Trends and Issues in Interstate Cooperation

An effective system of interstate cooperation is essential to the operation of U. S. federalism. The research reported here shows that, on average, a state belongs to 25.4 interstate compacts and, during the 1990s, joined other states in 25 legal actions and enacted 7.7 uniform laws. However, the variation both across and within states as to the degree and type of cooperation reflects the tension between cooperation and competition.

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About the Author
Ann O’M. Bowman is the James F. and Maude B. Byrnes Professor of Government at the University of South Carolina. She has written extensively on issues in intergovernmental relations. She thanks Erica H. Carter, H. Lee Smith and Gregory K. Plagens for their assistance in collecting the data used in this research.