A JMC Webinar: John Dinan and Benjamin Kleinerman on Federalism and COVID-19

Federal Hall, New York City

JMC Webinar: John Dinan and Benjamin Kleinerman on “What Good is Federalism in a Pandemic?”


In a virtual discussion on May 20, 2020, faculty partner John Dinan (Professor of Politics, Wake Forest University) and board member Benjamin Kleinerman (R.W. Morrison Chair of Political Science, Baylor University) discussed the role of federalism in government response to the pandemic.

Some of the questions Professors Dinan and Kleinerman examined included: What are the respective powers of the federal and state governments in responding to a health crisis? In what ways do state officials possess more authority than federal officials? What are the limits of state government power in a health crisis, and how have challenges to state government authority in this area been resolved, both historically and in recent months? To what extent is a decentralized system of government well positioned for responding to a health crisis? To what extent would a more centralized system of government be able to respond more effectively? What will be the long-term impact of the coronavirus on the balance of power between federal and state governments?

Audience members also had the chance to submit additional questions during the event.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020 • 4:00 PM
A virtual webinar through Zoom



John DinanJohn Dinan is a Professor of Politics at Wake Forest University. His  research focuses on state constitutionalism, federalism, and American political development.  He is the author of several books, including State Constitutional Politics: Governing by Amendment in the American States (University of Chicago Press, 2018) and The American State Constitutional Tradition (University Press of Kansas, 2006), and he writes an annual entry on state constitutional developments for The Book of the States. Professor Dinan is also the editor of Publius: The Journal of Federalism and is a past chair of the Federalism and Intergovernmental Relations Section of the American Political Science Association. 

Professor Dinan is a JMC faculty partner.

Learn more about John Dinan >>



Benjamin KleinermanBenjamin Kleinerman is the R.W. Morrison Chair of Political Science at Baylor University. He also serves as the Chair of the American Political Thought section of APSA. He has published articles in Perspectives on Politics (APSA), American Political Science Review, Texas Law Review and several edited volumes including Nomos and The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Professor Kleinerman has also been invited to give talks at Yale University, the University of Notre Dame, Xavier University, Kenyon College, and the University of Cincinnati. His first book, The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power (University Press of Kansas, 2009), has been reviewed in The New Republic and Political Science Quarterly. He teaches classes on both political thought and political institutions. Professor Kleinerman has also published on other subjects including literature and politics and American political history.

Professor Kleinerman is a JMC board member.

Learn more about Benjamin Kleinerman >>



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