This seminar will examine a variety of topics in the political economy of constitutional federalism. Issues to be covered include the advantages and disadvantages of political decentralization, competition between state and local governments, the impact of federalism on the status of minority groups, the Founding Fathers' view of federalism, and the role of the judges in enforcing federalism through judicial review. While most of the course focuses on federalism in the United States, some readings will also employ a comparative perspective. Each student will be required to write a research paper on a federalism-related topic of his or her choice. Grading will be based partly on written work, and partly on class participation.