SAGE Journal Articles and Readings

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SAGE Journal Articles


Article 1: Fabbrini, S. (January 1999). The American System of Separated Government: An Historical-Institutional Interpretation. International Political Science Review 20(1). 95-116.

This article discusses the American system of divided government. The author argues that the American system of government is neither a modern presidential system nor an old fashioned system of separation of powers.

Questions to Consider:
  1. How does the author define the American political system?
  2. What are some of the issues that the author encountered with the current definitions of the American system of government?
  3. Does the author believe that the constitution reflects current state of government? How has it change in terms of the presidential and congressional power?

Learning objective: Describe the role of each branch of government; Explain why the founders chose to structure each of the branches of government as they did; Demonstrate how the flexibility built in the constitution has allowed it to change with the times 


Article 2: Boushey, G. and Luedtke, A. (December 2011). Immigrants across the U.S. Federal Laboratory: Explaining State-Level Innovation in Immigration Policy. State Politics and Policy Quarterly 11(4). 390-414.

This article discusses the current controversial debates regarding immigration policy and the role of federalism in the United States. The authors explore pressures leading to state immigration policy innovation and adoption in the United States by explaining how factors that are associated with national policy influence state-level policy. 

Questions to Consider:
  1. Do you believe that the states should be allowed to enact their own immigration policies?
  2. What does the comprehensive theory state and how does it apply immigration policy decentralization in federal systems?
  3. What are the incentives that states have to pass immigration laws?

Learning objective: Identify the ways in which federalism divides power between national and state governments; Demonstrate how the flexibility built in to the Constitution has allowed it to change with the times


Article 3: Seamon, M. J. (December 2006). The Legal Status of Medical Marijuana. 40(12). 2211-2215.

This brief article discusses the legal use of marijuana in the United States. The author provide a background and literature review regarding the use of medical marijuana its classification under federal law.

Questions to Consider:
  1. What are the inherent issues with federalism and marijuana legislation?
  2. Does the federal government have the ability to intervene and criminalize individuals who are adhering to state policies?

Learning objective: Identify ways in which federalism divides power between national and state governments


CQ Researcher

Learning objective: Discuss whether the Constitution fosters or limits citizen participation in government