The one constant in the American federal system is change - change that is not always beneficial. "American Intergovernmental Relations: A Fragmented Federal Polity" examines how the dynamic social, economic, and political forces that impinge on American government at all levels shape the way that our federal system functions. Stephens and Wikstrom - both senior scholars specializing in federalism, intergovernmental relations, and fiscal policy - offer concise, comprehensive, and easy-to-understand coverage of these materials. Beginning with the key elements of federalism, the authors trace these principles as they have evolved since the founding of the republic and through the various phases and types of federal arrangements as they exist today. They examine and analyze the extreme complexity of the system and the cooperative and conflicting components of vertical and horizontal intergovernmental relations. Stephens and Wikstrom also discuss the impact of public policy and intergovernmental relations on American society in light of rising globalism, rapidly changing technology, and new security concerns.;Featuring relevant case studies from the headlines, "American Intergovernmental Relations" is an ideal text for undergraduate and graduate courses in federalism and intergovernmental relations. It is also an excellent text for a different approach to a course in American government.