relationships between and among state and federal governmental structures in America, at both macro and micro levels.
  3. Explain various political, fiscal, and administrative issues of governance in an intergovernmental system, such as national policymaking and security, fiscal federalism, and implementation.
  4. Synthesize theories of federalism and statesmanship with the role of national, state, and local governments and their influence on policy decisions.
  5. Identify the effects of national and state policy on reshaping intergovernmental relationships and power structures within the federal system.
  6. Construct a scholarly research paper on a current policy issue related to intergovernmental relations or federalism which includes a literature review, quantitative/qualitative methodology, and critical analysis of findings.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be 1,000-1,250 words and contain a minimum of 3 references to course readings cited in current Turabian format and 1 Scripture reference (where applicable). In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be 350-500 words and include at least 1 reference to course readings and 1 Scripture reference (where applicable). Each reply post must be unique; posting the same reply in 2 places is not sufficient and may be treated as a form of academic misconduct.

Article Reviews (3)

The student will submit 3 short papers summarizing and analyzing 2 of the recommended reading articles for the module/week. The reviews must be 5-6 pages (1200-1500 words), written in current Turabian format.

Book Review

The student will craft one 4-5-page (1,000-1,200-word) publication-quality book review, in current Turabian Author-Date format. Through an analysis of Samuel H. Beer’s To Make a Nation: The Rediscovery of American Federalism, the review will address how American statesmen during the Founding assessed and utilized theories of federalism when constructing the American intergovernmental system.

Research Paper

The student will write one 15-20-page research paper (3,500-5,000 words), in current Turabian format. The research paper will answer a specific, well-defined research question dealing with how a Christian statesman would respond to an issue related to intergovernmental relations or federalism. The research paper must include at least 7-10 scholarly sources to justify the student’s position and/or conclusions, a clearly presented research question and thesis, literature review, discussion of methodology, presentation of findings, biblical integration component, and analysis of results and relevance of the findings.