Intergovernmental Relations in the American Administrative State: The Johnson Presidency

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During the 1960s, President Lyndon Johnson and his administration substantially altered the structure of the American administrative state. Creating intergovernmental programs to forward the goal of the Great Society, they changed the contours of national-state-local relationships, and these changes largely have remained, despite the attempts of later administrations to reverse them. Intergovernmental Relations in the American Administrative State is the first comprehensive study of how and why these changes occurred. Drawn from a wealth of primary material in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, the study probes the objectives of the president and other framers of new policies and programs, within the institutional and political context of the time. The authors give special attention to the inherent incongruities that arise when intergovernmental programs are used to address problems defined in national terms. In addition, they reveal how certain programs actually challenged the power of established national bureaucracies. They conclude with a thoughtful overview of the Johnson legacy in intergovernmental relations during subsequent administrations.