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Collaboration is a core philosophical and strategic commitment of the Center. At the individual level, the Center has formed partnerships with CSF Fellows who work with staff to design the Center’s priorities and programs and Associates who participate actively in Center projects. At the organizational level, the Center has worked with existing academic and governmental institutes and helped start new ones. At the associational level, the Center has played a long-standing role in bringing together and coordinating scholars, practitioners, and organizations as a founder of the Conference for Federal Studies, the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations of the American Political Science Association (APSA), and the International Association of Centers of Federal Studies (IACFS).

APSA Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations

In 1983, the Center organized a successful campaign to recruit members for an official APSA Federalism Section. At its 1983 annual meeting in Chicago, the American Political Science Association (APSA) voted to add the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations to its yearly convention proceedings. It was the first section created within the APSA. The stated purpose of this section is to plan, develop, and implement professional activities for association members with interests in federalism, intergovernmental relations, and state and local government. Its panels are listed as part of the official program rather than as an unaffiliated group. By 1989, the Section was convening seven panels at the annual APSA meeting. In 1991, Section membership reached 367 members; and in 1992 there were ten Section panels at the Annual APSA meeting. The Section organized its first APSA short course in 1992 on The Clinton Administration and the Prospects for Reinventing Federalism, sponsored by the U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations and held at the Commission’s offices. The APSA provides the Section with a page on its website at

Conference for Federal Studies (CFS)

CFS was coordinated by the Center as a membership organization created in the early 1970s to bring together scholars, practitioners, and others interested in federalism and intergovernmental relations. Most of its members also have been subscribers to Publius: The Journal of Federalism, which began in August 1971. In early 1972, the Center began publishing the CFS Notebook as a quarterly newsletter of CFS (see CFS Notebook in Dissemination). The first annual CFS meeting was held in 1973 in conjunction with the annual APSA meeting. The first issue of the Notebook had nearly 100 subscribers; it would grow to nearly 2,000, most of whom were CFS members and Publius subscribers. CFS ceased functioning in the 1990s when other organizations became available to perform the functions of CFS domestically and internationally.

Forum of Federations

The Forum is an outgrowth of the International Conference on Federalism sponsored by the Canadian federal government in 1999. With partner governments and organizations around the world, the Forum is a learning network concerned with promoting intergovernmental learning on governance challenges in multi-level democracies. Funded by its member governments, the Forum hosts conferences and coordinates comparative research on dimensions of federalism such as public opinion, political parties, and intergovernmental relations. Since 2001 the Center for the Study of Federalism at the Meyner Center has served as a partner organization with the Forum on comparative federalism studies and programs coordinated by the international Forum of Federations, Ottawa, Canada. For a description of the Forum see Also see The Federalism Report, 24:1:2 (Spring – Summer 2001): 8 – 11, and 19; and 25:3-4 (Summer/Fall 2002): 7 – 8.

International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS)

On June 21, 1977, representatives from eight countries met in Basel, Switzerland, to establish the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS) to further the study and understanding of federal principles and patterns in all their variety. IACFS is an interdisciplinary association of centers and institutes throughout the world with interests in independent research and publication about political, constitutional, legal, administrative, fiscal, economic, historical and philosophical issues relevant to political systems that have federal features. The association seeks to further the study and understanding of federal principles and patterns in all their variety. The founding members were the Centre for Research on Federal Financial Relations, Canberra, A.C.T., Australia; Center for the Study of Federalism, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Forschungsinsitut für Föderalismus, Basel, Swizerland; Institut für Födederalismusstudien, Innsbruck, Austria; Institut européen des haute études internationals, Nice, France; Institute universitaire d’ études fédéralistes, Nice, France; Institute of Intergovernmental Relations, Queen’s University, Kingston, ONT, Canada; Jerusalem Institute for Federal Studies, Israel; Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. By 1989, the IACFS had 17 member organizations.

Jerusalem Institute for Federal Studies

The Jerusalem Institute was established in February 1977. Its first event was a conference on Federal Responses to Intransigent Political Problems. In January – February 1978, the Jerusalem Institute on Federal Studies joined with Bar Ilan University to host the Second Federal Responses Conference, this one focused on Federalist Solutions to the Israel-Arab Conflict. The institute was absorbed into the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Joint Center for Federal and Regional Studies

The Joint Center founded in 1975 with an emphasis on studying the course of federalism and regionalism in Switzerland and Europe was co-founded by the Center and the association of Swiss cantons, the Institute for European Studies in Geneva, the metropolitan planning agency of Basel, and the Swiss Political Science Association. Its first chairman was Nello Celio, former President of Switzerland.

Research Committee 28: Comparative Federalism and Multilevel Governance

Research Committee 28 of the International Political Science Association (IPSA) was recognized as an IPSA study group in 1984 and a research committee in 1987. RC28 facilitates the pursuit of comparative research and scholarship on federalism, intrastate regionalism, decentralization, and multilevel governance. This includes theoretical, conceptual, and normative discussions as well as empirical analyses of territorial power-sharing. Topics of particular interest to RC28 are intergovernmental relations; administrative and fiscal relationships; multilevel political behavior and policymaking; and territorially-based ethnic, cultural, and religious diversity. RC28’s comparative attention spans federal, confederal, quasi-federal, as well as non-federal systems, including subnational and supranational political bodies.

U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR)

The U.S. ACIR was formed in 1959 as an independent, bipartisan federal commission bringing together federal, state, and local government officials and private representatives to research the state of intergovernmental relations in the U.S. and recommend ways to improve their coordination, the allocation of functions among governments, and technical assistance in grant reform and coordination. Center Fellow Robert B. Hawkins, Jr, served as ACIR Chair from 1982 to 1993. Daniel J. Elazar was appointed to the Commission in 1986. John Kincaid was appointed Research Director later that year and then became Executive Director in 1988, serving until 1994. He served as ACIR Kestnbaum Fellow 1994 – 1995. Congress defunded ACIR in September 1996. For analyses of ACIR’s demise, see Bruce D. McDowell, “Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1996: The End of an Era,” Publius: The Journal of Federalism 27 (Spring 1997): 111-127 and John Kincaid, “The U.S. Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations: Unique Artifact of a Bygone Era,” Public Administration Review 71 (March/April 2011): 181-189.

For an archive of ACIR publications, see: