Publius: The Journal of Federalism

The Center’s flagship publication is Publius: The Journal of Federalism–the world’s leading international journal devoted to federalism. Publius was the pen name used by Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison in 1787-1788 when they wrote The Federalist – a series of commentaries in defense of the federal republic created by the proposed Federal Constitution of 1787. It is an appropriate name for a journal devoted to the development and diffusion of knowledge about federalism and intergovernmental relations. Each year, Publius issues an annual review of American federalism that highlights and analyzes federalism and intergovernmental issues in the preceding year. The journal publishes other special issues dedicated to subjects of theoretical and practical significance, as well as open issues containing articles on many different topics. On numerous occasions, Publius articles were first tested as working papers among colleagues at conferences and other events sponsored by the Center or one of its partner organizations or in response to a call for papers issued by the CFS Notebook/Federalism Report.

Daniel Elazar founded the journal in 1971. John Kincaid assumed its management responsibilities in 1982. He served diligently as its editor for 25 years responsible for both its content and management as a self-publishing journal. Before retiring from the editorship, he negotiated an agreement with Oxford University Press to publish the journal. Carol S. Weissert became Publius editor in 2006. After her retirement from the editorship, John Dinan became the editor.

Publius is sponsored by the Section on Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations of the American Political Science Association. Publius is published on behalf of CSF Associates: Publius, Inc. housed at the Robert B. and Helen S. Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government at Lafayette College, Easton, PA. For more information on Publius, visit and search the archives for free tables of contents at

CFS Notebook (later, CSF Notebook; then, The Federalism Report)

The Notebook began with volume 1:1 in Winter 1972 as an information-sharing and community-building vehicle for subscribers to Publius: The Journal of Federalism (created in 1971) and the members of the Conference for Federal Studies (CFS). (Back issues can be found elsewhere on this site.) Initially published three times a year, then quarterly, the Notebook disseminated CFS member contact information, research notes and papers by members, course syllabi of the members, occasional book reviews and bibliographies, an annual inventory of member research, news on Center and Conference activities, and calls for articles and announcements of Publius issues. The Notebook also published announcements of allied organizations and projects, including panels and business activities of the Federalism Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA) and conferences and other activities of the International Association of Centers for Federal Studies (IACFS).

In Fall 1987, the title of the Notebook was changed to the CSF Notebook. In Winter 1992, the format of the Center’s quarterly reporting evolved to keep pace with expanded activities. The CSF Notebook continued to report news of the Center, its fellows, and members of CFS. A second and newly created newsletter IACFS Update was dedicated to reporting IACFS news, research projects of member institutions, and related international developments. A third newly formed newsletter, The Federalism/Intergovernmental Relations Newsletter reported organization business and activities of the APSA Section. All three were published together in The Federalism Report. The Federalism Report also included the Center’s long-standing publication, “The Covenant Letter,” the dissemination vehicle for the Center’s Covenant Workshop (see Federalism Report, volume 21:3 (Fall 1996)). By 2003 the Notebook’s successor, The Federalism Report was mailed to approximately 2,000 individuals and libraries including Publius subscribers, APSA Section members, and others on the CSF mailing list.

In 1992, the new Federalism Report entered the electronic age beginning a Bitnet directory of five members with email addresses and a listserv called STATEPOL organized by Jim Hoefler at Dickinson College for those interested in discussing state politics. In 1996, the Center joined the Worldwide Web at

Beginning with volume 24:1-2 (Spring – Summer 2001), The Federalism Report was published twice yearly by the Meyner Center for the Study of State and Local Government at Lafayette College, PA, and the Institute for Regional Analysis and Public Policy, Morehead State University, KT. John Kincaid of the Meyner Center served as Editor; Michael Hail, IRAPP Director of Research and Development served as Associate Editor; Jeremy Hall, IRAPP Research Associate, was Production Editor.

Over the decades, the Notebook/Report provided a sounding board for preliminary ideas and research by member scholars. Some highlights include:

  • Deil S. Wright, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, “Intergovernmental Relations: Origins of a Term,” III:2 (Fall 1973).
  • Jaime Benitez, Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico, “The Future of Commonwealth,” IV:4 (Fall 1974).
  • “Governmental Recruitment and Staffing,” no author, an early detailed analysis of state legislative internship programs, with special emphasis on New York State programs, 5:3 (Summer 1975).
  • Research note in which Raymond Tatalovich analyzes the frequency of campaign stops by Democratic and Republican candidates in the presidential races from 1932 to 1972 based on the size, party competitiveness, and region of states visited, 6:3 (Summer 1976).
  • “Why Sixteen Billion Dollars Have Not Saved the Central Cities: An Exchange” by Howard Schuman (Assistant to Senator William Proxmire), Donna Shalala (Assistant Secretary of HUD), and Paul Dommel (Brookings), 9:4 (Fall 1979).
  • Donald S. Lutz, “Federalism and Changing Ideas of Rights in America, 1621 – 1983,” 14: 1/2 (Summer 1986).
  • John Pittinger, former Pennsylvania Education Secretary and Rutgers Law Professor, offers thoughtful suggestions for a “Federalism Research Agenda,” 16:1 (Summer 1990).
  • Samuel Beer, “Federalism and the Nation State: What We Can Learn From the American Experience,” 18:2 (Winter 1992).
  • Charles H. Hamilton’s Research Agenda, “Citizenship and Voluntarism: On the Vitality of Civil Society,” 18:3 (Spring 1993).
  • John Kincaid, “Reinventing Federalism: Principles and Challenges” – an ACIR report to the President with a good distillation of principles and challenges facing American federalism at the time, 18:3 (Spring 1993).
  • Bibliography of current works in print on covenant and politics, including a bibliography of Bill Clinton’s “New Covenant,”21:3 (Fall 1996).
  • John Kincaid’s U.S. Senate Testimony on Coercive Federalism, 21:3 (Fall 1996).
  • Daniel J. Elazar’s nuanced analysis of the variety of ancient confederations in “The Hellenic-Ionian Leagues: The First European Confederations,” 21:4 (Spring 1997).
  • Richard L. Cole and John Kincaid, “Terrorism and Federalism,” 25:1-2 (Winter/Spring 2002).
  • Vladimir Ryzhkov, State Duma Deputy and former CSF international institute participant, “The Russian Federation: Diversity versus Unity,” 26:1-2 (Winter/Spring 2003).


Partnership 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: