Bednar's analysis of the roles of federalism

Jenna Bednar, Council on Foreign Relations: "What’s the function of federalism? Why do we have it? And some people think about, well, federalism is for allocation—that is, to harmonize access to resources or maybe even just administrative decentralization. Another way of thinking about the reason why we have federalism is as context fitting. The central government would do it, could do it better, but won’t because there is variation from state to state, locality to locality, and so we just decentralize enough to be able to take these local contexts into account. I’d like you to think about a third frame and that frame is problem solving, that federalism can act like a problem-solving mechanism."