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Competitive Federalism and the Governance of Controversial Science


  • Michael Mintrom


Tensions between the United States government and state governments increased during the Bush Administration, 2001--2008. Blame was typically placed on the Administration's conservative policy preferences. This article analyzes how the issue of stem cell research was managed during those years in Washington, DC and how the states responded. The case highlights contradictions in the Bush Administration's brand of conservatism, how this promoted interstate competition, and why state governments had to wrestle with major policy dilemmas. Concerns surrounding moral principles, scientific progress, and economic competitiveness produced a patchwork of state funding and regulatory regimes. That outcome has not been ideal from several perspectives. Advances in biotechnology and other controversial areas of science will force future national and state governments to confront similar policymaking challenges. Copyright 2009, Oxford University Press.

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  • Michael Mintrom, 2009. "Competitive Federalism and the Governance of Controversial Science," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(4), pages 606-631, Fall.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:publus:v:39:y:2009:i:4:p:606-631

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    Cited by:

    1. Reiche, Danyel, 2013. "Climate policies in the U.S. at the stakeholder level: A case study of the National Football League," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 775-784.

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