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Intergovernmental Relations and Management

Intergovernmental Relations and Management

Kincaid & Stenberg (2011) discuss the connection between politics and management. The authors consider different questions to discuss the position of the state and local government in control and how they influence the flow of information at the specific governance level. The authors argue that the federal government is responsible for pushing the state governments to undertake their roles mainly through commanding and controlling the citizenry. This discussion reviews the most intriguing questions from the article and the authors’ approach to addressing these.

Should local governments have a more prominent seat at the intergovernmental table?

The local governments should have a position on the intergovernmental platform because, based on the Constitution, the source of governance is that the collaboration between federal and state governments is necessary for proper administration. Collaboration facilitates the making and implementation of policies, hence the need to include local governments at the intergovernmental seats because they are aware of the needs of the local people and are in a better position to represent those needs to the federal government and ensure that they are met. Despite the importance of fostering collaboration between the local and national governments, the federal government has denied local governments the governance role by preventing them from representing their interests. The article addresses the question based on the argument made by the authors that the federal government has secluded the local governments in governance, thus reducing their prominence and curtailing their power to represent the people. There is, therefore, a need for more inclusion and funds to meet the needs of the local people.

The question is essential for various reasons. To begin with, the federal government has exerted increased regulatory power over local administrations. Collaborations between the governments are critical, especially during the process of policy formulation. The method of making policies is complex, especially when it involves executive officials who are either appointed or elected. The challenge in this process occurs due to the discussions that take place and the political influence. Discussions that preceded policy formulation tend to be collusive, intimidating, collaborative, and competitive. It is thus hard to generalize succinctly about the relations between the federal and local governments. Recently, more states have embraced the need to collaborate at the regional, bilateral, and national levels to find solutions to various issues that affect multiple states.

Similarly, the local administrations are reaping immense benefits from collaboration with higher-level governments. These local governments can save on costs, access mutual assistance, and still maintain their independence as an administration. Certain policy aspects, such as taxation as well as economic development, are highly competitive across multiple jurisdictions. Despite the intense competition, these relations can only demand minimal attention from officials from the local and state governments.

The question is also crucial because answering it can include setting boundaries and rules on how the relations between the federal and local governments should be regulated. Significant informality and fluidity have characterized the governmental interactions between the provincial and national level administrations in the USA (Nice, 2018). The United States lacks a system that is directly equivalent to the executive federalism practiced in some national schemes, such as Canada. The United States also lacks a pack of joint decision-making bodies prevalent in countries such as Germany. Additionally, the United States has dual federalism in which the federal government and states share sovereignty, and federal and state officials have been hesitant to establish formal intergovernmental establishments.

Relations between the different governments are essential to the private sector. For instance, nonprofit entities and companies in the private sector that take responsibility for public services, including health and social welfare, benefit significantly from federal aid. These institutions consume close to half of the assistance that the federal government provides to the state as well as local governments. Most of these administrators in the three levels of government belong to similar national professional as well as scientific associations that match their specific expertise as well as responsibility (Glendening, 2018). While in these associations, the officials collaborate and share information. These interactions also include colleagues who share similar interests but are in the private sector. As a result, the interactions influence the formulation of policies. In addition to that, ideas that Congress implements also come from this community of experts. The process of implementation is guided by the professional and scientific standards that all members observe. These interest groups that make up the political ecosystem continuously interact with officials at multiple government levels, which leads to better collaboration between the federal and the local administration.

Can intergovernmental relations generate more effective and efficient policies and implementation without restoring the priority of the “governmental” in “intergovernmental?

This question caught my attention because it focuses on the significance of governmental relations from the federal viewpoint and how it helps address the state government’s position in supporting their operations. According to Drew (2020), governmental procedures also play a significant role in supporting governance as a factor of shared responsibility between the local and federal government so that the effectiveness of control is not lost and there is no need to draw authorization from Congress. Congress creates value by initiating governance authorization and ensuring there is proper implementation of policies that are put in place with reference to federal and state governments, such as policies relating to civil defense programs. The federal government is also considered a branch of the White House that falls under the affairs of multiple governments that align with Congress and allow it to manage local governments properly. In addition, the element of importance enables operations between local and state governments to be undertaken because of the presence of policies and implementation of procedures towards governance. The office in charge of affairs relating to the shared responsibility and collaboration of federal and local governments oversees the creation of smooth operations in the government. It eliminates overlapping roles that exist to limit efficiency.

The question is important because it reviews the need for intergovernmental relations and factors that need to be considered to avoid restoring the government’s priority in intergovernmental management. In small states, organizations in the private sector complete most public tasks if they operate within the provisions of federal law. These organizations are part of the government pillars and function in specific fields such as education, public housing, social welfare, and public health. Most of them are also entirely or almost entirely financed by the federal government and require approval from the federal government to run projects. The collaboration between the government and these organizations results in the development of strong ties between the public and the state (Glendening, 2018).

Furthermore, a collaboration between the federal and local governments contributes to expanding welfare services because there is a proper distribution of resources to meet essential needs. Political dimensions in partnership between the national and provincial governments also demonstrate that, on one side, there are institutionalized politics that have less legitimization. On the other end, there is a phenomenon of developing more professional administrative institutions.


Based on the analysis of the questions discussed above, the federal government has been reluctant to collaborate with the local government to eliminate the provincial government’s prominence while curtailing its power of citizenry representation. Therefore, there is a need to fund local governments to reach citizens and facilitate the development of interventions supporting intergovernmental relations.


Drew, J. (2020). Shared services and other Cooperative arrangements. Reforming Local Government, 87-103.

Glendening, P. N. (2018). American federalism without a system of intergovernmental relations. Intergovernmental Relations in Transition, 255-275.

Kincaid, J., & Stenberg, C. W. (2011). “Big questions” about intergovernmental relations and management: Who will address them? Public Administration Review, 71(2), 196-202.

Nice, D. C. (2018). The intergovernmental setting of state-local relations. Governing Partners, 17-36.


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After reading the article “‘Big Questions About Intergovernmental Relations and Management: Who Will Address Them?” by Kincaid and Stenberg, choose two of the questions from the article that intrigued you the most. Then, in 750-1,000 words, do the following:

Intergovernmental Relations and Management

Intergovernmental Relations and Management

Explain whether the questions still need answering or if the government has addressed them since the article was published.
If they have been answered, explain why and how. If they have not been answered, explain what the government can do to start finding answers to them.
Describe the importance of the questions as they relate specifically to state and local governments.
Use three to five scholarly resources to support your explanations.

Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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