The Center for the Study of Federalism is pleased to share federalism course syllabi and examples of federalism class assignments and projects.

If you are teaching a course on American Federalism, Comparative Federalism, or federalism of another country (e.g., Canadian Federalism), please send us your syllabus or class assignment or project for consideration for posting on the CSF website (

Federalism Syllabi

POL 6/70105: Federal & State Policymaking
Christopher P. Banks, Kent State University
Spring 2018
Brief Description: This course covers the theory and practice of federalism with emphasis on its consequences for policy outcomes. Students also examine the transformation of the policy role of state governments in relation to the national government. We study these perspectives through a lens of American Political Development, an academic sub-discipline in political science that has gained substantial traction and salience in recent years. After tracing federalism’s historical origins and its political implications, the resurgence of states’ rights and sovereignty contemporary policymaking arguments are studied through a “new federalism” paradigm that took hold as a political challenge to New Deal centralization in the post-Nixon administration years. Thereafter, specific illustrations of contemporary applications of federal and state policymaking initiatives and responses are considered in several realms of policy, including health care, gun rights, marijuana regulation, immigration, and national security policymaking.

Government 310: Politics, Policy, and Law in American Federalism
John Kincaid, Lafeyette College
Spring 2018
Brief Description: In the course, we will seek to analyze and understand (1) the place of federalism in Western political thought and theology, (2) the theoretical and political origins of American federalism, (3) the American contributions to the theory and practice of federal democracy, (4) the constitutional and legal bases of the federal system, (5) the historical phases and changing conceptions of federalism in the United States, (6) the legal, political, administrative, and fiscal dynamics of relations among the nation’s more than 90,056 governments, (7) the intergovernmental institutions and processes that shape the formation, implementation, and outcomes of public policy, and (8) the impacts of federalism on specific policy issues, such as civil rights and liberties, economic regulation, environmental protection, crime, health care, and foreign affairs.

Federalism Class Assignments & Projects