Reagan federalism, unlike Reaganomics, has achieved far less than was anticipated in 1981. In this article, the extent of real change in the intergovernmental system is gauged by assessing recent intergovernmental developments in light of the time perspective (1980, 1981, and 1987); the relative significance of federalism within the cluster of Reagan political precepts; the interplay of key actors in the national policy process; and the views of state and local officials. Also highlighted are the reasons that national policy activism has been reduced but not rolled back. Overall, contemporary U. S. federalism is still found to be a nation-centered one because ofthe strong centralizing currents in the judicial/regulatory and political/representational arenas. Yet it is also a somewhat less centripetal one now than it was in 1980, owing to developments in the intergovernmental functional, fiscal, and managerial spheres.



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