Big Questions about Intergovernmental Relations and Management
Big Questions about Intergovernmental Relations and Management
“‘Big Questions about Intergovernmental Relations and Management: Who Will Address Them?” article by Kincaid and Stenberg is an article reviewing the United States intergovernmental institutional capacity (Kincaid & Stenberg, 2011). This article contains fifteen questions, which are aimed at providing future directions about intergovernmental relations and management (Kincaid & Stenberg, 2011). This is due to the changes in the intergovernmental world, which has led to uncertainties of the future. Intergovernmental relations involve interactions between officials of the federal and local governments whether elected or appointed in the policy-making process, which involves making rules, and regulations, which govern the United States. Intergovernmental management involves the implementation and management of enacted policies between the federal and the state governments (Kincaid & Stenberg, 2011).
Questions Still Needing Answering
One of the questions that intrigued me the most was the question on how important is the absence of institutions that monitor intergovernmental trends and developments, convene meetings, and conduct research to the health of the federal system. Will the need to rebalance the federal government’s financial and programmatic roles call for more and sustained attention to intergovernmental management? This question still needs answering by the government, as it is important to have connective and supportive mechanisms in the federal government. These connections also known as intergovernmental relations are important in facilitating an effective implementation of enacted policies (Stenberg & Hamilton, 2018).
The answer to this question was that no adequate efforts had been made to establish institutional capacity, which is able to aide better understanding of international relations and management since 1996. This is after the demise of the U.S. Advisory Commission on International Relations (Kincaid & Stenberg, 2011). Proposed federal budget reforms, reorganizations, and program eliminations are not enough to bring a balance in intergovernmental management. This will not address the problems faced in intergovernmental relations and will not improve the communication networks, which are important in the implementation process and more information, should be provided (Stenberg & Hamilton, 2018).
The second question is the why are states increasingly imposing unfunded or underfunded mandates on local governments, and restricting municipal and county authority in economic, social, and environmental policy? This question still needs more analysis as the answer does not clearly reaffirm the sovereignty of the states. There still needs a change in the balancing of power between the federal governments to the states (Eccleston & Krever, 2017). There are also no clear steps in the shifting of power and responsibilities from the federal government to the local governments. The responsibilities and powers between the federal and state governments have been widening and the government should provide a clear moderation on this process (Eccleston & Krever, 2017).
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If They Have Been Answered, Explain Why And How. If They Have Not Been Answered, Explain What Government Can Do To Start Finding Answers to Them
The question on why are states increasingly imposing unfunded or underfunded mandates on local governments and restricting municipal and county authority in economic, social, and environmental policy was not adequately answered. The government should address this imbalance, which has reached a crisis point (Eccleston & Krever, 2017). The states are also opposing this unfunded federal mandates from the federal government. Some of the initiatives from the states include demanding funding for federal mandates. These unfunded federal mandates have forced state governments to sacrifice their programs and priorities to be able to carry out the federal mandates (Eccleston & Krever, 2017). The federal government to address this issue should provide funding for these mandates. This will help in restoring the balance between the state and federal relations. With decreased funding and increasing mandates, the government should reduce the number and complexity of the mandates. The government can also include official members in their congress to participate in the policy-making process (Eccleston & Krever, 2017).
The second question was on how important is the absence of institutions that monitor intergovernmental trends and developments, convene meetings, and conduct research to the health of the federal system (Kincaid & Stenberg, 2011). The government can address this by stressing on the importance of intergovernmental relations. These institutions are through which the governments within a political system interact and relate (Stenberg & Hamilton, 2018). Due to the different levels of governments, which include state, and federal governments, institutions that monitor intergovernmental trends and developments are important and should be considered in the policy-making process. This initiative on rebuilding institutional capacity has adverse consequences on intergovernmental relations. The federal government should collaborate with the state governments to come up with policies that improve intergovernmental relations (Stenberg & Hamilton, 2018).
The Importance of the Questions As They Relate Specifically To State and Local Governments
The questions are important in the establishment of good interrelations between the different government levels, which include the state, and the federal governments (Ganson, 2013). Due to the political tensions between the interaction of the federal government and the state government, these questions are aimed at addressing any unclear objectives and responsibilities of the governments (Ganson, 2013). These political tensions are because of the demise of the United States Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations in 1996. No government has stepped in to address the rising concerns, which have led to the questions aimed at addressing these concerns (Ganson, 2013).
These questions are also aimed in improving collaborative governance through the building of the necessary capacity to support the intergovernmental relations (Ganson, 2013). The questions also provided information about future directions on intergovernmental relations and management, which is important in the policy-making process (Ganson, 2013). These interactions are important in the policy-making process and there must be clear and adequate guidelines to enhance the process. Due to the economic crisis between the federal and state governments, these questions are aimed at addressing some of the issues affecting good leadership in the United States by the federal as well as the state governments (Ganson, 2013).
Eccleston, R., & Krever, R. E. (2017). The future of federalism: Intergovernmental financial relations in an age of austerity. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Pub.
Ganson, B. (2013). Management in Complex Environments: Questions for Leaders. Stockholm: Na?ringslivets internationella ra?d.
Kincaid, J., & Stenberg, C. W. (2011). “Big Questions” about Intergovernmental Relations and Management: Who Will Address Them? Public Administration Review, 71(2), 196-202.
Stenberg, C. W., & Hamilton, D. K. (2018). Intergovernmental Relations in Transition: Reflections and Directions. London: Taylor and Francis.