By Robert F. Nagel

At a time of unparalleled nationwide strength, why achieve this many americans think that our nationhood is fragile and precarious? Why the talk--among politicians, lecturers, and jurists--of "coups d'etat," of tradition wars, of confederation, of constitutional breakdown? during this wide-ranging booklet, Robert Nagel proposes a stunning znswer: that nervousness approximately nationwide solidarity is brought on by centralization itself. additionally, he proposes that this anxiousness has risky cultural effects which are, in an implosive cycle, pushing the rustic towards ever higher centralization.
conscientiously interpreting contemporary landmark excellent complaints that shield states' rights, Nagel argues that the federal judiciary isn't really prime and isn't prone to lead a revival of the complicated process known as federalism. a powerful model of federalism calls for appreciation for political clash and admire for confrontation approximately constitutional that means, either values which are deeply antithetical to the Court's functionality. That such a lot of think this such a lot centralized of our Nation's associations is preserving, even overprotecting, kingdom strength is itself an indication of the depletion of these understandings essential to maintain the federal system.
rather than a help for federalism, Nagel reveals a dedication to radical nationalism in the course of the constitutional legislation institution. He lines this dedication to regularly American qualities like perfectionism, optimism, individualism, and legalism. below smooth stipulations of centralization, those appealing features are resulting in unattractive social results, together with tolerance, fearfulness, utopianism, and deceptiveness. they're degrading our political discourse. All this encourages additional centralization and additional cultural deterioration.
This ebook places the foremost federalism judgements in the framework of the Court's total checklist, together with its checklist on person rights in components like abortion, homosexuality, and faculty desegregation. And, giving detailed consciousness to public debate over privateness and impeachment, it locations smooth constitutional legislation within the context of political discourse extra generally.

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