Living Apart Together in Europe

  • Jean-Pierre van Aubel
  • K. M. van Nispen


A decade ago Alice Rivlin issued a new book in which she calls for a revival of the American dream that is “a democratic political system in which most people feel that they can affect public decisions and elect officials who will speak for them” (Rivlin 1992: p. 1). The original idea had faded due to a process of centralization. In the early days of dual federalism, both levels of government were relatively small, but the power was with the states (1789–1933). The activities of both government levels expanded during the depression years, but the federal government expanded more than did the states, creating a situation of cooperative federalism (1933–1980). The drive for centralization peaked in the early ′80s and power began to shift back to the states, generating a system of competitive federalism (Shannon and Kee 1989). Rivlin calls for a division of the national and state responsibilities, though two previous attempts to sort these out under the label of new federalism failed (Rivlin 1992: pp. 82–84).


European Central Bank European Constitution Political Union American Federation American Dream 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pierre van Aubel
    • 1
  • K. M. van Nispen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Public AdministrationErasmus UniversityRotterdamThe Netherlands

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